On June 29th, 2015, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) – with the help of UL – announced the beginning changes for Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) standards. The change began with all GFCIs being made after June 28th, 2015 requiring an auto-monitoring function. The traditional GFCIs that had already been made were still allowed to be sold to businesses and customers, with the purpose that once stock was gone, the new auto-monitoring GFCIs would have to be purchased.
Standard GFCI >> Auto-Monitoring GFCI
On August 25th, 2017, an UL (Underwriters Laboratories) CSDS (Collaborative Standards Development System) proposal was sent out to follow up with the recent changes that had been made to the UL 943 Standard for GFCIs. This proposal updated companies and producers of the changes made back in June of 2015 as well as stated that improvements will be made to permanently connected GFCIs. What is a Self-Testing GFCI?
How does this affect me?
The new GFCIs will keep the same dimensions as traditional GFCIs. Therefore, no new electrical boxes or face plates will be required. Currently, auto-monitoring GFCIs are not required. However, the chances of finding a non-auto-monitoring GFCI to replace those that are worn out will become more and more difficult since producers have not been able to produce these traditional units in over two years.
What does the self-testing GFCI do?
Self-testing GFCIs insure the unit is working properly by automatically testing the unit to make sure the sensing and trip ability is correct. Their end-of-life indicator gives added safety to alert when the unit needs replacing.
Keep in mind: You still need to manually test your GFCI monthly!
What is the difference between Auto-Monitoring & Self-Testing?
Auto-monitoring and Self-Testing have the same meaning. There is no difference between the terms. It is common to see UL use the term auto-monitoring while producers prefer the term self-testing. Why is it sometimes called a GFI Outlet?
What is Line-Load Reversal Function?
Line-Load reversal works by stopping power to the unit and not allowing resetting if the unit is wired incorrectly. Whether the unit is just being installed or is being re-installed, any miss-wiring to the self-testing GFCI will result in power loss or the inability to reset the unit. How do I install a GFCI?
How do I know if I have a self-testing GFCI already?
The only way to tell is to press the "test" button and then the "reset" button. If the GFCI blinks RED once it is a self-test model. If the LED turns immediately to GREEN, it is a non-self-test model.