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US20020135957A1 - Neutral switch test mechanism for a circuit interrupter - Google Patents

Neutral switch test mechanism for a circuit interrupter Download PDF

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Publication number
US20020135957A1
US20020135957A1 US09812601 US81260101A US2002135957A1 US 20020135957 A1 US20020135957 A1 US 20020135957A1 US 09812601 US09812601 US 09812601 US 81260101 A US81260101 A US 81260101A US 2002135957 A1 US2002135957 A1 US 2002135957A1
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US
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Patent type
Prior art keywords
circuit
neutral
application
fault
test
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US09812601
Inventor
David Chan
James Richter
Gerald King
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Leviton Manufacturing Co Inc
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Leviton Manufacturing Co Inc
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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01HELECTRIC SWITCHES; RELAYS; SELECTORS; EMERGENCY PROTECTIVE DEVICES
    • H01H83/00Protective switches, e.g. circuit-breaking switches, or protective relays operated by abnormal electrical conditions otherwise than solely by excess current
    • H01H83/02Protective switches, e.g. circuit-breaking switches, or protective relays operated by abnormal electrical conditions otherwise than solely by excess current operated by earth fault currents
    • H01H83/04Protective switches, e.g. circuit-breaking switches, or protective relays operated by abnormal electrical conditions otherwise than solely by excess current operated by earth fault currents with testing means for indicating the ability of the switch or relay to function properly
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • H02HEMERGENCY PROTECTIVE CIRCUIT ARRANGEMENTS
    • H02H3/00Emergency protective circuit arrangements for automatic disconnection directly responsive to an undesired change from normal electric working condition with or without subsequent reconnection integrated protection
    • H02H3/26Emergency protective circuit arrangements for automatic disconnection directly responsive to an undesired change from normal electric working condition with or without subsequent reconnection integrated protection responsive to difference between voltages or between currents; responsive to phase angle between voltages or between currents
    • H02H3/32Emergency protective circuit arrangements for automatic disconnection directly responsive to an undesired change from normal electric working condition with or without subsequent reconnection integrated protection responsive to difference between voltages or between currents; responsive to phase angle between voltages or between currents involving comparison of the voltage or current values at corresponding points in different conductors of a single system, e.g. of currents in go and return conductors
    • H02H3/33Emergency protective circuit arrangements for automatic disconnection directly responsive to an undesired change from normal electric working condition with or without subsequent reconnection integrated protection responsive to difference between voltages or between currents; responsive to phase angle between voltages or between currents involving comparison of the voltage or current values at corresponding points in different conductors of a single system, e.g. of currents in go and return conductors using summation current transformers
    • H02H3/334Emergency protective circuit arrangements for automatic disconnection directly responsive to an undesired change from normal electric working condition with or without subsequent reconnection integrated protection responsive to difference between voltages or between currents; responsive to phase angle between voltages or between currents involving comparison of the voltage or current values at corresponding points in different conductors of a single system, e.g. of currents in go and return conductors using summation current transformers with means to produce an artificial unbalance for other protection or monitoring reasons or remote control
    • H02H3/335Emergency protective circuit arrangements for automatic disconnection directly responsive to an undesired change from normal electric working condition with or without subsequent reconnection integrated protection responsive to difference between voltages or between currents; responsive to phase angle between voltages or between currents involving comparison of the voltage or current values at corresponding points in different conductors of a single system, e.g. of currents in go and return conductors using summation current transformers with means to produce an artificial unbalance for other protection or monitoring reasons or remote control the main function being self testing of the device

Abstract

Resettable circuit interrupting devices, such as GFCI devices, that include neutral fault test simulation.

