GFCI with alternate circuits


  #1  
Old 06-08-04, 05:06 AM
danomcbride
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
GFCI with alternate circuits

I have rewired the outlets above my kitchen counter. I ran a 12/3 wire, alternating the 6 outlets so there are 3 on each circuit. I know it is possible to install a GFCI and have it protect additional outlets wired off the GFCI load. However, in this situation, is it possible to install two GFCIs (the first outlet of each circuit) and have each GFCI protect the remaining two outlets on that circuit or is there an issue due to the shared neutral.
 
  #2  
Old 06-08-04, 05:15 AM
R
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,245
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
The answer depends on how you ran the wires, and what wires you ran.

You need to eliminate the shared neutral for the GFCIs to work properly, as the GFCI will not work with a shared neutral.

I am assuming you ran 12/3 to the first receptacle. If you continued the 12/3 to each of the next five receptacles then you have two choices. Install a GFCI at each receptacle, or install a GFCI breaker at the panel.

What you should have done would be to separate the 12/3 into two runs of 12/2 at the first receptacle.
 
  #3  
Old 06-08-04, 06:45 AM
J
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 17,733
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
Dan, the answer is no. Unless you want to rewire the kitchen, you are now committed to buying an expensive (and somewhat hard to find) 20-amp double-pole 240/120 GFCI breaker. Alternatively, you may simply install a GFCI receptacle in each box, using only the "line" side terminals and leaving the "load" side unconnected. Cost-wise, it's probably a wash.

I always try to discourage multiwire circuits, especially where GFCI is required.
 
  #4  
Old 06-08-04, 09:45 AM
danomcbride
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Thank you Bob and John for your response. I still have the wiring exposed so I can easily separate the 12/3 into two runs of 12/2 at the first receptacle as Bob suggests. I can also run two 12/2 wires directly from the breaker box and not use a multiwire circuit at all, if that is more advisable. Id like to wire it properly, as a professional would have initially installed the work and not just fix a problem I created. Dan
 
  #5  
Old 06-08-04, 10:33 AM
R
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,245
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
There is no need to redo the wiring from the panel, unless you want to. However, with a multiwire circuit I advise that a 240 breaker, or two breakers with a handle tie, be used so that if one trips the other will trip also, even though such a breaker is not mandated by code in all mutliwire circuits.

At the first outlet install a GFCI. Connect the red incoming hot wire to the line hot screw. Connect the incoming neutral using a pigtail to the line neutral screw. Then wire outlets 3 and 5 using 12/2 from the load terminals of this GFCI.

At the first outlet connect the black incoming hot wire to the black wire of a piece of 12/2 that goes to outlet 2. Connect incoming neutral (it already has a pigtail from the above step) to the white wire in the piece of 12/2 that goes to outlet 2.

At outlet 2 connect the incoming 12/2 to the line terminals of the GFCI. Use 12/2 and wire outlets 4 and 6 from the load terminals of this GFCI.

At all locations connect the ground wires to the receptacles and to the boxes, if metal.
 
  #6  
Old 06-23-04, 04:50 PM
M
mgb
mgb is offline
Member
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 134
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
However, with a multiwire circuit I advise that a 240 breaker, or two breakers with a handle tie, be used so that if one trips the other will trip also, even though such a breaker is not mandated by code in all mutliwire circuits.


I'm pretty sure the code requires a 2 pole breaker for a multiwire circuit. One reason being if it were on 2 single pole breakers and one tripped the unsuspecting person might not know there was another hot wire in the box when they start troubleshooting.
 
  #7  
Old 06-23-04, 05:24 PM
R
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,245
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
mgb,

You are incorrect. Code only requires handle ties or a double pole breaker when the two halves of the circuit terminate on the same device. As long as no split receptacles are used no handle tie or double pole breaker is required. However, it remains a good idea to use one on ALL mulktiwire circuits.
 
 

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