gcfi relocation plan

Old 05-22-04, 09:38 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
gcfi relocation plan

Yelp ! I wanted to change two kitchen outlets in my recently converted condo to GCFI since they are both within 6 feet of the sink. Both outlets (one on a switch ) worked before I started............

Both are on the same circuit and are on the same 15amp breaker (as far as I can tell)* All wires are 12 gauge*
*Complicating matters is that I'm dealing with a condo that was recently converted from apt and my wires run thru other units to a not so accessable breaker box.

At the terminal end I installed a new switch and the first GCFI (in a double gang box) without a problem, using the existing box and wiring. It worked fine....switch-on: outlet worked & switch-off: outlet didn't work.

Then I opened the previous box (single gang box) and found a mass of wires. Three conduits with three wires each( one from the source, one leading to the terminal and one I have no idea about) I labeled the wires and changed the box to a double gang box. At this point my helper decided the labels were in the way and removed them.

So..... using pigtails from the GCFI, I combined the four black wires using a grey wire nut, and did the same with the four whites and the three bare copper/green wires. I screwed the GCFI's green pigtail to the box which is grounded.

Now both the black and white pigtails are hot. I took off the wire nut for the whites and tested each of the white lines - none of them register as hot. (maybe my tester is too wimpy?) I check the GCFI in another location and it worked fine. My brother said to put back the regular outlet and see if it worked - it didn't.
Any ideas would be welcome... Thanks for reading this long novella.....

Last edited by confused2; 05-22-04 at 10:02 PM. Reason: submitted too early
Old 05-23-04, 01:24 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 17,733
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
There is no "within six feet of the sink" rule. All receptacles serving the kitchen countertop must be GFCI protected, no matter how near or far from the sink. But you can start with those closest to the sink. It's better than nothing.

It is dangerous to do electrical work with "as far as I can tell" knowledge. Figure out a way to find out for sure before beginning. To have even a modest amount of safety, you should shut off the breaker anyway before working on this circuit.

Get a new helper. He just made your job a hundred times harder. There is no easy answer to sorting this out. It requires a lot of testing and a lot of understanding how things are usually wired. At this point, there is no easy answer, especially if we can't see and test. You might consider calling in experienced help.
Old 05-25-04, 12:18 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Thumbs up

Thanks for your insight, I appreciate your safety concerns. I have been turning off the breaker before doing any work. When I had finished I turned it back on. And found out it didn't work. I bought a circuit tester which has solved much of the guess work.
As for the helper, it was my son. So as much as I would like to fire him....
Thanks again.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: