Ground Fault Protection

IMG_4954Ground Fault Protection: Many electricians and engineers would agree that this is by far and away the greatest life safety invention in the history of electrical engineering. This device is similar to the air bag in a car. It stops the impact of electrical shock before it hits you much like an air bag in a car stops the occupant from feeling the impact from an accident.

It works rather simply. There are electronics internally in the unit that measures current flow from the line side of the circuit across the grounded current carrying conductor (neutral conductor) as the current flows from the breaker back to the panel. If electrons start to divert their flow off of the neutral wire to ground, (such as the condition that would happen if you threw a hair dryer in your shower)  the electronics in the outlet would open the hot side of the circuit causing the current flow on the circuit to be arrested. This happens in milliseconds. The lives this technology has saved could be measured in the tens of thousands.  This technology is also available via circuit breakers as well.

Many articles in the NEC, including ART 210 and ART 680 require the electrician to install ground fault outlets or breakers in wet locations. These locations would include swimming pool areas, or equipment feeding pools, bathrooms, basements, resistance heaters, kitchen counter tops, sheds, garages and exterior outlets to name a few. If you do not have these devices installed in these areas call us for a free evaluation. One ground fault outlet can protect many devices “down current” so you would not have to install one outlet for every device normally.

Home Inspectors in Cincinnati will always write up these if they are missing in your home prior to a sale.