GFCI outlet question

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  #1  
Old 03-20-07, 11:30 AM
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Question GFCI outlet question

I want to install gfci outlets where there are currently only regular outlets. However, I have heard that I can have one gfci outlet protect other outlets (as long as it's not too many). How do I know which outlet to replace with a gfci outlet so all the outlets on the circuit are protected?
 
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Old 03-20-07, 11:41 AM
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You will have to find the first receptacle after the circuit breaker for that branch circuit and install the gfci there. However it isn't always that cut and dry. The other receptacles must be daisy chained to that receptacle. So understanding the wiring is very important. If they are daisy chained connect the outgoing cable to the rest of the receptacles to the load terminals of the gfci (usually tape is over them for id purposes). The rest of the receptacles can remain as normal grounded receptacles as they will recieve fault protection from the single gfci.

You also need to be careful of an existing multiwire circuit. If any red wires appear in the electrical boxes be alert to the possibility of a multiwire circuit. If you have conduit this becomes a little tricky. So be sure all power is removed from all wires in the receptacle box. If any power still exists in the box after you turn off a single pole breaker you most likely have a multiwire circuit. Let us know this before you proceed.

Are you wanting to do this because you don't have equipment ground in the wiring?

Or some other reason?

Roger
 

Last edited by Roger; 03-20-07 at 11:54 AM.
  #3  
Old 03-20-07, 11:44 AM
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The "not too many" you heard is not at all relevant for home wiring, or for most industrial wiring for that matter.

You need to determine the upstream or closest (electrically) to the panel. You can follow the wires and perhaps make educated guesses, but trial and error may also need to be used.
 
  #4  
Old 03-20-07, 11:49 AM
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GFCI outlet question

My home inspector recommended adding them but said that one might be enough for the circuit. Is there a best method for determining which is the closest to the panel?
 
  #5  
Old 03-20-07, 11:57 AM
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In would not add GFCI protection because a home inspector suggested it.

I wold add GFCI protection for the kitchen, the bathroom, the unfinished basement, the garage and the outside.

Please provide more information on your setup so we can better guide you. Home inspectors run the gamut from very well informed on electrical issues all the way down to complete morons when it comes to electrical issues.
 
  #6  
Old 03-20-07, 11:58 AM
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Did the inspector say why ?.......is it the kitchen? Bath? Laundry? Where are the receptacles located?

I see Bob and I are being redundant I'll stop replying to avoid confusion.

Roger
 
  #7  
Old 03-20-07, 12:07 PM
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GFCI outlet question

The only gfci outlet in the home was in the upstairs hall bathroom (1 out of 2 outlets in the bathroom) and it was defective. The home also has a master bathroom, a downstairs half bath, kitchen, and garage, all without gfci protection. Everything that I am reading/hearing is saying that in those locations I should have gfci protection. Also, I understand that it isn't necessary to replace every outlet with a gfci outlet. So, I'm trying to find out which outlets need to be replaced by gfci outlets.

The home inspector found that the one gfci outlet was defective and suggested replacing it. But, he said that I may not need to replace any in my master bath if they are on the same circuit.
 
  #8  
Old 03-20-07, 01:02 PM
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Is this home being sold? Are you the buyer or the seller?

Yes, you can find out which is the closest to the panel. It's done by trial and error.

First, shut off the breaker and make a detailed list of everything on the circuit (by going around and finding out what's now dead). Then go to one of the dead receptacles, make very careful diagrams of exactly what is connected to what, including how the receptacle is oriented in the box (i.e., which end is up), then remove the receptacle and disconnect all the wiring in the box, carefully separating the wires. Now turn the breaker back on and go around again to see what is dead. Everything that was previously working when the breaker was last on, but is now dead, is downstream from the receptacle you removed and would be protected by a GFCI in that box. If there are still more stuff upstream, turn the breaker back off, reinstall the receptacle exactly as it was, and repeat all of this with one of the upstream receptacles.

If you ever see any red wires in the box, stop immediately and post back.

It is possible that the circuit is not linearly wired. You'll figure this out if the above procedure finds two receptacles on the same circuit, neither of which is downstream from the other. If you find this, post back.
 
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