Sub Panel and GFCI Outlet Questions

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  #1  
Old 08-12-04, 10:45 AM
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Question Sub Panel and GFCI Outlet Questions

I have two simple questions, but I thought it would be better to combine them rather than make two topics. First, I had to replace the sub panel in my garage last night, to make more room for the circuits for a three season porch/hot tub room we're adding, and I found that the feeder wire from the main panel wasn't quite long enough to reach the neutral buss bar in the new panel. Is it kosher for me to pigtail the feeder wire and make the connection that way, or will I have to run a new feeder to make the connection directly?

Second question, the outlets in the porch are GFCI protected. Four of the outlets are paired in two's, like this:

Pair 1: Breaker 1 -----> (Line) Outlet 1 (Load) -------> (Line) Outlet 2
Pair 2: Breaker 2 -----> (Line) Outlet 3 (Load) -------> (Line) Outlet 4

I tested each outlet with a plug-in GFCI circuit tester, and they all are wired correctly. On the first pair, when I press the tester, the outlet I'm testing trips. But on the second pair, when I test Outlet 4, Outlet 3 trips. Is it possible that Outlet 4 is defective? I do have a spare outlet I can replace it with, if it's necessary, but I thought check here first, to make sure I replace the proper outlet. Thanks in advance for answers to either or both questions.
 
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  #2  
Old 08-12-04, 12:13 PM
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Can't answer your first question.
The second part, receptacles 2 & 4 don't need to be GFCI. They can be regular. Receptacles 1&2 will protect them if properly connected to the LOAD side. In which case receptacle 2 should be tripping with the test on #4.
#4 is probably not defective. It is just a tad less sensitive than #2.
 
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Old 08-12-04, 12:21 PM
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I can't answer yoiur first question either.

As for the second question, I would either replace recepticles 2 and 4 with normal (non-gfci recepticles) or I would change the wiring at recepticles 1 and 3 so that the wire going to receoticles 2 and 4 comes off the line side of the recepticles.

There is no need to supply GFCI protection twice, as you have now. You have observed that the first GFCI recepticle trips. You might also observe that the seond recepticle trips, or that both of them trip. When both of them trip or when the first recepticle trips it may confuse someone, as they may not hear the trip and may not see their recepticle tripped, or may reset the one they are in front of and not realize they need to reset the first one.
 
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Old 08-12-04, 12:51 PM
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Thanks for the quick replies. I think for the GFCI outlets, I'll keep all the outlets as GFCI, since I already have the outlets installed, and I don't have the boxes to return them. I'll just rewire the middle outlets, taking the wires off the load and pigtailing them with the line. That way, I won't have to explain which non-GFCI outlet is paired with which GFCI.
 
  #5  
Old 08-12-04, 12:53 PM
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There is no requirement that a feeder be without splices.
 
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Old 08-12-04, 01:27 PM
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That way, I won't have to explain which non-GFCI outlet is paired with which GFCI.
I don't think you would have to explain anyway. Your job as the installer is to make sure that the people using the recepticle (or devices plugged into it) are safe, not necessarily to make sure they aren't inconvenienced by having to find the reset. It may keep peace in the family if you do, but it's not required that I've ever heard of.
 
  #7  
Old 08-19-04, 07:34 PM
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I ended up replacing the two GFCI outlets with regular outlets, I'll just save the extra GFCIs as spares in case one dies, so that's all good. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to pull a new feeder line anyway, so the splice wasn't needed after all. I did some math, and figured out that there are a few circumstances where we could use more than the 30 amp breaker can provide. So, now I have a question about that. The main panel has one slot open. There's a spare 50 amp 2 pole breaker on top of the box. It was originally there for an electric range, but we're using gas, so an electrician removed it to make room for another 20 amp circuit. My plan is to remove the 30 amp garage circuit, move the 20 amp circuit to the slot that originally held the 30, then put the 50 back in place. I'll run some 6/3 wire from the main panel to the garage. Is this the proper way to do it? Oh yeah, one more thing. The wire running to the panel now runs through a PVC conduit that's coming out of the concrete floor. Are there any tricks to run the new wire through that conduit without ripping it out of the floor? The conduit has a much cleaner look than the wires coming down from the ceiling, I'd like to keep using it if I can. Thanks again for any replies.
 
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Old 08-19-04, 07:52 PM
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#6 copper is good for your 50-amp feeder. I hope you meant UF-B rather than NM-B when you said 6/3. But if you hope to get it into conduit, it'll be much easier if you use individual THWN wires rather than a cable assembly. Use wire lube.
 
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Old 08-19-04, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by John Nelson
#6 copper is good for your 50-amp feeder. I hope you meant UF-B rather than NM-B when you said 6/3. But if you hope to get it into conduit, it'll be much easier if you use individual THWN wires rather than a cable assembly. Use wire lube.
I like the THWN idea, and I think that's what Illl do, but just out of curiosity, is UF-B required if the garage is attached?
 
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Old 08-19-04, 08:19 PM
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NM-B is only rated for dry locations. You mentioned that the conduit was coming out of the concrete floor. That's not dry, whether the garage is attached or detached.
 
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