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Old 5th March 2020, 16:32   #1  |  Link
FranceBB
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GFCI German Outlet?

Hi there,
I do only one thing in my life and that thing is Encoding (and some IT/math stuff), so there aren't many forums I follow other than Doom9, MSFN and MSDN. Of course, none of them is an electrical engineering oriented one, so I picked one and decided to go for Doom9 General Section.


The problem I have is that the outlet of my electrical boiler is located exactly above my shower and that's risky as fuck as you can see here:




See? That's 220V RMS AC monophase right there which sucks up to 2300 joules per second when it's fully on (2.3 kW) and it's pretty damn close to running water coming out from the shower.
The boiler is grounded which means that it has three cables: Phase, Earth and Neutral:




Current flows from the wall to the boiler through the phase and goes back through the neutral.
So effectively, if something goes wrong in the boiler and some charges "pile up" somewhere, they should go to ground and it should be fine is someone touches the boiler as it would short to ground and not go through the human body, but that's not the point.
The point is that, technically, if water goes straight to the outlet itself for some reason, the breaker should pop but will it save my life?




I think it's worth installing a GFCI on the outlet. GFCI means "Ground Fault Current Interrupter" and as far as I understand it's a magneto-thermic relay that constantly checks that the current flowing though the phase is equal to the one returning from the neutral so that if they're not the same and their difference exceeds 4 to 6 milliamps of current (i.e there's a ground fault), it pops and opens the circuit and saves your life.
It should look something like this I think:



or this:




I have never bought a GFCI before and I have no idea where to get it for German (European) outlets.
I tried to search on Amazon but I found nothing.
The only website I have found is this one Link - Link but I don't really trust dark websites written in HTML.

Any thoughts?

Last edited by FranceBB; 5th March 2020 at 16:36.
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Old 5th March 2020, 17:12   #2  |  Link
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I think it's worth installing a GFCI on the outlet.
Definitely!! Especially with that outlet so close to the shower.

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Originally Posted by FranceBB View Post
I have never bought a GFCI before and I have no idea where to get it for German (European) outlets.
I tried to search on Amazon but I found nothing.
It's called FI-Schutzschalter in German. Try that term on Amazon.de.
Also, see here.

However, you should consult a licensed electrician.
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Old 5th March 2020, 18:15   #3  |  Link
Sharc
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Have you checked whether there is no such device (RCD, GFCI …) already installed at the switchboard? It is usually not required to have it at individual outlets.
I would ask an electrician to check your outlet. Maybe it already trips with ground fault currents thanks to the centralized RCD.
If there is nothing installed centrally you should definitely install it locally. If however there is already something installed centrally, special rules apply for the 'series' connection of such devices. I would consult a licensed electrician in any case.

Last edited by Sharc; 5th March 2020 at 19:10.
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Old 6th March 2020, 19:24   #4  |  Link
nevcairiel
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"FI-Schutzschalter" have been mandatory for "wet rooms" since 1984, and for everything since 2009 in Germany. Of course this only applies to new constructions. But its usually centrally located at the switchboard, and not at the outlet.
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Old 7th March 2020, 01:18   #5  |  Link
FranceBB
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Quote:
It's called FI-Schutzschalter in German. Try that term on Amazon.de.
Also, see here.
Oh, ok.

Quote:
However, you should consult a licensed electrician.
I sure will.

Quote:
If however there is already something installed centrally, special rules apply for the 'series' connection of such devices. I would consult a licensed electrician in any case.
Well yes, I'm definitely gonna contact a licensed electrician to be sure.

Quote:
"FI-Schutzschalter" have been mandatory for "wet rooms" since 1984, and for everything since 2009 in Germany. Of course this only applies to new constructions.
The house I'm currently in is way older than me, so I wouldn't be surprised if it "hides" some surprises.
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Old 7th March 2020, 12:57   #6  |  Link
gonca
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The breaker you have your finger on might be GFCI. Hard to tell, your finger blocks most of it, and it is different from N.A. models
The right hand side has a drawing that is small and hard to read but it appears to have comparative circuitry
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Old 7th March 2020, 13:01   #7  |  Link
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@FranceBB
The breaker you have your finger on might be GFCI.
I don't think it's his finger. I may be wrong though...
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Old 7th March 2020, 13:06   #8  |  Link
gonca
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I don't think it's his finger. I may be wrong though...
Finger, thumb, toe
Has a nail
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Old 7th March 2020, 14:35   #9  |  Link
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Finger, thumb, toe
Has a nail
Not quite what I meant. I probably should have emphasised the word 'his'.
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Old 7th March 2020, 14:45   #10  |  Link
gonca
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Not quite what I meant. I probably should have emphasised the word 'his'.
It might be a stock photo and not a photo of his electrical panel
Gotcha.
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Old 8th March 2020, 17:44   #11  |  Link
Stereodude
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The problem I have is that the outlet of my electrical boiler is located exactly above my shower and that's risky as fuck as you can see here:

...

Any thoughts?
I'll be the contrarian here. How is it risky? Is the "boiler" at risk of falling into the shower at your feet into water that's several cm deep that you're standing in while remaining plugged in and energized?
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Old 17th March 2020, 20:42   #12  |  Link
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These are Italian sockets (and AVE is an Italian manufacturer as well). Other than that, I second gonca's guess...
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