Help! With a 20 Amp gfci Receptacle With a 30 amp Breaker

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  #1  
Old 12-22-07, 12:48 PM
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Red face Help! With a 20 Amp gfci Receptacle With a 30 amp Breaker

Hello Everybody

I need advice with something on planning to do, I am thinking of connecting two 20 Amp GFCI Receptacle With a 30 Amp Breaker, can I use 30 Amp rating wire on the whole circuit? or 20 Amp rating wire then connected to the incoming 30 Amp wire from the 30 amp Breaker ? The Reason Im trying to do this I need a (2)15 Amp Power rating Receptacle, Im trying to get away with just (1) 30 Amp receptacle instead of (2) 20 Amp Breaker, because I need alot panel space, im thinking doing 10 of this combo, is this safe or im stuck to 20 Amp Breaker per 20 Amp GFCI Receptacle? By the way this is for Christmas Lighting from www.lightorama.com, I have the 30 amp Boxes that plugs 15 Amp per cord. Please Help Thank you so much.
 

Last edited by Crocifixio; 12-22-07 at 01:18 PM. Reason: wrong count
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  #2  
Old 12-22-07, 12:57 PM
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Just say no.

Your plan is very, very unsafe, and violates many electrical codes.

If you're short of panel space, you need a subpanel.

If you need more power, you may or may not need a service upgrade too. If you already have a 200-amp panel, then you're probably okay, but if you have something less, you should evaluate your capacity.
 
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Old 12-22-07, 02:51 PM
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Thanks John for the reply.

a friend of my gf is helping me do it rigth now, im just confused please explain more, logic says that a 20 Amp GFCI Receptacle can only run on a 20 Amp Breaker, but he said that it could be done. When you said violates electrical codes is it because of the 20 Amp GFCI REceptacle into 30 Amp Breaker? or because I said I need 10 of this combo? so there is no way to do this safely other than have a dedicated 20 Amp Breaker per 20 Amp GFCI Receptacle? And also this is in a subpanel already. A 100 Amp Breaker is coming from the main Panel, I did not put this it was already installed when I bought the house.
 
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Old 12-22-07, 03:19 PM
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Please Help

Logic question here If (3) 20 Amp GFCI is connected in a series, max output is only 20 Amp thru them right?

And the Lights that im trying to do turns off and on with the control box so not all of them will be on at the same time, I have 3 Boxes from http://www.lightorama.com/ that is 30 Amp each so that is a total of 90 Amp, the subpanel is free because it only send power to receptacle outside the house that is not being use at the time and im only using this new 20 amp GFCI receptacle for the holidays.

Im only needing (6) 20 Amp GFCI Receptacle rigtht now but I was thinking Ahead for next year, because 1 control box is 30 amp but with two cords so, each cord plug is 15 Amp, a total of 30 Amp per Box, and it should trip the 100 Amp Breaker if I load it with to much lights right?
 
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Old 12-22-07, 04:06 PM
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Red face Please Help! how to have enough power for Christmas Lights

Hello Everybody.

Im trying to figure whats the best way to set up a Christmas Light show power needs, I need (15) 20 Amp GFCI Receptacle for future upgrades that is going to be installed in the garage in one section, so it will next to each other.

Because I have (3) controller box for right now from http://www.lightorama.com/ that is 30 Amp each with two power cords to be plug in to the wall, each cord is 15 Amp, I am going to plug the (2) 15 Amp Cords to (2) 20 Amp GFCI Receptacle one cord to each. So I can max out if I nedeed to.

I need (6) 20 Amp GFCI Receptacle which will be connected to (6) 20 Amp Breaker for the (3) box controllers and all of this will be on a subpanel, a 100 Amp breaker is giving power to the subpanel from the main panel, the 100 amp is almost totally free except for (3) outdoor receptacle that wouldnt be use during the holidays.

Please Help what the best way of doing this monster task thank you.
 
