2 GFCIs on one circuit?

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  #1  
Old 06-03-06, 11:27 AM
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2 GFCIs on one circuit?

What happens if the first 'load' off a GFCI is another GFCI?

I have a kitchen circuit that consists of 5 receptacles with the first one being the GFCI. The trick in that is that it's a reach behind the fridge. The 'load' fed 4 are accessable.

If I replaced the next receptacle (from the GFCI) with another GFCI, would that one 'break' and leave the first one engaged or would the first one respond to the fault of the second one?
 
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  #2  
Old 06-03-06, 11:59 AM
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Leave the one behind the fridge non-GFI. The install a GFI at the first accessible one.
There is NO reason to have a GFI behind the fridge. Especially if the fridge is plugged in to it.
 
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Old 06-03-06, 11:39 PM
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?

If the GFI is behind the refer right now, doesn't this imply that the line is there and the load would be coming out of there to the next outlet in the circuit? So, if one were to put a GFI on the next outlet (that is currently being protected from the GFI from behind the refer) then wouldn't this have only load coming in and load going out? I am just a little confused because it seems that this offers no protection to the other outlets in the circuit and would only trip the first GFI in the circuit and then only if somthing was faulted on that GFI.
 
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Old 06-04-06, 03:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Cienega32
would that one 'break' and leave the first one engaged or would the first one respond to the fault of the second one?
There is no way to know, and you may not get the same result consistently.
 
  #5  
Old 06-04-06, 04:15 AM
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The stainless fridge has an ice maker/water dispenser in it. That made me think that the water feature alone would dictate the use of a GFCI recpt. I also thought that any & all kitchen receptacles should be on a GFCI protected circuit.

The other thinking was that if the 'load' from the first GFCI (behind fridge) was fed to the 'line' of the second then the following 'load' receptacles, if at fault, would be protected by and trip only the 2nd (in order) GFCI, essentially removing the 'load' from the first GFCI on the circuit and leaving it 'intact'. That would make any test or resets easier.


A crude diagram:

http://www.cienega32.com/house/2XGFCI.jpg
 
  #6  
Old 06-04-06, 04:35 AM
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Originally Posted by jwhite
There is no way to know, and you may not get the same result consistently.
That's what I was thinking - due to the speed and mechanical nature of them. I can see both of them reacting at the same time from time to time, if not always. Or one tripping before the other due to whatever inherent reaction time differences in general.

Parts is parts but they all have their own personalities in an imperfect world.

It would be interesting to try a test with it tho'. Slap it together and drop a test fault 20 or so times at the furthest receptacle on the line.

... I thinking I'm spending too much time floating around in the pool...
 
  #7  
Old 06-04-06, 05:14 AM
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Why not put in one gfi as was suggested above. The fridge need not be gfi protected.

Just because you seem curious. On larger buildings there are sometimes multiple gfi breakers in series. This happens when the building has a gfi on the main breaker on the service feed, then other sub panels have gfi breakers protecting them. These larger gfi devices can be adjusted, and are set so that the one closest to the user trips first.

Once you get to the single pole breaker or rec type gfi level they are not designed to be adjusted in the field.
 
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Old 06-04-06, 06:10 AM
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With multiple GFCIs and a fault, one will trip (and it could be ether one) or both could trip. The results also may not be the same with an identical fault.

In the US there is no requirement that all kitchen receptacles be GFCI protected. The requirement is that all counter top receptacles be so protected.

If Cienega32 wants his refrigerator to be GFCI protected (and I think it's a bad idea) then a GFCI receptacle can be used for the refrigerator. Then feed the other receptacles from the LINE side of the GFCI. Then use a GFCI as the next receptacle, protecting the balance of the circuit from the load side of this second GFCI.
 
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Old 06-04-06, 07:36 AM
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There are many folks who will tell you that a properly operating refridgerator won't trip a GFCI. As an electrician, I have had numerous service calls to change out a GFCI protected receptacle to a non GFCI circuit when the GFCI tripped and the refrig(or freezer in the garage/basement) was without power several days when the owners went out of town. The appliances were checked by the manufacturer's service dept. and found to have no problems. The GFCI tripped for no apparent reason.

This so called nuisance tripping is a fact of life. While not as common as it used to be, it still happens and is a good reason not to have refridgerators, freezers, and sump pumps on one. I haven't investigated putting GFCIs in series lately but did do a service call where a homeowner had done just that and found one or the other would trip when any load was plugged in to either one.

In the OPs case, the best way to wire the circuit is to install a GFCI at the first receptacle box in the circuit, feed the refrig. off the line side, then put the second GFCI at the third receptacle spot and feed additional receptacles off the load side.
 
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Old 06-04-06, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by racraft
In the US there is no requirement that all kitchen receptacles be GFCI protected. The requirement is that all counter top receptacles be so protected.
These are counter top receptacles. Sorry - I didn't realize that I forgot to mention that but that is what I meant.

Originally Posted by racraft
If Cienega32 wants his refrigerator to be GFCI protected (and I think it's a bad idea) then a GFCI receptacle can be used for the refrigerator. Then feed the other receptacles from the LINE side of the GFCI. Then use a GFCI as the next receptacle, protecting the balance of the circuit from the load side of this second GFCI.
Would that be a bad idea because of the motor loads/surges affecting the current?

I think I see the 'logic' of your scenerio. What you suggest would be running the circuit as 2 parallel branches, so to speak, no? And would result in 2 GFCI protections for each - 1 to fridge, the other for remaining receptacles?
 
  #11  
Old 06-04-06, 07:53 AM
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As one who has experienced some significant damage due to "nuisance" trips, I believe that having a refrigerator, freezer or sump pump fed by a GFI is just asking for trouble.
I have a workshop with two 20 amp circuits. When I wired it originally, I fed all the stationary tool receptacles off one GFI. After a half dozen trips to the other end of the shop to reset the GFI, I installed individual GFI's in each outlet. Now at least I don't have to walk so far whent he "nuisance" occurs.
Curiously, I have two circuits fed by GFI breakers. One is for a jetted tub and one is in a garage subpanel feeding a half dozen garage outlets. Neither of these have ever tripped.
 
  #12  
Old 06-04-06, 11:31 AM
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I wired my whole new house 5 years ago. If my memory serves me correctly, code here was that any recepticle within 5 feet of a sink had to be GFCI protected.
I wired my refrigerator on it's own line, NOT GFCI protected.

All kitchen wiring was 20 amp, 12-2 circuits. Microwave was also on it's own citcuit. Both Microwave and fridge, as well as my sump pump and freezer was tied into my self starting generac generator.

Frank D.
 
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