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Author Topic: Would a dry contact switch trip GFCI if there's a fault?  (Read 943 times)

Offline dannieboiz

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Would a dry contact switch trip GFCI if there's a fault?
« on: April 04, 2015, 02:49:02 am »
Was working on the pool lights and electrical today and this came to mind. I have a Linear FS20Z-1 in a weather sealed box that's connected to a GFCI breaker for the pool lights. If there's a short, should the GFCI trip? I think I know the answer but I just have to make sure.

Offline Z-Waver

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Re: Would a dry contact switch trip GFCI if there's a fault?
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2015, 04:36:37 pm »
If there is a short to ground the GFCI should absolutely trip.

Do not allow this to cause you overconfidence and do anything stupid, like handle live wires in water.

Offline curiousB

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Re: Would a dry contact switch trip GFCI if there's a fault?
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2015, 02:37:20 pm »
Not sure what you mean by a "short". An overused word, often used out of context.

GFCIs do not provide over current protection. That is what breakers are for. If you exceed the current level for the branch circuit the breaker should trip.

GFCI's look for ground faults. They are meant to trip if anything over 5mA of leakage current flows to ground. GFCIs determine leakage current by comparing the current on the hot line to the neutral line. If they differ by greater than 5mA they are supposed to trip. GFCIs trip with a leakage current 5mA (vs. 15A for breaker) or 1/3000 of a 15A breaker over current protection.

GFCIs should not be seen as some sort of electrical safety net emboldening you to do something you wouldn't do without a GFCI. That's how people die.


p.s. I suspect the FS20Z-1 is not outdoor rated so that application is likely non compliant as well.
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