Why GFCI is included in the National Electric Code

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Safety is an essential attribute we secure in our home. And one major aspect of home safety revolves around electricity and our appliances. If you are familiar with fuses or circuit breakers, you might think that there is no better way of current protection. Thanks to residual-current devices or RCDs (aka GFCIresidual-current circuit breakers or RCCBs), they provide a whole new innovative level of electrical protection for us.

The Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI)GFCIGFCI

RCDs and RCCBs are  other names used in the United States and Canada. In our country, these are commonly known as the GFCIs or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters. Some people still call them ALCIs or Appliance Leakage Current Interrupters. These devices are basically electrical wiring devices that disconnect the circuits connected to them once a substantial change or leakage current is detected. What this means is that you are sure that only regulated and correct amounts of current are flowing to your connected appliances, therefore protecting them and you against even small minute amperes of current for maximum safety and protection.

How do GFCIs Work?

It is important to note the GFCI’s operation so that we may be convinced of its importance and eventually decide to purchase it. A good bird’s eye view of these devices is that they have 3 mention-worthy parts, which are the live wire, neutral wire, and a differential transformer.  First off, once a circuit or appliance is connected to a GFCI’s live wire, the current flowing through the live wire will have a return flow via the neutral wire. Then, a differential transformer will come into play by detecting a current change between the live and neutral wire, if any; and even a few amperes of 5-30 milliamperes of change or leak in current will cause the GFCI to open up its connections within as quickly as 1/30 of a second with the connected appliance and the outlet to prevent possible electrical hazards. This means that we are sure that even the smallest amount of currents will safely go to Earth ground instead of landing on our appliances or worse to our own bodies.

GFCI and the National Electric Code

The National Electric Code is the electrical safety standards body of the United States, and we formerly adopted it as our own standard. But soon after, our government decided to finally have our very own Philippine Electric Code (PEC) to better suit the requirements of  our country. The PEC contains vast amounts of electrical standards and safety procedures, and one of them is the inclusion of the GFCI, that each Filipino household should install this electrical technology for safety.

The primary reason for having a GFCI is to ensure that a ground fault will NOT be absorbed by a human being. This is because even 5ma can lead to shock and injuries as per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA. GFCIs can dissipate even 5ma as we have mentioned so anything above that threshold will also be eliminated. Not to mention that all our appliances too will be surge protected, thus eliminating chances of fires caused by current leaks. Even small leakage currents can lead to death so no wonder the PEC required us to have GFCIs.

Meiji GFCI

If you are looking for maximum electrical safety via using GFCIs, then look no further as Meiji has 2 GFCI models to choose from! The GF-250 (220V) and the LG-20 (110V), both of which are UL and CSA certified for that safety and quality assurance.

Both models are very convenient to use as they can be installed as ordinary wall outlets, so that you can EASILY plug-in your appliances without hassle. They are in duplex form with a load capacity of 20 amperes which are enough to plug in 2 apparatuses at the same time. They are also made of high quality polycarbonate glossy white materials that are cost efficienct and bring aesthetics to your home!

So if you are looking to protect you and your family, look no further and get Meiji GFCIs, install them around the house and for sure you can have that peace of mind that no electrical hazards will threaten you and your home!

7 responses to “Why GFCI is included in the National Electric Code”

  1. Leonard Miaco says:

    GFCI will not work unless the Philippine’s electricity distributors, MERALCO or the electric cooperatives adopt the standard of having a true ground (neutral connected) wired or solidly connected into the installation (household / building). Ordinary households that are subscribed to the single phase distribution system never had been supplied with a true ground conductor because they are fed from a two wire line to line system that is isolated from the ground. Hence,there exist an unfair treatment across the electricity consumer environment with regards to electrical safety as it appear that only those who can afford the 3 phase four wire system will be able to enjoy the safety of GFCI protection (although some designers still do not comprehend the principle). The Code is not a law and unfortunately end up as a mere guideline that installers and inspectors sometimes disregard (?). I urge the electrical product manufacturer to lobby our lawmakers and our electrical engineers to progress from being a NEC copycat that only put these code into words in a book to a legally enforceable and legitimate system that protects each (each, as it should be) of the users from the hazard of electricity. This product is a legal requirement in other countries but until we can make sure it will work in our system promoting the installation of GFCI is just a false sense of protection and a double kick in the chest when you get that dreaded electric shock.

    • John says:

      Hi Leonard,

      Thank you for your comment.
      On the contrary, MERALCO and other pertinent companies are already doing that system, maybe not as wide spread yet.
      The only thing is, there are a lot of houses that was built before this system is in place.
      But none the less, the design of MEIJI GFCI has a protection even without a grounding system.
      Even in old houses that does not have a grounding system.
      MEIJI GFCI regulates the current passing through an outlet, when it detects an imbalance, then it would think that there is an earth leakage and it will trip immediately.
      MEIJI GFCI has a sensitivity rating of 6mA;
      That means even a small child will be saved from fatal electrocution with this very sensitive MEIJI GFCI.
      With that said, don’t let your family live unprotected.
      With or without a grounding system, MEIJI GFCI will keep you safer than ever before. Thank you.

      • Leonard says:

        Glad to know that MERALCO is working towards this standard however I disagree that it will work without the proper grounding taken from the winding, that is the star point or the grounded neutral of a single phase power source (secondary of the transformer). Having the sensitivity set to the low 6mA (20mA is the safe and tested setting level) will only cause spurious tripping due to capacitive leakage to earth and will only encourage the end user to bypass this annoying protection feature. And with the appliance wiring standard (ungrounded two wire / two prong) that we have how would a GFCI protect a user against for example, a faulted (line making contact with the chassis of the) electric stove on top of a wooden table sitting on a wooden floor totally isolated from earth? It is a trap waiting for a prey. You have to have the current flow through you first before the protection engages (with the 6mA GFCI). That’s not the concept of protection from electric shock. What we need to have is Line-Neutral-Ground household AC power supply system right from the transformer through the distribution board and throughout the last appliance inside the house so that incident like this is contained and interrupted within the circuit and not through a person. With this system we can use the more stable 20mA GFCI. That is why I ask manufacturers like MEIJI to lobby for it because products like GFCI do protect people from the hazards of electricity but they will only work if the installation is electrically sound, of course unless MERALCO and the other utilities care about electrical safety for the consumers. This should become a law (apart from being a code) so that there will be accountabilities.

        • John says:

          Hi Leonard,

          You are correct, there are better grounding system that our national and local electricity provider like Meralco can install in their systems.
          Slowly they are starting to do it, and I think that’s a step towards a better direction.
          Although there are no pressure to strive for better practices because of the lack of teeth into our laws.
          In our case, we as a private company, we stepped up and offered something with in our reach, MEIJI GFCI.
          All consumers can avail of this life saving device NOW, not when the government enacts a law, which might take a while.
          So like what I said before, all consumers can step up, avail of the MEIJI GFCI protection.
          Don’t wait for a law to be enacted because it might be too late.
          I mean just a question, would you wait to react from an electrocution or would you prevent a harmful thing from happening?
          Like what you mentioned, MEIJI GFCI, 20A, 6mA, the best available safe and tested protection you can avail of. Thanks.

  2. brian says:

    i read some regulation in uk/eu that grounding installation can be omitted if RCD/RCCD/RCBO are used.

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