A light, airy, effervescent, blog of grave consequence. (NOT!) Dedicated to those of us who must respond to negative stimuli by Chernobyling (entombing in concrete) our innermost thoughts.

Location: Slaughter, Louisiana, United States

A semi-gruntled corporate reliability engineer trying to make ends meet while keeping my wife happy, and myself out of the asylum.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Neutral on the subject

So nearly six years ago when I purchased this house, the inspector noted that there were no GFCIs anywhere. It wasn't an issue as they were not code when the house was built, but he recommended installing some to "improve" the electrical safety of the house.

I've had it on my list of things to do for a long time and finally got around, earlier this year, to ordering the correct breakers.

Of course, this house has an oddball panel (Siemens), so I had to go mail order to get the parts rather than go down to the 'Po.

They've been here about six months and I finally figured this morning that I'd get them installed. (Hell, The damned things are $50 each so I might as well install them.)

I picked all the circuits that have outlets near a water source.

The physical installation was pretty simple. They just click in place like the old ones, finding the right wires to use in the panel was another story. For the GFCI breaker to work properly, it needs to have the actual circuit neutral connected to it as well as the circuit power and then it is also tied into the panel neutral bus. Finding the corresponding neutrals for each of the power wires was a trip. (pun intended) Although, whomever wired the panel did a decent job so I was able to manage it without zapping myself more than a half dozen times.

I did uncover a couple interesting things. Each of the circuits for the front and back porch outlets seem to have either a loose or a split neutral. Neither of those circuits would work with the GFCIs.

Oh well. Got all but one installed and they are working correctly. Now you may feel free to drop a clothes iron into your bath and not kill yourself.


Blogger Brian Gallimore said...

why did you decide to go the route of replacing breakers instead of outlets to get the GFCI protection?

1:05 PM  
Blogger 2Evil4U said...

I would have had to run an additional neutral to all of the circuits in the field. (I think.)

1:42 PM  

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