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GFIs & Electronic ballasts

Rod Hanks wrote:
> >This sounds good but I don't think it can be good.  Once when I
> >was troubleshooting a homebuilt florescent light hood that used
> >an IceCap ballast I came in contact with the wrong parts of the
> >bulb end.  I was miles from the current ballast, and contacted
> >only its output I am positive.
> >
> >The sensation was not pleasant, but there were three GFCI
> >units in series between me and the main circuit breaker.  All
> >three of them blew.  I was fortunately not injured.

In my previous post I forgot to differentiate between electronic and
magnetic ballasts....  Many electronic ballasts don't isolate you from 
the power coming out of the receptacle, since they are based on a
transformerless semiconductor voltage boost circuit.  Unlike the old-
style magnetic ballasts which are essentially a special type of
transformer.  Beware that some ballasts labelled "electronic" may 
actually be hybrid designs and therefore may also isolate you from 
the power source.

Richard Sexton questioned:
> I thought you just needed one, closest to the fuse box.
> ????

This is correct.  One GFI receptacle if _correctly_ wired into the 
_first_ receptacle of a branch circuit will protect all of the other
receptacles (see the enclosed instructions which came with the 
GFI).  An alternate approach is to replace the existing circuit 
breaker in the panel with a GFI breaker (at a higher cost