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Does a GFCI receptacle provide over-current protection? (note that I'm not referring to GFCI circuit breakers as may be found in a service panel, nor to specialty devices such as an inline plug-in GFCI that may offer over-current protection)

I've checked some GFCI datasheets (note, this link opens a PDF) but haven't found any that mention overcurrent protection, or provide trip curves as would be expected in a circuit breaker datasheet.

So, does a GFCI receptacle provide any inherent over-current protection or must it always be used with a circuit breaker for over-current protection?

This question was prompted by this answer where the answer suggests using a GFCI outlet as a circuit breaker. This seems like very big misconception of the protection offered by a GFCI, and is potentially dangerous if it leads someone to think that GFCI outlets are the same as circuit breakers.

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    "This question was prompted by this answer where the answer suggests using a GFCI outlet as a circuit breaker. This seems like very big misconception of the protection offered by a GFCI, and is potentially dangerous if it leads someone to think that GFCI outlets are the same as circuit breakers." ........ This is 100% true!! It is a very big misconception were hear all the time. – Speedy Petey Jan 5 '16 at 2:27
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A ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) uses a current transformer (CT) (or similar device), to detect slight current imbalances between the ungrounded (hot) and grounded (neutral) conductors that pass through it.

On its own, a GFCI does not offer any purposeful type of overcurrent, nor overload protection.

This blog entry explains a bit about how a GFCI works, if you're interested in a bit more reading.

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Typical GFCI outlet units do not provide any over current protection. They provide protection when the current in the HOT wire is not balanced with the current in the NEUTRAL wire to the local outlet outlet or to downstream circuits connected to the LOAD terminals of the device.

The way you would get current overload protection and GFCI protection at the same time in the same device would be to install a GFCI equipped circuit breaker in the power distribution panel.

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No .

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    Simple answer, to a simple question. – Billy C. Jan 5 '16 at 1:23
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Power strips often have their own circuit breaker, but wall outlet/receptacles do not have: do not duplicate the circuit breaker panel. They do not limit the current in that way. Although such a device may exit, most outlets limit current imbalance and not the amps draw.

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