20amp or 15amp GFCI Outlet on 20amp Rated Breaker

When installing GFCI outlet receptacle on a 20 amp breaker, what should be used, a 20 amp GFCI, or is a 15 amp GFCI OK too?
The rules that apply to installation of a GFCI outlet receptacle on a 15 or / and 20 amp rated circuit breaker are the same as the ones that apply to a regular outlet receptacle. Additionally, there may be some regulations applicable only to a particular area this GFCI is going to be installed, or your local jurisdiction requirements.

GFCI Maintenance | Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter Testing

GFCI Maintenance | Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter Testing

GFCI maintenance is a very simple and extremely important procedure. Just like many other house maintenance tasks, maintaining functional and properly operating GFCI outlet receptacles will ensure that you and your family are protected from a ground fault.

Ground Fault – it’s when the electricity, instead of following its normal path – electrical wire – passes through a person’s body to the ground. That person becomes a conductor (wire) and you may know this condition as an electrical shock.

* Never paint GFCI outlet receptacle! If you’ve just moved into the house and installed GFCI’s are covered with paint – replace them immediately. Removing paint from their surface is not enough, even if Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter appears to be responding to the test buttons.

* Never insert into an outlet receptacle objects other than a plug designed for its configuration.

* Avoid spilling liquids onto the device – it could result in permanent damage or malfunctioning.

Testing is the most important part of the GFCI maintenance routine and it should be performed on monthly basis. The reason is very simple – Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter outlet receptacles are just like any other electronic devices – sometimes they fail.

GFCI Outlet Safety Issue | GFCI Receptacle With no Smart Lock

GFCI outlet safety / GFCI without Smart Lock

I’ve been running into this particular GFCI outlet safety issue quite often lately, and since it can easily stay undetected creating serious safety hazard, I’ll explain it for you.
This GFCI outlet safety problem applies to older receptacles, manufactured before 2003 – the year when “Smart Lock” type GFCI receptacle has been introduced by Leviton. GFCI receptacles equipped with the “Smart Lock” feature include a small padlock sign on the face of the device.
So, if you have any GFCI outlet receptacles without the “Smart Lock” logo, make sure that you test them properly / […]

Closet Fire | Closet Light Fixture Fire Hazards

Closet Fire | Closet Light Fixture Fire Hazards

Closet fire can be easily caused by a closet light fixture

Incandescent closet light fixtures can easily cause closet fire and this fire hazard is very often ignored by the home owner.
Is your closet light fixture safe? Keep reading so you can verify that it’s not going to cause any closet fire.
We rarely pay attention to our closet light fixtures for as long as they work. Stacking cardboard boxes and plastic bags filled with old clothing or Christmas gifts wrapping paper against that exposed, glowing light bulb can easily and pretty fast result in a closet fire.
Would you please go and […]

GFCI Outlet Installation / How To in 4 Easy Steps

Install GFCI by following this 4-step GFCI outlet installation guide
I didn’t prepare this GFCI outlet installation guide in 4 easy steps for conditions where everything is perfect and nothing can go wrong. That’s why it is a little longer than others.
GFCI – Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter
So don’t start installing GFCI without reading description of items 1-4, it’s extremely important for your safety. Good luck on your GFCI outlet installation project!
1. Disconnect power supply to the electrical outlet you are planning to remove and install GFCI receptacle in its place. The safest method is to turn off the main breaker in […]

GFCI Types, GFCI Testing and Hazardous Installations

GFCI types and GFCI testing

There are basically three GFCI types available on the market and GFCI testing should be routinely performed on all of them for at least one reason – they contain mechanical parts which can and do fail :

GFCI receptacles
GFCI portable devices
GFCI breakers

Each one of them provides the same type of service / protection – it saves lives by limiting duration of an electrical shock.
GFCI receptacle is the most popular device and it has been in service since early 1970′s. It looks almost like a regular electrical outlet, with two small buttons located usually in the center. The buttons are […]

AFCI Protection Requirement in 2008 NEC | AFCI Breaker

AFCI protection  requirements based on 2008 NEC

What is the difference between AFCI protection and GFCI protection?
What is Arc Fault?
AFCI protection changes in 2008 NEC
AFCI protection examples
AFCI protection required locations

AFCI protection requirement for some of the circuits in you house has been in place since January 1, 2002. AFCI circuit breaker looks very similar to the GFCI breaker but serves completely different purpose.
AFCI – Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter

AFCI protection and GFCI protection
AFCI breakers protect our houses against the electrical fire hazard, while GFCI breakers protect people against electrical shocks.
What is Arc Fault?
Arc fault happens when the electrical current jumps from one […]

Kitchen GFCI Receptacle and Other Electrical Requirements

Kitchen GFCI receptacle

Kitchen GFCI receptacles are required by the 2008 NEC (National Electrical Code) to be installed along the countertop surfaces.