Description

    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This application is related to commonly owned application Serial No. To Be Determined, filed Mar. 20, 2001, entitled Circuit Interrupting Device with Reset Lockout and Reverse Wiring Protection and Method of Manufacture, by inventors Steven Campolo, Nicholas DiSalvo and William R. Ziegler, having attorney docket 0267-1415CIP9(41912.015600), which is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 09/379,138 filed Aug. 20, 1999, which is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 09/369,759 filed Aug. 6, 1999, which is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 09/138,955, filed Aug. 24, 1998, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,040,967, all of which are incorporated herein in their entirety by reference.
  • [0002]
    This application is related to commonly owned application Serial No. To Be Determined, filed Mar. 20, 2001, entitled Reset Lockout for Sliding Latch GFCI, by inventors Frantz Germain, Stephen Stewart, David Herzfeld, Steven Campolo, Nicholas DiSalvo and William R. Ziegler, having attorney docket 0267-1415CIP8 (41912.018100) which is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 09/688,481 filed Oct. 16, 2000, all of which are incorporated herein in their entirety by reference.
  • [0003]
    This application is related to commonly owned application Serial No. To Be Determined, filed Mar. 20, 2001, entitled Reset Lockout Mechanism and Independent Trip Mechanism for Center Latch Circuit Interrupting Device, by inventors Frantz Germain, Steven Stewart, Roger Bradley, David Chan, Nicholas L. DiSalvo and William R. Ziegler, having attorney docket 0267-1415CIP5(41912.017300), herein incorporated by reference.
  • [0004]
    This application is related to commonly owned application Ser. No. 09/379,140 filed Aug. 20, 1999, which is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 09/369,759 filed Aug. 6, 1999, which is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 09/138,955, filed Aug. 24, 1998, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,040,967, all of which are incorporated herein in their entirety by reference.
  • BACKGROUND
  • [0005]
    1. Field
  • [0006]
    The present application is directed to resettable circuit interrupting devices including without limitation ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI's). Certain embodiments of the present application are directed to circuit interrupting devices using a neutral fault simulation. Certain embodiments of the present application are directed to circuit interrupting devices including a neutral to neutral test switch.
  • [0007]
    2. Description of the Related Art
  • [0008]
    Presently available GFCI devices, such as the device described in commonly owned U.S. Pat. No. 4,595,894, use an electrically activated trip mechanism to mechanically break an electrical connection between the line side and the load side of a GFCI. Such devices are resettable after they are tripped by, for example, the detection of a ground fault. In the device discussed in the '894 patent, the trip mechanism used to cause the mechanical breaking of the circuit (i.e., the conductive path between the line and load sides) includes a solenoid (or trip coil). A test button is used to test the trip mechanism and circuitry used to sense faults, and a reset button is used to reset the electrical connection between line and load sides.
  • [0009]
    Commonly owned application Ser. No. 09/138,955, filed Aug. 24, 1998, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,040,967, which is incorporated herein in its entirety by reference, describes a family of resettable circuit interrupting devices capable of locking out the reset portion of the device if certain conditions exist including the circuit interrupting portion being non-operational or if an open neutral condition, grounded neutral exists. Such device may use a simulated ground fault to initiate a device test.
  • [0010]
    Commonly owned application Ser. No. No. 09/379,138 filed Aug. 20, 1999, which is incorporated herein in its entirety by reference, describes a family of resettable circuit interrupting devices capable of independently tripping and protecting against reverse wiring.
  • SUMMARY
  • [0011]
    The present application relates to a resettable circuit interrupting devices that simulate a fault condition by simulating a neutral fault condition. The neutral fault may be simulated by connecting a load neutral line to a line neutral line using a switch to create a feedback path in the sensor that will trigger the circuit interrupter.
  • [0012]
    Furthermore, the neutral fault may be simulated using a third wire through the transformer or by connecting a load phase line to a line phase line.
  • [0013]
    The fault switch is preferably configured to facilitate mechanical connection between the line and load neutral paths. However, other known actuators are also contemplated.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0014]
    Preferred embodiments of the present application are described herein with reference to the drawings in which similar elements are given similar reference characters, wherein:
  • [0015]
    [0015]FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of a GFCI having an electrical test and bridge circuit according to the present application;
  • [0016]
    [0016]FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram of a GFCI having an independent trip such as a mechanical trip for a test button and an electrical ground fault simulation test for reset lockout according to the present application;
  • [0017]
    [0017]FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram of a GFCI having an independent trip such as a mechanical trip for a test button and a mechanical switch (electrical test) for a neutral fault simulation test for reset lockout according to the present application;
