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[TowerTalk] GFIs and lightening

To: <>
Subject: [TowerTalk] GFIs and lightening
Date: Tue, 23 Jun 1998 18:54:06 -0400
Lynn; I think your friend was just lucky. "Some times I win, sometimes
the electricity wins"
Ground Fault Interrupters, be they in the receptacle or the panel board
circuit breaker are meant to protect personnel from errant line voltages.
There is a small mechanically latched relay that has just enough gap to
safely open a 120 volt (sometimes 240) power line circuit. There are no
surge protection devices, such as gas tube discharge or MOVs inside the
average GFI. They function by monitoring the difference in current
between the black and white conductors, line and neutral. They will not
protect for common mode currents and probably will not open even under
short circuit conditions unless designed so. The receptacles wont, the
breaker, being dual function, will.
Depend on the GFI to save you from a faulty drill at the base of the
tower, a hair drier in the bathroom sink or some other faulty appliance
at the kitchen sink but not from lightening or some other high energy
surge. Better use the products that are designed for that purpose and let
the GFCI do what it was designed for.

73 de W3SVJ hisself, Nate somewhere in Pittsburgh.

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