Two GFCI outlets in series.


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Old 10-26-07, 12:01 PM
W
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Two GFCI outlets in series.

Our county requires a GFCI service outlet to be located near the pool pump and filter. The Pool company electician installed the GFCI outlet and fed it from an existing GFCI outlet on the lani. The GFCI oulet tripped and would not relatch. I had the lahni GFCI outet replaced. It worked for one week and then the outlet started to trip. The electician replaced the GFCI oulet near the pool equipment with a standard outlet which is also GFCI because it was wired as an extension of the GFCI outlet on the lani. It seems to be working fine. The electrician mentioned that it is not a good idea to have one GFCI outlet feeding another GFCI outlet. Based on what I know about how a GFCI works, I see no reason why connecting two GFCI outlets in series wont work. Am I wrong?
 
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Old 10-26-07, 12:07 PM
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It normally works, but it's always a waste of money. If your existing GFCI is older than a few years, it is much more vulnerable to false trips. If that's the case, I recommend replacing the one you have. Perhaps you still have the one that was removed and can use it as the replacement.
 
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Old 10-26-07, 04:55 PM
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two GFCI oulets In Series

Hi John. Thanks for responding. The GFCI has not tripped since the second GFCI was replaced with a standard duplex oulet. I understand it is wired correctly but I was just curious if there is any technical reason two GFCI outlets should not be wired in series. If it is OK to wire two GFCI oulets in series then the electrician's explanation was in error and I don't understand why the first GFCI oulet kept tripping. I suspect the second GFCI oulet, which is on an outside wall may have had a dampness problem. Also the two GFCI outets were not the same brand. Don't know if that might have contributed to the problem. Anyway, the problem seems to be fixed and I am not complaining. The pool inspector came today for the final inspection. He was not happy when he noticed the service outlet by the pool equiment was not GFCI. Once I pointed out that the service outlet was fed from a GFCI oulet he seemed to be OK with it. Bill
 
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Old 10-26-07, 05:20 PM
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The receptacle near the pool, referred to as a convenience receptacle, must be GFCI protected. That means it can be a GFCI receptacle, it can be fed from the LOAD side of another GFCI receptacle, or it can be fed from a GFCI circuit breaker.

Providing two points of GFCI protection, ie the LOAD side of one GFCI feeding a second GFCI is a waste of money, as John pointed out. However, there is nothing making this illegal and it is not dangerous. The issue is that a ground fault at or after the second GFCI could trip the first GFCI, the second GFCI, or both GFCIs. If they both trip, someone may get confused when they cannot reset the second GFCI, especially if they don;t know about the first one. This is a common scenario when someone installs GFCI in a bathroom without realizing that a GFCI in the garage or basement is already protecting the bathroom.

In your case, a ground fault existed. It might have been just enough to trip an older GFCI but not enough to trip a new one. It was a good idea to remedy the situation. However, it could just as easily been remedied by making all connections on the LINE side of the first GFCI, which is what I would have done if I had already installed a GFCI at the second location.
 
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Old 10-27-07, 04:15 AM
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Two GFCI Outlets in Series

Thanks Bob. I apprecieate your response. I think I now have a better understanding of what was going on with the two GFCI outlets wired in series.

I believe the basic problem was that two different contractors were involved. The electician who wired the house was folloing local codes when he installed a GFCI receptical on the lani, which is an outside wall. The pool contractor thought he was also following code when he wired a second GFCI near the pool equipment.

At this point, I am not absolutely certain who ran the wires from the first GFCI to the pool equipment area. It might have been the electrician who wired the house. If that it the case, I guess I can understand why I ended up with two GFCI outlets in series. Both electricians thought they were following code.

I agree, a better way to go would have been for the pool electrician to make sure the second GFCI was connected to the line connections on the frist GFCI outlet.

Thanks again for taking time to respond. Bill
 
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Old 11-19-07, 06:39 PM
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gfci question for you.

My home was old, so all wires have no ground.
Now to do GFCI, can I just do it in outlet (GFCI recepticles) or in Circuit Breaker?

If in Breaker then do I need to install new ground wire?
If in receptilce, how can I install new ground wire?
 
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Old 11-20-07, 04:10 AM
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A GFCI does not need a ground wire to work. You do not have to install a ground to make a GFCI work, nor do you have to install one after a GFCI is installed.
 
 

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