  • [0018]
    [0018]FIGS. 4a and 4B is a mechanical switch to effectuate a neutral fault simulation for a GFCI such as that as shown in Application Serial No. TBD, attorney docket 0267-1415CIP9(41912.015600).
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS
  • [0019]
    The present application contemplates various types of circuit interrupting devices that are capable of breaking at least one conductive path at both a line side and a load side of the device. The conductive path is typically divided between a line side that connects to supplied electrical power and a load side that connects to one or more loads. As noted, the various devices in the family of resettable circuit interrupting devices include: ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI's), arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCI's), immersion detection circuit interrupters (IDCI's), appliance leakage circuit interrupters (ALCI's) and equipment leakage circuit interrupters (ELCI's).
  • [0020]
    For the purpose of the present application, the structure or mechanisms used in the circuit interrupting devices, shown in the drawings and described hereinbelow, are incorporated into a GFCI receptacle suitable for installation in a single-gang junction box used in, for example, a residential electrical wiring system. However, the mechanisms according to the present application can be included in any of the various devices in the family of resettable circuit interrupting devices.
  • [0021]
    The GFCI receptacles described herein have line and load phase (or power) connections, line and load neutral connections and user accessible load phase and neutral connections. The connections permit external conductors or appliances to be connected to the device. These connections may be, for example, electrical fastening devices that secure or connect external conductors to the circuit interrupting device, as well as conduct electricity. Examples of such connections include binding screws, lugs, terminals and external plug connections.
  • [0022]
    The above-described features can be incorporated in any resettable circuit interrupting device having neutral fault protection, but for simplicity the descriptions herein are directed to GFCI receptacles.
  • [0023]
    In one embodiment, the GFCI receptacle has a circuit interrupting portion, a reset portion and a reset lockout as shown in commonly owned application serial no. TBD, attorney docket 0267-1415CIP9(41912.015600).
  • [0024]
    In an embodiment using a mechanical independent trip test button, the present invention utilizes a neutral fault simulation switch that allows resistor R4′ to be removed. A new switch such as that shown in FIGS. 4a and 4 b will replace a neutral tab such that upon depressing the reset button, when the test is required, it will be accomplished using a neutral fault.
  • [0025]
    Referring to FIG. 1, a GFCI is described having an electrical test and bridge circuit according to the present application. As can be appreciated a test trip is accomplished by pushing button 26 that closes the test circuit through current limiting resistor R4 to create a simulated ground fault to trip the device.
  • [0026]
    Referring to FIG. 2 a schematic diagram of a GFCI having an independent trip such as a mechanical trip for a test button and an electrical ground fault simulation test for reset lockout according to the present application is shown. As can be appreciated, the reset lockout test is accomplished by using a ground fault simulation through current limiting resistor R4′.
  • [0027]
    Referring to FIG. 3 a schematic diagram of a GFCI having an independent trip such as a mechanical trip for a test button and a mechanical switch (electrical test) for a neutral fault simulation test for reset lockout according to the present application is shown. As can be appreciated, the schematic shown has an independent mechanical trip for a test, but could have an electrical ground fault simulation test. Similarly, the test button may also fire a neutral fault test simulation. As shown the rest lockout test is accomplished by switch S1 closing and completing a circuit from the line neutral 38 to the load neutral 40. This circuit creates a feedback path that will trigger the device if it is working properly and the reset will be allowed. As can be appreciated, an open neutral fault can be protected against using a continuous duty solenoid K2 which will open the line side if power drops out such as an open neutral.
  • [0028]
    The neutral fault condition simulated is generally providing a low impedance path through the two transformers of the GFCI. As can be appreciated, a switch similar to S1 may accomplish a fault simulation by switching a circuit from the line phase 34 to the load phase 36.
  • [0029]
    Certain circuit interrupters do not allow convenient access to the line side. In such situations and others such as high current devices, a third sense line may be used. A third wire through the sense transformers to simulate a fault.
  • [0030]
    Referring to FIG. 4, an particular neutral fault simulation switch is shown that may be used with the GFCI devices shown above.
  • [0031]
    As noted, although the components used during circuit interrupting and device reset operations are electromechanical in nature, the present application also contemplates using electrical components, such as solid state switches and supporting circuitry, as well as other types of components capable or making and breaking electrical continuity in the conductive path.
  • [0032]
    While there have been shown and described and pointed out the fundamental features of the invention, it will be understood that various omissions and substitutions and changes of the form and details of the device described and illustrated and in its operation may be made by those skilled in the art, without departing from the spirit of the invention.

