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GFCI does not save mouse

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Forum topic by TopamaxSurvivor posted 10-25-2013 02:00 AM 1038 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TopamaxSurvivor

14797 posts in 2342 days


10-25-2013 02:00 AM

I recently installed a quad outlet on the end of a counter. The general contractor removed the cover for painting. Over night a mouse tried to climb into the box between the outlets. The GFCI protection tested good, but it wasn’t good enough to save the mouse. He got the electrical chair for merely trespassing!

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence


23 replies so far

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patron

13064 posts in 2008 days


#1 posted 10-25-2013 02:18 AM

must have hit the ‘line’ wires
which are always hot

not the ‘load’ wires
which use the GFCI
and trip it

am i right ?

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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Karson

34878 posts in 3067 days


#2 posted 10-25-2013 02:25 AM

I was working in a computer room one Sat and a electrition was working on the electric panel.

All of a sudden a bright flash came from behind the computers. The electrition came out with sparks burned into his safety glasses. He didn’t look too happy. He had run a screwdriver across a 660 Volt line.

All of the computers came grinding to a halt.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

14345 posts in 1005 days


#3 posted 10-25-2013 02:37 AM

About 3 years ago a squirrel committed suicide taking out the power across about half the city I work in.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

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crank49

3443 posts in 1637 days


#4 posted 10-25-2013 02:58 AM

A cat got into one of our arc furnace transformer rooms a few years back.
13,200 volt 15,000 KVA transformer.
Cat must have chased a mouse up the buss tower and got on the incoming line.
Created a new definition for cat litter.
About the only thing still intact was a piece of tail.
Knocked out the mains for about half of the town.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

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TopamaxSurvivor

14797 posts in 2342 days


#5 posted 10-25-2013 03:17 AM

David, Click the link and it will show you a picture of the quad outlets. They are down stream from the GFCI. Hot on the right and neutral on the left. Obviously, a mouse does not require 5 milli-amps for electrocution. GFCIs are a wonderful safety invention, but not sure I would want to bet my life of one!

Karson, The voltages over 250 have a potential of ionizing the atmosphere. He and maybe even you were luck that day.

Monte, Lots of animals and birds get into IT! In the Birds of Prey Refuge along the Snake River, moving the lines to a width wider than an eagle’s wing span has been a big help to them ;-)

Crank, that is definitely a new definition of cat litter ;-)

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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Greg..the Cajun Box Sculptor

5142 posts in 1975 days


#6 posted 10-25-2013 03:54 AM

Should have been a wireless mouse…

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oldnovice

3774 posts in 2034 days


#7 posted 10-25-2013 06:38 AM

TopamaxSurvivor GFCI is to electricity as Sawstop is to woodworking … they are both good technologies but I don’t want to test them with my body!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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TopamaxSurvivor

14797 posts in 2342 days


#8 posted 10-25-2013 06:58 AM

Me either. Obviously Sawstop works better on wieners than GFCIs work on mice ;-))

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View bluekingfisher's profile

bluekingfisher

1043 posts in 1646 days


#9 posted 10-25-2013 08:06 AM

I hope you’re ensured Bob, the Federation of Mice and all things wild will have you for not installing the appropriate “Mice keep out” signage.

Roll on retirement!

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View stefang's profile

stefang

13104 posts in 2001 days


#10 posted 10-25-2013 08:42 AM

The mice here like to chew on wires under cars. they’ve caused a lot of fires. My son’s car burned up that way quite a few years ago.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View EEngineer's profile

EEngineer

893 posts in 2280 days


#11 posted 10-25-2013 10:48 AM

You have to understand how GFI works.

The GFI compares current flowing out through the HOT line (black) and compares it to current returning on the neutral line (WHITE). If there is a difference greater than ~5-10 mA, then it will trip. The assumption is that somebody or something is conducting current through a separate path to ground.

The mouse probably got across the line and neutral connections, which the GFI allows, and electrocuted himself.

GFI is not universal protection! If you plug a cord into a GFI circuit, grab the HOT in one hand and NEUTRAL in the other (providing a direct path through your heart) then you WILL electrocute yourself and the GFI will never trip.

If, however, you grab the HOT line in one hand and touch a ground rod with the other hand, the GFI will trip and save your life.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

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Tedstor

1369 posts in 1299 days


#12 posted 10-25-2013 11:29 AM

given your handle- I’ll assume you’re correct. That said, thanks. The best, simplest explanation I’ve read of GFI.

View GeneR's profile

GeneR

147 posts in 605 days


#13 posted 10-25-2013 02:22 PM

I am not sticking my weiner on a sawstop or gfci. :-) And you are correct the gfci 9nly works on things plugg3d into it.

-- Failure is always an option. :-)

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Grandpa

3159 posts in 1342 days


#14 posted 10-25-2013 02:55 PM

The GFI is like the safety on a firearm. The ranger tells us they are a mechanical device that sometimes works and should be treated as such.

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TopamaxSurvivor

14797 posts in 2342 days


#15 posted 10-25-2013 03:44 PM

Good point EE. I did not think of the mouse being in the normal circuit.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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