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Old 12-22-07, 04:20 PM
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General purpose branch circuits in a residence for 120 volt loads can only be 15 or 20 amp circuits. Period. That means a 15 or 20 amp circuit breaker, with wire sized to match. Period.

This friend is no friend. He is mistaken. What he is suggesting is dangerous. It violates code and will present a real fire hazard.

For each of these devices you need two 15 amp (or 20 amp) circuits. As these are outside, you need GFCI protection.

You could run a multi-wire circuit to each location and install two GFCI receptacles side by side in a double gang box, or you could use a GFCI breaker and install a duplex receptacle (properly wired).

You have no other options.

You cannot run this with a 30 amp breaker. You cannot use any breaker larger than 20 amps.
 
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Old 12-22-07, 04:49 PM
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ouch! thanks Racraft.


Im taking the 30 Amp Breaker out replacing it with 20 Amp Breaker,??? do I need to take out the Orange Romex 30 Amp rating out or can I just plug in the 20 Amp Breaker to it?
Do I need to replace it with 12/2 wire then?

So I need (2) 20 Amp GFCI Receptacle per Controller Box, and each 20 Amp GFCI Receptacle needs to be connected to 20 Amp Breaker?

Does GFCI Trips if it gets more Amperage than its rated for or just burns? Example 20 Amp GFCI connected to 30 Amp Breaker?
 
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Old 12-22-07, 05:18 PM
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A GFCI receptacle is not concerned with how much current goes through it, only with whether or not the current on the hot wire equals (within the appropriate tolerance) the current on the neutral wire.

You can use 10 gage cable on a 20 amp circuit. Note that the "orange" color you speak of of means nothing. There is no color standard for cable and different manufacturers can use different colors. You may have trouble connecting 10 gage wire to some receptacles.

As I stated, I would run a multi-wire circuit for your application. That would be cheaper than two separate 20 amp circuits run with 12 gage wire.
 
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Old 12-22-07, 05:25 PM
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because...

the 20 amp max on a receptacle is there because the connection system is only good for 20 amps. Yes, the 30 amp wire is safe with a 30 amp breaker, but downstream is where the problem can be. The system needs to insure safe operation with someone doing typical cord connections. A 30 amp breaker upstream of Christmas lights will not trip in time to keep the puny wire from flaming, to cite just one example.
I would swap out the 10 gauge with 12 gauge.
 
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Old 12-22-07, 05:49 PM
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Crocifixio, it's serious time to reassess. The only safe way to do an electrical project is to learn first, then do. Learning as you go along with the project is not safely feasible.

I suspect you are rushing because it is only 3 days until Christmas, and you hope to use this display this year. But is it worth risking your family's safety for Christmas lights? How about giving up on plans for lights this year, and having a great -- and safe -- display next year?

The way to learn the basics is to study. The best sources of study materials are wiring books in your library and home center. You need to study about three or more to make sure you get a well-rounded education.

You cannot hope to learn all you need to know for a safe project by asking questions here. That's just not feasible. Some important piece of information is sure to be overlooked.

Please, please, please, put a higher value on the safety of your family than on this Christmas display. Put your creative energy instead into helping your kid with his erector set. Christmas will be better for it.
 
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Old 12-22-07, 08:47 PM
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Thanks guys for the info Have a Merry Christmas!
 
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Old 12-23-07, 09:39 PM
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One other option to get your show up for this Christmas...

If you really want your light show up this year, then you should probably bite the bullet and hire a licensed professional electrician (or two). It will probably cost an arm and a leg to get someone on short notice on Christmas Eve (and depending on the size of the job, even this might not be feasible given the time constraints). But it's better than you hacking together something at the last minute that will likely end in tragedy. I've witnessed this personally: a number of years ago a neighbor's home went up in flames due to Christmas lights; it was not a pretty sight (the house literally burned to the ground within a few hours).

Sometimes the best DIY solution is to simply write a check.
 
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