GFCIs (Replace GFCI with a standard receptacle)

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  #1  
Old 06-04-05, 08:31 PM
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GFCIs (Replace GFCI with a standard receptacle)

I am a total novice trying to do something simple; switch out a GFCI with a standard receptacle in my bathroom.

I understand the instructions fine; the problem is the @#$ wiring screws on the sides of this receptacle. You can't take them out, and you can't get them to do anything but flop around and inevitably press back up against the sides of the receptacle when you're trying to wrap the copper wire around them. I've tried everything I can think of to get the wire around these things but I just end up pushing the screws back against the receptacle.

I know this isn't clearly described, but can you "see" it? Any tips for getting this finished?
 
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  #2  
Old 06-04-05, 09:03 PM
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Check to see if the wire is supposed to be inserted into a hole just next to the screw. If so, the wire should be straight and the amount of insulation stripped should match the guage molded on back of receptacle.
 
  #3  
Old 06-05-05, 03:09 AM
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What bob100 is trying to say is that some new GFCIs have a plate that is held against a flat metal surface. You insert the wire between the the two and tighten the screw, which hold the plate tight against the wire against the metal surface. If you have this type of GFCI then the wires cannot be wrapped around the screw.
 
  #4  
Old 06-05-05, 04:03 AM
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Oh -- I don't think I have that kind of GFCI. There are two holes in the back behind each terminal, but no "plate" and the directions do say to wrap the wire around the screw (they don't say HOW though). Thanks though.
 
  #5  
Old 06-05-05, 06:36 AM
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A picture would help; frankly it sound like you have the wrong instructions. It sounds like you have the type of device where the wire is inserted from the bottom, and when the screw is tightened, a clamp grabs the wire.

If in fact the wire is supposed to wrap aroung the screw, wrap it clockwise and pinch the loop closed with needle nose pliers.

Please check these two ideas and get back to us.
 
  #6  
Old 06-05-05, 06:56 AM
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Okay, how about this -- pics of front and back --

back

front

The problem is, I can't take those screws out -- they're fastened -- and I can't get them to stay in the "out" position, either -- they flop -- so I find it just about impossible to work the wire underneath them.

I've tried everything I can think of, including tying up the screw with dental floss to hold the screw away from the receptacle long enough for me to get the wire under there, but it doesn't quite work.
 
  #7  
Old 06-05-05, 07:55 AM
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Those are 'backwire' terminations that bob and racraft described.

1) Look at the back of the receptacle; there should be some 'strip gage' makings. Strip the wire to exactly this length, and keep the wire straight.

2) 'Unscrew' the screws as far as they easily go. Do not _force_ them. They should unscrew a ways and then stop.

3) Push a screw into the body of the receptacle, and then push the appropriate wire through one of the holes behind the screw.

4) Tighten the screw.

The screw is 'flopping' around because it is _not_ fastened to the receptacle itself, but to a nut/pressure plate _inside_ the receptacle. When you tighten the screw, this nut will pull up against the receptacle from the inside, clamping any wire in the holes.

-Jon
 
  #8  
Old 06-05-05, 09:22 AM
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Okay, this has been very helpful. This being my first experience with a gfci and with the instructions saying something else, I don't think I would ever have figured that out ...

now that it's in, though, I have one more issue -- it trips everytime I turn on the overhead light (in that room). And even when I turn it off. Does that sound like a groundwire goof, getting the load and line wires mixed up, or something else?
 
  #9  
Old 06-05-05, 01:30 PM
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Sounds like it is mis wired.

Do you want the light to be GFCI protected? If not then put all the wires on the line side, using pigtails if necessary.
 
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