Claims (1)

    What is claimed:
  1. 1. A circuit interrupting device comprising:
    a housing;
    a phase conductive path and a neutral conductive path each disposed at least partially within said housing between a line side and a load side, said phase conductive path terminating at a first connection capable of being electrically connected to a source of electricity, a second connection capable of conducting electricity to at least one load and a third connection capable of conducting electricity to at least one user accessible load, and said neutral conductive path terminating at a first connection capable of being electrically connected to a source of electricity, a second connection capable of providing a neutral connection to said at least one load and a third connection capable of providing a neutral connection to said at least one user accessible load;
    a circuit interrupting portion disposed within said housing and configured to cause electrical discontinuity in said phase and neutral conductive paths between said line side and said load side upon the occurrence of a predetermined condition; and
    a reset portion disposed at least partially within said housing and configured to reestablish electrical continuity in said phase and neutral conductive paths; and
    said circuit interrupting device further comprising a reset lockout portion that prevents reestablishing electrical continuity in said phase and neutral conductive paths only if a neutral fault simulation test is successful.
US09812601 2001-03-20 2001-03-20 Neutral switch test mechanism for a circuit interrupter Abandoned US20020135957A1 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US09812601 US20020135957A1 (en) 2001-03-20 2001-03-20 Neutral switch test mechanism for a circuit interrupter

Applications Claiming Priority (8)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US09812601 US20020135957A1 (en) 2001-03-20 2001-03-20 Neutral switch test mechanism for a circuit interrupter
CN 01819728 CN100338710C (en) 2000-10-16 2001-10-16 Circuit interruption means
EP20010983997 EP1334502A4 (en) 2000-10-16 2001-10-16 Circuit interrupting device
CA 2425810 CA2425810C (en) 2000-10-16 2001-10-16 Circuit interrupting device
JP2002537022A JP2004520682A (en) 2000-10-16 2001-10-16 Circuit interrupter
CN 200810178296 CN101409185B (en) 2000-10-16 2001-10-16 Circuit interruption means
PCT/US2001/032562 WO2002033720A1 (en) 2000-10-16 2001-10-16 Circuit interrupting device
US10613667 US7042688B2 (en) 2001-03-20 2003-07-03 Neutral switch test mechanism for a circuit interrupter

Related Child Applications (1)

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US10613667 Continuation US7042688B2 (en) 2001-03-20 2003-07-03 Neutral switch test mechanism for a circuit interrupter

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US20020135957A1 true true US20020135957A1 (en) 2002-09-26

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US10613667 Active 2021-11-02 US7042688B2 (en) 2001-03-20 2003-07-03 Neutral switch test mechanism for a circuit interrupter

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Cited By (14)

