Daisy Chaining GFCI Receptacles

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Old 07-04-07, 10:24 AM
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Daisy Chaining GFCI Receptacles

The GFCI receptacles I am using have backwire connections for both the line and load terminals. Each terminal has two holes, with one screw that tightens the backwire plate. When daisy chaining multiple GFCIs together, is it OK to have two wires going into these backwire terminals? Since I'm using independent GFCI receptacles at each outlet on this circuit, I don't want to use the load terminals, right?

The reason I ask is that with the 12AWG solid wire I'm using, I feel I really have to tighten that plate down tight to get a solid connection. So figured I'd better check that this is OK...

BTW, I know I could simply make the first receptacle GFCI, and daisy chain the rest of the (regular 15A) receptacles off the load terminals, but I want to make all the outlets GFCI receptcles - a visual indicator that the sockets are GFCI protected, providing independent tripping for each receptacle, and reduced chance of false trips cause by multiple devices on the same GFCI.


Cheers,

Simon
 
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Old 07-04-07, 01:12 PM
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You are correct. Place both blacks under the LINE gold and both whites under the LINE silver. Only use the LOAD side if you want downstream protection, which, from what you say, you don't.

I'd give each individual wire a good tug once you've firmly tightened that screw to be sure they are firmly in place. Use the biggest and longest screwdriver you can to maximize your torque.
 
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Old 07-04-07, 01:51 PM
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OK, I'm going to ask....why in the world do you want to spend the $12 per receptacle just to have independent GFCI's at each location? Daisy chaining the GFCI's must be done on the line side. You will drive yourself crazy if you Line-load them. When one trips they all will trip.
If you do as normal and just run all the downline receptacles off the load side of the first GFCI, you will have the protection, as well as a little cash in the pocket to boot.
 
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Old 07-04-07, 03:45 PM
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Your solution is fine. I recommend it when the receptacles are in different locations, such as in separate bathrooms, or at the front and back of the house, etc.

However, it will not reduce the chance of a ground fault trip. A ground fault will NOT be more likely to occur with daisy chained receptacles. It may be more difficult to isolate where the fault occurred, but it will not be more likely to occur.
 
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Old 07-04-07, 04:57 PM
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Slight expansion on the above posts:

Your solution is just fine if this is a single circuit. If the receptacle has appropriate terminals, you may use it to splice the conductors.

If you have a multi-wire branch circuit, then you can't use the receptacle to splice the _neutral_ conductors.

-Jon
 
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Old 07-06-07, 09:28 PM
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To answer Chandler's question about why spend the extra cash to put GFCI's in each receptacle. I thought I read somewhere that using a single GFCI to protect many daisy chained outlets could lead to false trips. I think the reasoning was that individual devices can have occasional temporary imbalances in hot and neutral currents (due to inductance effects maybe?), and the more devices you have on a single GFCI, the more chance there is that you'll get a temporary imbalance that's big enough to trip the GFCI. But maybe that was incorrect or old information...

In any case though another reason is so that if a device plugged into one socket has a ground fault, it doesn't take out the whole circuit, and you can immediately identify the device where there's a problem.

A final (not very good!) reason is as a visual reminder as to which sockets are GFCI protected and which are not. Without that, once the walls are sealed up, you have to trust whoever wired up the circuit that GFCI protection is in place (though I guess you can always test with a GFCI socket tester).

At the end of the day, I guess it's an extravagance with small benefits, but a fairly small one on the scale of things...

Cheers,

Simon
 
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Old 07-06-07, 09:42 PM
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In response to Winnie's comment about multiwire circuits and not using the receptacle to splice the neutral connections - does that also apply to the hot connections? So, everything has to be pigtailed in multiwire circuits?

Cheers,

Simon
 
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Old 07-07-07, 05:59 AM
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You are wrong in thinking that the GFCI will trip easier if there are several receptacles daisy chained on the load side. This is a common misconception. Perhaps it was true at one point in history, but it is not true now.

The other reason you mention I agree with, but only to a point. GFCI protected receptacles are supposed to be marked indicating same. However, this marking (usually a small label) is easily and often removed for aesthetics.

My preference, when possible, is to use a single GFCI to protect the receptacles in a particular room or location. I prefer not to use a single GFCI when the receptacles are not in the same room or not close together.
 
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Old 07-07-07, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by syperk View Post
In response to Winnie's comment about multiwire circuits and not using the receptacle to splice the neutral connections - does that also apply to the hot connections? So, everything has to be pigtailed in multiwire circuits?

Cheers,

Simon

No, just the neutrals...Why? If a hot connection comes loose, you have no juice at that device, but if a neutral comes loose, other devices on the MWC can potentially wind up with 240V...I'm probably not explaining the concept well, but hopefully Winnie or someone will detail further/better.
 
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