GFCI... I need help installing one.

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  #1  
Old 02-13-06, 11:52 PM
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GFCI... I need help installing one.

This outlet has 2 cables with 3 wires each. The outlet's power can be cut by a switch across from it on the wall. I believe that's where that extra red wire is from (the switch). What should I do with it? I can just cap them together and leave them in the back of the box (not connected to GFCI).





 
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  #2  
Old 02-14-06, 03:59 AM
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Where is this receptacle located? (Which room in your house, and are there any special details, eg by a countertop?)

Where are you located? (In particular, the US or Canada?)

Is the little metal tab between the brass screws (where the red and black wires are located) intact?

Does the switch that you describe actually control anything? You say that it cuts power to the receptacle; does it cut power to _both_ halves of the receptacle, or just one half, and does it cut power to anything else?

How many breakers do you need to turn off in order to cut power to this receptacle?

-Jon
 
  #3  
Old 02-14-06, 08:14 AM
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This is a 9 yr old house in Ontario Canada. I believe the metal tab is still intact (check my picture in the first post). The switch controls bottom_half of the receptacle and the switch also controls the power to the remaining receptacles in the circuit (bottom_half aslo, there are 4 total and the one in question is the 3rd).

This circuit doesn't have a tied breaker so it only requires switching a single breaker to turn power on and off.
 
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Old 02-14-06, 08:19 AM
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The picture shows that the tab is removed.

Do you want the switch to control the GFCI or not?
 
  #5  
Old 02-15-06, 01:04 PM
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Yes I want the GFCI to be controlled by the switch.

What are the procedures if I don't? If you don't mind me asking.
 
  #6  
Old 02-16-06, 05:03 AM
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When I look at the pictures, the tab appears to be intact to me. zimmerDN, before following these directions, please look carefully at both sides of the receptacle.

On each side you will see two screws, with metal plates behind them. Jumping between the metal plates you might see a little tab that is 'scored' near the plates, with a little slot in it. The idea of these tabs is that you can stick a screw driver into the slot, and bend the tab back and forth until it snaps at the score lines.

If this receptacle is as John and I expect, then the tab will be present and intact on the side of the receptacle with the white wires and the silver screws. The tab should be removed (or at least the connection broken) on the side with the red/black wires and the brass screws. Please confirm this before following the rest of the directions.

The following instructions will install the GFCI receptacle, but leave all the other receptacles _NOT_ GFCI protected. With a bit more work, you could protect the other receptacles.

Make sure to buy a GFCI that has two sets of 'back wire' holes for each screw. These are the wire terminations that work by pushing the wire into the holes and then tightening the screws, which clamp onto the wires.

On the GFCI you should see 5 screws: the ground wire screw, the 'LINE' screws and the 'LOAD' screws. The 'LOAD' screws are probably covered with tape, and you should ignore them.

There are two possibilities: either the black wires are the continuous live wires, and the red wires are the 'switched' live wires, or the black is switched and the red is always hot. I am assuming that the red wires are the switched wires.

Take the two white wires and put them behind the 'LINE' silver screw (which should also be labeled 'WHITE' or 'NEUTRAL') on the GFCI. You can only put two wires on a single terminal if it is designed for two wires; that is why I specified the 'back wire' terminals with two holes for each screw. If you don't have these sort of terminals, then use a wire-nut to connect the two white wires together with a short 'pigtail', and then run the single pigtail to the appropriate screw.

Now take the two black wires and wire-nut them together. These will not connect to the receptacle.

Finally take the two red wires and put them behind the 'LINE' brass screw ( which should also be labeled 'BLACK' or 'HOT' or 'UNGROUNDED'). As before use a wire-nut and pigtail if your terminals are made for one wire only.

Finally make sure that all of the ground wires are spliced together, and connect a ground pigtail to the ground terminal screw.

If you find that this receptacle is 'always live', then swap the red pair of wires with the black pair of wires.

-Jon
 
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