Does a GFCI trip if you overload the circuit?
Thursday, July 15, 2021
A GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) device only trips when there is a difference between the amount of current leaving it and the amount returning to it. This current leakage indicates that a person might be getting shocked, and it trips within a fraction of a second. So a GFCI receptacle outlet does not trip due to an overloaded circuit.
A GFCI breaker in a panel will trip, however, because it combines both overcurrent and GFCI protection in one device—and the overcurrent protection part will cause it to trip. To learn more about shock protection vs. overcurrent protection, go to our blog What is the difference between what trips a GFCI (ground fault) receptacle and a circuit breaker?
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