Fridge GFCI

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  #1  
Old 02-08-05, 02:46 PM
kevlarus
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Fridge GFCI

Living in a single story house built around the 40's, without (equipment) grounds. A couple of new outlets/circuits have been added that was properly grounded with a modern service panel (circuit breakers instead of fuses).

The kitchen has one outlet that has the fridge plugged into it which also provides power to 2 other outlets in the house (wired through wall).

Would like to replace the wiring eventually for other receptacles & fixtures with updated wiring, but can I use a GFCI for the kitchen (fridge) and replace the other 2 receptacles with 3-prong outlets without having to attempt to pull out the old sheathed wire ? <--- plaster walls...

(I know the kitchen counter must now have GFCI per NEC).

Thanks
 
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  #2  
Old 02-08-05, 04:43 PM
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You can replace the first receptacle on the run with a GFCI and then feed that protection to the others. Is the refrigerator the first receptacle on the circuit?
 
  #3  
Old 02-08-05, 05:17 PM
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I am not a electrician but I have a thought about this. I would not have the fridge connected to a GFCI. If it should trip and you are not aware of this happening, you could end throwing away alot of spoiled food.
 
  #4  
Old 02-08-05, 05:28 PM
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You are correct.. all counter top outlets must be replaced with GFCI's (GFI's) when you are changing them out. Technically, if you are only replacing outlets, and not rewiring anuthing, you can still replace non ground outlets with non ground outlets but for your saftey, your best to replace them with GFI's. As for your fridge, and anything else that has a motor in it, you are best not using a GFI. Motors are a common cause of tripping GFI's when they start up and I bet you wouldn't want to come home to a thawed fridge with rotten food because the breaker tripped. It depends on your city's code, however almost every place I know of won't make you place a GFI behind the fridge because it generally isn't accessible for daily use.

What I am assuming is the outlets fed from the fridge outlet, you want to be protected with a GFI. Well you will need to determine whether the other 2 outlets are linked seperatly back to the fridge outlet or if the fridge connects to the other outlet which than passes through and connects to another outlet. If it is the latter case, just hook the wires coming from the fridge outlet to the bottom of the GFI and hook the wires going from that outlet to the other outlet to the top of the GFI and put a standard outlet in that box. (This is how most GFI's work, for passing through protection to other outlets, the GFI will have a label that tells you how to hook it up correctly... it may differ from what I just said.) Therefore you will be protected with only needing one GFI. If it is the first part... you will need two seperate GFI plugs.

Best of luck, if you have any more questions, post back.

Paul
 
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Old 02-09-05, 08:36 AM
kevlarus
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Thanks for letting me know regarding GFI and motors possibly causing false trips.

The fridge outlet is first in the run, unfortunately, that outlet is both for the fridge and the only accessable countertop outlet as well. The outlet for the stove is 3 prong - I checked and it is a newer and fully grounded (as far as I can tell). Sounds almost like catch-22.
 
  #6  
Old 02-10-05, 05:49 AM
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Just about anything you buy with a 3-prong cord was built with the expectation of an actual ground at the recepticle, not just 3 holes to plug into.

Is the kitchen sitting atop an unfinished basement, or a basement with a drop ceiling? If so, you should have the necessary access to connect a ground wire from the recepticle (outlet) to the panel (one wire all the way to the panel for each recepticle per code), or even better, new 12-2 (12 is the gauge of the wire) with a ground from the panel to the first recepticle, then new 12-2 to the second recepticle.

For the ultimate in project creep, consider running 12-3 or a pair of 12-2 cables to meet the modern code requirement for 2 20-amp circuits for countertop recepticles. (For the record, my 1940's house doesn't have this, but it will, some day.)
 
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Old 02-10-05, 08:24 AM
kevlarus
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Originally Posted by mrchris
Is the kitchen sitting atop an unfinished basement, or a basement with a drop ceiling? If so, you should have the necessary access to connect a ground wire from the recepticle (outlet) to the panel (one wire all the way to the panel for each recepticle per code), or even better, new 12-2 (12 is the gauge of the wire) with a ground from the panel to the first recepticle, then new 12-2 to the second recepticle.

For the ultimate in project creep, consider running 12-3 or a pair of 12-2 cables to meet the modern code requirement for 2 20-amp circuits for countertop recepticles. (For the record, my 1940's house doesn't have this, but it will, some day.)
I'm planning on using 12/2 for everything and all circuits are already 20A (except for dryer & A/C unit). What's the reasoning behind running 12/3 though ? (the 12/2 is with ground).

I was just trying to avoid running a new 12/2 for the fridge/counter outlet because of the low height on outside wall (pitch roof). No basement in house, just a 4in crawl (yeah, right) under the house at the point.
 
  #8  
Old 02-10-05, 08:36 AM
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Don't use 12/3. Stick with the 12/2 you have. 12/3 is used to create a multiwire circuit, but I advise against multiwire circuits except in unusual situations.

Some time when you have a lot of time on your hands and feel like learning something new, enter "multiwire circuit" into google and enjoy.
 
  #9  
Old 02-11-05, 08:01 AM
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A 4" crawl space, isn't that an oxymoron? Wow. I take it all the wiring is through the attic. I suppose it's possible to pull fish tape through a 4" crawl, but I'm not sure what you'd be able to connect to.

John, thanks for the recommendation on kitchen multiwire circuits. My long-term vision for my kitchen has countertops and recepticles on each side of the room (galley), so I would be using separate circuits anyway.
 
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