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 zxcvbob said, in part, in response to my saying tht GFCIs aren't as
easy to install as regular outlet sockets:

> Just a few sentences later I also said, "...take
> out the
> old outlet and transfer its wires to the 'Line' screws on the gfci
> outlet. 
> You will probably leave the 'Load' screws unconnected."
> If you only connect the "Line" terminals, a gfci installed exactly
> like a
> muscle-bound conventional receptacle, and will only protect itself
> and not
> the downstream outlets.
Sorry Bob, Didn't mean to seem like I was picking on you.  I know you
said you can install them that way.  

My point, which I didn't make very clearly, was that, when a person
opens the box and sees the instructions (always a good idea to read
those instructions and alerts), the multiplicity and complexity of
diagrams can confuse some folks that aren't familiar with this sort of
stuff  ("The guy said just wire it the same but this things shows wires
going all kinds of ways").  I guess my point is something like, it's
not like replacing a light bulb; it's more complex and more is at risk.

I am not trying to dissuade folks from using GFCI protection; I think
everyone working, playing, or otherwise living around water and
electricity should use GFCIs.  Nor did I mean to impugn you personally
in any way.  If anyone got that notion, mea culpa.

>  This is a good thing; if you don't know what
> other
> outlets are on the same circuit, you probably do not want them on a
> gfci
> (because they are prone to false trips).  Imagine that the next
> outlet on
> the circuit has your alarm clock or a freezer plugged into it...

Good point.  It depends on your individual situation.  You want to know
what other uses the down-line outlets are probably going to have -- for
example, more or less critical than keeping the aquaria going?  At a
minimum you want to be sure that freezers, medical dosing equipment,
aquariua filters, etc. are on auto reset circuits.  (For alarm clocks,
I recommend battery backup clocks for this and other reasons  ;-)  ).

False trips *are rare* unless you have a bad device somewhere on the
line or a bad GFCI.  Members of my household and I have used hair
dryers, aquarium equipment, vacuum cleaners, flourescent lighting of
various sorts, drills, circular saws, toasters, audio equipment, and
lots of other stuff on CFCI protected lines and never had a false trip.
 I did once drop the end of an aquarium hood into a tank, which was a
"true" trip that prevented my hair from standing on end or possibly
worse  ;-0  .  Of course, if you want to cover all bases (or sockets),
put an independently triggered GFCI in each outlet.  More expensive,
but you can set them up so that each protects only it's own sockets,
yet you still protect each outlet that you want to protect.

Scott H.

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