Finding the first receptacle in the circuit


Old 07-08-04, 08:31 AM
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Finding the first receptacle in the circuit

How do i find the first receptacle in the circuit? I want to install a GFCI recptacle by the kitchen sink and from what I've been reading you only need to do it on the first one in the circuit then it protects the whole circuit.

Thanks for all the help. This forum is great.
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Old 07-08-04, 09:03 AM
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First, shut off the breaker and make a complete list of everything that is now without power. That give you a list of things on the circuit.

Then start at the outlet that is physically closest to the panel. It's the best guess as to what might be "first". Carefully record the connections, and then remove the receptacle and separate all the wires. Turn the breaker back on, and test everything on your list. If everything is without power, then you have found the first.

But if anything on your list still has power, then they are either upstream of the receptacle you removed, or neither upstream nor downstream. So shut the breaker back off, reinstall the receptacle, and repeat the experiment with one of the things that still had power with the receptacle removed.

If you eventually find the receptacle that, when removed, kills power to everything on the circuit, then you have found your "first". It's possible that no unique "first" exists, which means that you'll need more than one GFCI.
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