GFCI Receptacle


Old 10-04-07, 07:59 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2
GFCI Receptacle

I have a home that was built in 1972 so GFCI outlets where never used anywhere in the home.

Just repainted the bathroom and decided to replace the old brownish colored receptacle with a GFCI outlet.

When I opened up the receptacle I discovered what the packaging said I didn't want to find. Six wires (3 black and 3 white not counting the ground wires.)

The only things in the bathroom are a light switch, one receptacle, and the light. It appears they brought the line from the box into the top of the receptacle box, then one line going to the light switch, and the other line going to light fixture.

The question is, can I still add the GFCI receptacle and if yes, do I have to buy a special one that will take the four wires from the light switch and the light fixture?

Thanks for any suggestions you can give me.
Sponsored Links
Old 10-04-07, 08:34 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Your problem is probably going to be space in the box. From a wiring point of view, it is easy to deal with this, but space is a problem.

Once you find out which pair of wires is the supply pair (by testing them for voltage), you can connect this pair to the LINE side. You can then use wire nuts and pigtails to connect both of the other pairs to the LOAD side, but it will be very crowded. You may need to install a larger box.

Note that, depending on what is powered by the load pairs, it's possible that you might not want them GFCI protected. The solution is the same, but the pigtails will attach to the LINE side.

If you can find a GFCI with mutiple sets of connections on either the LINE or LOAD side, it will eliminate the need for wire nuts and pigtails.
Old 10-04-07, 08:36 PM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: North of Boston, MA.
Posts: 2,113
Good news!

You only need to buy a "Goezinta" and a ....

Sorry my silly side came out.

A typical GFCI rec will be fine. You will however need to identify each cable in the box, then each conductor.

The power feed (from breaker) goes to the "line" side of the GFCI. Now we need a better description of "then one line going to the light switch, and the other line going to light fixture."

Be precise. Are these all in the same box? A different location? ETC. This matters.

Pretty simple, but if not clear could be troublesome.
Old 10-04-07, 09:24 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2
Yes they are all in the same box.

Think of a "T". The feed line is coming in from the top of the box and connects to the top screws of the current receptacle.

There is a line going out the left side of the box and it goes to the light switch.

There is another line going out the right side of the box up to the light fixture.

I pretty much figured it could be done the way John suggested but wasn't sure if this would be the most desirable configuration.
Old 10-04-07, 09:42 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: NE Wis / Paris France{ In France for now }
Posts: 4,808
is this repectale and switch box is 2 gang like switch and the repctale in one box ??

if so you may have some room to do this and this repectale is the only one in the bathroom ?

if so you just hook up the GFCI on line side you may end up makeing a pigtail this is the best methold to do this and put far less strain when you put it back in the box

but Before you remove the exsting repectale make sure you make the note of the connections to advoid some confuseing later [ you will thank this later ][ and make sure you have the power off for safety reason as well ]

for your home that was build in 1972 i am pretty much sure that the bathroom circuit was wired with 14 gauge wire [ 15 amp breaker ] unless they ran with #12 in there [ 20 amp circuit ] with the #12 it will be might tighter and stiffer with this.

a little trick to do this way when you make the pig tail after you get the pigtail done unscrew the toggle switch off the box but do not remove the wires [ leave that part alone unless you want to change the color of the switch itself ]

make a pigtail about 8-9 inch long and get proper sized wire nuts [ useally will be red wire nut size ] after you get the wirenutted done make sure they are tight no loose wires at all then what you do is push the wirenuts go behind the toggle swtich area this way you will have little more room with the GFCI because the toggle switch dont take much room [ with modern switch ] once you get the GFCI in first and take a quick peek behind to make sure there is no pitched wire or anything can short it out then go ahead install the switch back in the place then turn on the power it should work this way

Merci, Marc
Old 10-05-07, 03:43 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 32,795
Won't some GFCIs accept two sets of wires on each side? That would eliminate pig-tailing or maybe I'm not understanding.
Old 10-05-07, 04:31 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Back wire receptacles accept two wires per connector. These are connectors where the screw tightens a small plate against a piece of copper.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes