GFCI max recepticals load & switched

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  #1  
Old 08-25-06, 07:14 AM
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Cool GFCI max recepticals load & switched

I have two separate questions regarding GFCI's.

I am wiring a whirlpool tub that calls for two dedicated GFCI protected 120/15A circuits. One for the motor, the other for the heater. I plan to use GFCI recepticles since the motor and heater each have a grounded cord connection. The recepticles will be under the tub skirting, on each of these circuits. The heater will be on all the time, controlled automagically by internal circuitry. My question: In order to be able to turn this automatic heater off when I desire, I want to insert a switch in this heater circuit. Can the receptacle be switched (switch - GFCI) or does the switch have to be protected as well (GFCI - switch)?

Second question: Does a GFCI protect 4 recepticles on the load or does the GFCI count as part of the max protected, leaving only 3 recepticles on the load?

Thanks for any help
 
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  #2  
Old 08-25-06, 07:30 AM
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You can switch a GFCI receptacle using a regular switch, or you can buy a combination switch and GFCI in the same package.

In the US there is no limit to the number of receptacles that can be attached to a GFCI.

I would run 12 gage wire for your application, meaning that you could make these either 15 or 20 amp circuits.
 
  #3  
Old 08-25-06, 07:31 AM
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Some less expensive GFI recs will nuesance trip when power goes out. Most do not have this problem.

If this switch is likely to be used while you are in the tub, or soaking wet from being in it, you may want it to be gfi protected.

I would suggest a GFI breaker that feeds to the switch and then to a regular rec at the tub.

As for your second question I do not understand what you are asking. Your setup requires two gfi protected outlets each on its own 15 amp breaker. You cannot put them on the same circuit, or on a circuit with other things. These should be dedicated lines.

GFI protection does not depend on the numbrer of recs on the load side of the gfi, it depends on the total amperage drawn on the load side. You would need to know the amp draw of everyting plugged in to know if the gfi is overloaded. Whatever is plugged into the face of the gfi needs to be counted also.

If you put a 15 amp gfi on a 15 amp breaker, or a 20 amp gfi on a 20 amp breaker, you cannot overload the gfi because the breaker will trip.
 
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Old 08-25-06, 07:46 AM
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Talking

Okay, thanks for the input. You told me exactly what I was looking for.
I was concerned about the "being wet" issue and the switch at the whirlpool. I intended to make the two circuits dedicated for the tub motor and heater.

The second question is a different application for rec's. in a kitchen & dining. I was looking to "not" overload the recs. on the GFCI load, but under the impression from someplace that a GFCI rec. would only give GFCI protection to 4 rec's. The correction is then, the amp draw is the total of all recs, including the GFCI, and is the panel breakers job to protect, and the shock hazard is the GFCI's function regardless of load side recs (so long as I don't exceed the SAFE amps of the total circuit)?

Thanks a lot for the input and setting the record straight.
 

Last edited by ramiron; 08-25-06 at 07:57 AM.
  #5  
Old 08-25-06, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by ramiron
The correction is then, the amp draw is the total of all recs, including the GFCI, and is the panel breakers job to protect, and the shock hazard is the GFCI's function regardless of load side recs (so long as I don't exceed the SAFE amps of the total circuit)?
By Joe I think he's got it!!!!

Regarding recs for the kitchen. The code says that you need two 20 amp circuits feeding counter tops in the kitchen. This is IMHO ambigious. A small kitchen with only one foot of usable counter top space needs the same two cicuits as a mega kitchen in a Mc Mansion.

I like to use 180va per outlet as a rule of thumb for deciding how many recs to put on any of these circuits. That is the rating required in other than dwelling units. (commercial work.)

I sometimes even go less if I think there will likely be alot of counter top appliance being used at once.
 
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Old 08-25-06, 08:21 AM
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Thumbs up

I read several of the threads to try to research my questions, and I have found your site to be excellent. You are providing a great service.

This New-b thanks you.
 
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