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Thread: GFCI outlet AND breaker?

  1. #1
    DIY Member hans_idle's Avatar
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    Default GFCI outlet AND breaker?

    I'm working through my master bath remodel. The previous whirlpool was on a 120V GFCI breaker. The same circuit also powers the bathroom fan. The new airbath tub runs on the same voltage, so I can re-use the same circuit.

    Whereas the old tub was hardwired to the electrical service, the new tub comes with 3-prong plugs for the turbine. I figured I'd install an outlet under the tub (which is accessible by a hatch) to plug the turbine/heater into.

    The question I had was whether or not I could/should use a GFCI outlet given that there is a GFCI breaker. I had heard that you shouldn't hook multiple GFCI outlets on the same line, but I don't know about an outlet and a breaker.

    Is the combination necessary, not necessary, illegal, overkill, etc.?

    My primary reason for having the GFCI local was so that the reset was local to the tub. But since the fan was also on the outlet, I figured maybe I should keep the breaker in place for the whole circuit.

    Thanks for any advice.

    -Hans

  2. #2

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    Who's to say which GFI will trip in a fault condition? It's a 50-50 chance the one in the panel will trip, so you're back to getting dried & dressed to go reset it.

    Why not just replace the GFI breaker with a standard one?
    Just my 2 worth.

  3. #3
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    There is no advantage to having two devices in series. Me, I'd leave the breaker and replace the outlet. Having to remove a panel is more work than checking the breaker. It should only trip on a fault, and that shouldn't happen often. If it is behind a panel, you are also much less likely to test it as the instructions say you should monthly, too.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 480sparky View Post
    Who's to say which GFI will trip in a fault condition? It's a 50-50 chance the one in the panel will trip, so you're back to getting dried & dressed to go reset it.

    Why not just replace the GFI breaker with a standard one?

    So if you are in a tub and it trips out are you saying to get out and reset it and then without future ado just jump back in?

    Wonder what caused it to trip?
    Would it be safe to just jump back in?

  5. #5
    DIY Member hans_idle's Avatar
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    Good points. I'm thinking that I'll just keep the breaker in place since the bathroom fan is also on it. It's outside the shower by about 2 feet on the ceiling, but it should stay on a GFCI line.

    My only "real" concern was seeing that some people had posted that the inspector wanted to see a reset switch "nearby", whereas in my case you'll have to trudge into the basement. I'll just have to see what the inspector says.

    Thanks!

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    DIY Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    Your fan doesn't have to be on a GFCI breaker and some brands of fans can cause false trips. Go ahead and leave it on, however, if you've had no problem to date unless the inspector wants to see the tub on a separate breaker. Often the directions for the tub will specify a separate breaker.

    Rick

  7. #7
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hans_idle View Post
    My only "real" concern was seeing that some people had posted that the inspector wanted to see a reset switch "nearby",
    Thanks!
    I wouldn't worry much about what any inspector "wants" and only concern myself about what is required and nothing requires the reset to be close by the appliance.

  8. #8
    DIY Member hans_idle's Avatar
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    Actually, in this case, both the previous and new tub manufacturer want the tub to be on its own circuit. Since the previous tub was actually sharing a circuit with the fan, I was going to keep it that way. It's a 20A line, with the tub (turbine and heater) drawing 1600W. So it seemed like there was capacity for the fan.

    Any other reasons (besides capacity) as to why the 2 can't be on the same circuit?

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