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Can the Ground Fault Alarm contact be used to trip the circuit breaker for ground fault protection?

FA175176

24/01/2018

Issue:
Can the Ground Fault Alarm contact be used to trip the circuit breaker by means of a shunt trip to provide ground fault protection?

Product Line:
Powerpact P, Powerpact R, Masterpact NT, Masterpact NW

Environment:
Electrical distribution systems

Cause:
Requests to convert a ground-fault alarm system to ground fault protection.

Resolution:
The breaker can be tripped on ground-fault if the alarm contact is used to pass power to a shunt trip, but it would not acceptable as "ground fault protection" per the NEC.  The NEC permits the maximum delay to be 1 second (for faults over 3000 A), and the minimum delay on GFA in the trip unit is 1 second; therefore the open time will be longer than the NEC allows.  There are also uncontrolled variables such as an external relay and power supply that have not been tested as a GFP system for UL.