GFCI – (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter)

Actually, this requirement has been in place since 1996 NEC, and an important thing to remember:
If you have an older kitchen, and for any reason decided to replace a regular electrical outlet – you should have a GFCI receptacle installed as a replacement.
Kitchen Electrical Requirements

Kitchen electrical outlets installed above the countertops  require at least 2 small appliance branch circuits.

Kitchen electrical circuits serving countertop outlets must be rated for 20 ampers (#12 wire)

Kitchen GFCI receptacles installed […]

Laundry GFCI Receptacles and Utility / Wet Bar Sinks Areas

Installation of laundry GFCI receptacles and GFCI protection for utility / wet bar sink areas where the electrical outlets are installed within 6ft from the outside edge of the sink is required by the 2008 NEC (National Electrical Code).
GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter)
Remember to always upgrade to the latest code requirement, if making any modifications of an older electrical installation (i.e. if replacing and old, regular / not GFCI type electrical outlet in the area where GFCI is currently required, make your life safer and install GFCI receptacle).
Learn How to Install GFCI Receptacle
Laundry room: You should […]

Unfinished Basement GFCI Receptacles

Unfinished Basement GFCI Receptacles

Unfinished Basement GFCI Receptacles
Unfinished basement GFCI receptacles installation or GFCI protection for a regular type outlet receptacles installed in an unfinished basement is required by the 2008 NEC (National Electrical Code).
GFCI – (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter)
Unfinished basement it’s an area or portion of the basement area that is not intended to be used as a habitable room.
Habitable room it’s a space arranged for living, eating or sleeping purposes (must conform to local building codes to be listed as such), but does not include bathroom / toilet rooms, laundries, pantries, foyers or hallways.
If you have a sump pump installed in an unfinished […]

Crawlspace GFCI, At or Below Grade Level

Crawlspace GFCI, At or Below Grade Level

Crawlspace GFCI installed at or below the grade level
GFCI – (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter)
Crawlspace GFCI protection for receptacles has changed slightly in 2008 NEC (National Electrical Code). 2005 NEC exception that allowed single receptacles for not easily moved appliances to be excluded from GFCI requirement has been removed.
Because of the moisture, flooding, drainage problems , crawlspace GFCI protection absolutely makes sense in such application. The only device that homeowners would probably prefer without GFCI protection is a sump pump, which used to be a part of that 2005 exception.
If you’re concerned about your crawlspace flooding, the solution would be to install […]

House Exterior GFCI Receptacles

House Exterior GFCI Receptacles

Exterior GFCI Receptacles
The 2008 NEC did not change house exterior GFCI receptacles requirement protection since the previous edition.
All outdoor house receptacles must be GFCI protected.
GFCI – (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter)
There is one exception from this exterior GFCI receptacles requirement:
If you have electrical outlets that are not readily accessible (you can’t reach them standing on the ground without using ladders, or any other equipment) and they are supplied by a branch circuit dedicated for snow / ice melting equipment (there’s nothing else on this circuit), exterior GFCI protection is not required.
However, that snow / ice melting equipment must be permanently attached; […]

Garage GFCI Receptacles and GFCI in Accessory Buildings

Garage GFCI Receptacles and GFCI in Accessory Buildings

Garage GFCI receptacles / accessory building GFCI
Exceptions for the garage GFCI receptacles and GFCI’s in accessory buildings have been removed by the 2008 NEC (National Electrical Code). The new rules apply to the structures that have a floor located at or below grade level, are not intended for use as habitable rooms and limited to storage areas, work areas, and areas of similar use.
GFCI – (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter)
Always remember about GFCI maintenance and testing – those devices are worthless piece of equipment, unless they  are operating properly!
Accessory building GFCI
There’s no more GFCI unprotected receptacles permitted in accessory buildings. If […]

Bathroom GFCI Receptacles and Electrical Components

Bathroom GFCI receptacle protection is required by the NEC (National Electrical Code), and of course by the common sense – why would you risk getting electrocuted if you can secure your safety by installing GFCI outlet.
Since some bathrooms are currently equipped with many electrical current hungry devices, power supply requirements had to be slightly adjusted. We used to have a bathroom sharing an electrical circuit with exterior outlets, the kitchen, and a garage – not anymore.
Of course, the minimum requirement listed below is not going to work if you add a steam shower, heated electric floor, hydro-spa heater, several light […]

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