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Thread: To plug or not to plug into a GFCI outlet

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  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member DIY's Avatar
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    Default To plug or not to plug into a GFCI outlet

    GFCI outlets are located throughout this house,other than the bathroom and kitchen.Is a PC, or stereo etc. protected if plugged into a GFCI outlet with or without a surge suppressor?

  2. #2
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    GCFI is not a surge protector for computers if that is your question.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    A gfci is designed to prevent you from getting electrocuted if there's a fault in the wiring or device plugged into it. It measures the current on the power lead and compares it to the neutral...if they aren't the same, some leaked to a new ground, which might be you, then it shuts the power off.
    Jim DeBruycker
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    DIY Senior Member DIY's Avatar
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    Default GFCI plug in or not/question rephrase

    Is it a good idea to plug a PC,laptop,stereo etc. into a GFCI outlet?

    Just as i have learned a refrigerator should not get a gfci outlet due to the potential food spoilage it can cause.Might it do similar with regards to a data loss/memory loss etc. with a PC/laptop?

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    Consultant cwhyu2's Avatar
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    It is not a good idea to plug a P/C into a GFCI,for the reasons you stated.
    If you do a battery backup system would help,it would also help in a
    power outage.

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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    A properly operating electrical device should work in a gfci protected circuit...including a refrigerator. If it trips it, it has a problem and could kill you which is worse than losing some food from spoilage or having your computer shut off. Get the appliance fixed, verify the gfci is working properly, or replace them as required.
    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 DIY View Post
    Is it a good idea to plug a PC,laptop,stereo etc. into a GFCI outlet?

    Just as i have learned a refrigerator should not get a gfci outlet due to the potential food spoilage it can cause.Might it do similar with regards to a data loss/memory loss etc. with a PC/laptop?
    The statement in bold above is nothing but hog wash and anyone who makes this statement doesn't have a clue about electrical current and needs some formal training.

    Any thing that uses electrical currnet can be plugged into a GFCI without concern of loss of anything.

    The statement in bold above is saying that in the event of a power failure all your food spoil. Just like with a power failure you know that the refrigerator isn't working and take measures to stop from losing the food unless someone is just to stupid to know that the refrigerator isn't working.
    Last edited by jwelectric; 04-07-2009 at 01:06 PM.

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    Computer Programmer Bill Arden's Avatar
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    The problem with GFCI's and surge suppressors is that power spikes can cause them to send current threw the ground conductor and that will trip a GFI.

    Some of the fancier refrigerators have electronic controls and surge suppressors.

    Also as a surge suppressor ages due to repeated "hits" it starts to leak more and more current and that will also trip the GFCI.

    The best option for a PC is to add a surge suppressor and a Good UPS. Don't bother with the really cheep ones since they burn out the lead acid battery's every year or two due to overcharging.
    Important note – I don’t know man made laws, just laws of physics
    Disclaimer: I'm a big fan of Darwin awards.

  9. #9
    DIY Senior Member DIY's Avatar
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    Default gfci plug into

    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    The statement in bold above is nothing but hog wash and anyone who makes this statement doesn't have a clue about electrical current and needs some formal training.

    Any thing that uses electrical currnet can be plugged into a GFCI without concern of loss of anything.

    The statement in bold above is saying that in the event of a power failure all your food spoil. Just like with a power failure you know that the refrigerator isn't working and take measures to stop from losing the food unless someone is just to stupid to know that the refrigerator isn't working.
    I appreciate your reply rock of marne. Actually your one sentence answers two of my questions about gfci outlets...... I will consult a professional electrical contractor locally regarding other questions and if gfci outlets are the best option [B]to be[B] installed here.

  10. #10
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIY View Post
    I appreciate your reply rock of marne. Actually your one sentence answers two of my questions about gfci outlets...... I will consult a professional electrical contractor locally regarding other questions and if gfci outlets are the best option [B]to be[B] installed here.

    You might would want to contact UL at UL.com and ask them the same question you have posted here as well as asking about any appliance including a refrigerator being plugged into a GFCI.

    They are the ones that puts their labels on these appliances and if there is anyone who can give you a straight answer I would think they would be the one.

    Yes I have talked with people from UL and already know the answer you will recieve but do it yourself and then all questions will be put to rest in your mind.

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