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20050002137A1 (en) * 2003-01-30 2005-01-06 Frantz Germain Circuit interrupting device with reset lockout and user load test to reset activation
US20050212522A1 (en) * 2003-09-23 2005-09-29 Finlay David A Sr Circuit protection device with timed negative half-cycle self test
US20080123227A1 (en) * 2006-06-30 2008-05-29 Leviton Manufacturing Company, Inc. Circuit interrupter with live ground detector
US20090251148A1 (en) * 2004-06-15 2009-10-08 Pass & Seymour, Inc. Protective Device with End-Of-Life Indication Before Power Denial
US20100007447A1 (en) * 2008-07-09 2010-01-14 Leviton Manufacturing Company, Inc. Miswiring circuit coupled to an electrical fault interrupter
US7907371B2 (en) 1998-08-24 2011-03-15 Leviton Manufacturing Company, Inc. Circuit interrupting device with reset lockout and reverse wiring protection and method of manufacture
US20110115511A1 (en) * 2000-02-17 2011-05-19 Pass & Seymour, Inc. Electrical device with miswire protection and automated testing
US8102226B2 (en) 2004-02-03 2012-01-24 Pass And Seymour, Inc. Protection device with a sandwiched cantilever breaker mechanism
US8526144B2 (en) 2011-03-31 2013-09-03 Leviton Manufacturing Company, Inc. Reset lockout with grounded neutral test
US8587914B2 (en) 2008-07-07 2013-11-19 Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc. Fault circuit interrupter device
US8599522B2 (en) * 2011-07-29 2013-12-03 Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc. Circuit interrupter with improved surge suppression
US9362077B2 (en) 2000-02-17 2016-06-07 Pass & Seymour, Inc. Electrical device with miswire protection and automated testing
US9709626B2 (en) 2008-01-29 2017-07-18 Leviton Manufacturing Company, Inc. Self testing fault circuit apparatus and method
US9759758B2 (en) 2014-04-25 2017-09-12 Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc. Ground fault detector

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US7098761B2 (en) * 1998-08-24 2006-08-29 Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc. Reset lockout mechanism and independent trip mechanism for center latch circuit interrupting device
US6288882B1 (en) * 1998-08-24 2001-09-11 Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc. Circuit breaker with independent trip and reset lockout
US6437700B1 (en) 2000-10-16 2002-08-20 Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc. Ground fault circuit interrupter
US20070014058A1 (en) * 2003-07-03 2007-01-18 Chan David Y Neutral switch test mechanism for a circuit interrupter
US6771152B2 (en) * 2001-03-21 2004-08-03 Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc. Pivot point reset lockout mechanism for a ground for fault circuit interrupter
US6807036B2 (en) * 2001-04-26 2004-10-19 Hubbell Incorporated Digital fault interrupter with self-testing capabilities
CN100435443C (en) 2004-09-02 2008-11-19 薛小平 Intelligent leakage protector
US7443309B2 (en) * 2004-12-01 2008-10-28 Hubbell Incorporated Self testing ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI)
CN2914318Y (en) * 2006-05-30 2007-06-20 上海益而益电器制造有限公司 Enhanced ground-fault circuit breaker with reverse connection protecting function
CN200993948Y (en) * 2006-11-14 2007-12-19 上海益而益电器制造有限公司 Safety earth fault circuit breaker
CN101453113B (en) 2007-12-07 2011-02-09 上海益而益电器制造有限公司 Grounding fault breaking apparatus having circuit status detection function
CN201181681Y (en) * 2008-04-14 2009-01-14 上海益而益电器制造有限公司 Trip mechanism and creepage protecting socket with the same
US20100213952A1 (en) * 2009-02-20 2010-08-26 Anthony Locker Methods and Apparatuses for Determining Charging Current in Electrical Power Systems
CN101867181A (en) * 2009-04-16 2010-10-20 上海益而益电器制造有限公司 Wiring protection device
US8444309B2 (en) 2010-08-13 2013-05-21 Leviton Manufacturing Company, Inc. Wiring device with illumination
CN102780205B (en) * 2011-05-11 2015-01-14 黄华道 Electric leakage detecting protection circuit

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Cited By (26)

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US7907371B2 (en) 1998-08-24 2011-03-15 Leviton Manufacturing Company, Inc. Circuit interrupting device with reset lockout and reverse wiring protection and method of manufacture
US8054595B2 (en) 1998-08-24 2011-11-08 Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc. Circuit interrupting device with reset lockout
US8130480B2 (en) 1998-08-24 2012-03-06 Leviton Manufactuing Co., Inc. Circuit interrupting device with reset lockout
US20110148423A1 (en) * 2000-02-17 2011-06-23 Pass & Seymour, Inc. Protective device with automated self-test
US9362077B2 (en) 2000-02-17 2016-06-07 Pass & Seymour, Inc. Electrical device with miswire protection and automated testing
US20110115511A1 (en) * 2000-02-17 2011-05-19 Pass & Seymour, Inc. Electrical device with miswire protection and automated testing
US9007063B2 (en) 2000-02-17 2015-04-14 Pass & Seymour, Inc. Protective device with automated self-test
US8299799B2 (en) 2000-02-17 2012-10-30 Pass & Seymour, Inc. Electrical device with miswire protection and automated testing
US8125228B2 (en) 2000-02-17 2012-02-28 Pass & Seymour, Inc. Protective device with automated self-test
US20050002137A1 (en) * 2003-01-30 2005-01-06 Frantz Germain Circuit interrupting device with reset lockout and user load test to reset activation
US6980005B2 (en) 2003-09-23 2005-12-27 Pass & Seymar, Inc. Circuit protection device with timed negative half-cycle self test
US20050212522A1 (en) * 2003-09-23 2005-09-29 Finlay David A Sr Circuit protection device with timed negative half-cycle self test
US8446234B2 (en) 2004-02-03 2013-05-21 Pass & Seymour, Inc. Protection device with a sandwiched cantilever breaker mechanism
US9007153B2 (en) 2004-02-03 2015-04-14 Pass & Seymour, Inc. Protection device with a sandwiched cantilever breaker mechanism
US8102226B2 (en) 2004-02-03 2012-01-24 Pass And Seymour, Inc. Protection device with a sandwiched cantilever breaker mechanism
US7843197B2 (en) 2004-06-15 2010-11-30 Pass & Seymour, Inc. Protective device with end-of-life indication before power denial
US20090251148A1 (en) * 2004-06-15 2009-10-08 Pass & Seymour, Inc. Protective Device with End-Of-Life Indication Before Power Denial
US7715158B2 (en) 2006-06-30 2010-05-11 Leviton Manufacturing Company, Inc. Circuit interrupter with live ground detector
US20080123227A1 (en) * 2006-06-30 2008-05-29 Leviton Manufacturing Company, Inc. Circuit interrupter with live ground detector
US9709626B2 (en) 2008-01-29 2017-07-18 Leviton Manufacturing Company, Inc. Self testing fault circuit apparatus and method
US8587914B2 (en) 2008-07-07 2013-11-19 Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc. Fault circuit interrupter device
US7924537B2 (en) 2008-07-09 2011-04-12 Leviton Manufacturing Company, Inc. Miswiring circuit coupled to an electrical fault interrupter
US20100007447A1 (en) * 2008-07-09 2010-01-14 Leviton Manufacturing Company, Inc. Miswiring circuit coupled to an electrical fault interrupter
US8526144B2 (en) 2011-03-31 2013-09-03 Leviton Manufacturing Company, Inc. Reset lockout with grounded neutral test
US8599522B2 (en) * 2011-07-29 2013-12-03 Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc. Circuit interrupter with improved surge suppression
US9759758B2 (en) 2014-04-25 2017-09-12 Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc. Ground fault detector

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US20040004795A1 (en) 2004-01-08 application
US7042688B2 (en) 2006-05-09 grant

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Owner name: LEVITON MANUFACTURING CO., INC., NEW YORK

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:CHAN, DAVID Y.;RICHTER, JAMES;KING, GERALD N.;REEL/FRAME:012114/0045

Effective date: 20010611