Unfinished basement GFCI won't fit in box?

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  #1  
Old 02-21-08, 07:09 AM
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Unfinished basement GFCI won't fit in box?

Greetings all, this is my first post so go easy on me!

Yesterday I started working on running a new circuit in my basement (unfinished poured concrete walls) and I'm not much of a DIYer but it was going really well and looked really nice as well--it looked "professional"--and for me that was a great feeling.

Well, I used 1/2" EMT conduit with various connectors and such to go into the boxes and then a right angle sweep pipe in the corner which went ot long 10' runs along the long wall in the basement. I used 12/2 NM cable with the proper adapter where it came down from the ceiling into the EMT. All was right with the world.

So I ended up with 5 electrical boxes with plenty of cable hanging out of each one. These boxes were just wired in a straight line with no lights or anything like that.

The boxes I screwed to the wall were Handy Boxes 4"x2 1/8"x1 7/8" because I only was putting on outlet in each box and they reminded me of the outlets I had had in my parent's house in hte unfinished basement. Here is a link to the kind of box I mounted to the walls:

http://electrical.hardwarestore.com/...ox-238329.aspx

So I knew that GFCI was required at least first in run so I went to the first box and started working on the outlet and I realized much to my horror that there was no way in the world that a GFCI outlet was going to fit in that box! And certainly not with 6" of wire inside the box (which seems to be what a lot of websites were saying to "make sure you leave in the box").

Now I did read that maybe I could use a GFCI 20amp breaker (and then just go with regular outlets since they are not as deep as GFCI outlets) but even that seems like it would be totally smushed in there.

So did I just blow it and totally use the wrong box? Is there anything I can do so that I don't have to "uninstall" this setup? Are there "deeper" boxes i could have used that I could possible retrofit into there without taking down all the conduit running between the boxes and into the joists?

Thanks for any help/advice you can give me!

-john
 
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Old 02-21-08, 07:12 AM
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Jusr replace the boxes with "Deep" boxes.
 
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Old 02-21-08, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by zachh1020 View Post
Jusr replace the boxes with "Deep" boxes.
So this would be like the handy box I used just like 4" deep or something? And it would have the knockouts in the same place so i could just reconnect my offset couplers?
 
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Old 02-21-08, 07:27 AM
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You installed boxes too small for what you are trying to do.

Boxes are rated in their cubic inch capacity. Conductors also count as 2 conductor allowances.

Ex. 2 12/2 cables + 1 receptacle

ea #12=2 conductors
device = 2 conductors
plus 1 ground
7* 2.25= 15.75 cubic inch minimum

You could change your boxes to these and add a raised plaster ring or a raised cover for your devices.
http://www.tradeslang.com/FindSlang.asp?Find=1900+BOX
 
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Old 02-21-08, 07:57 AM
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You could use a 2 1/8in deep 4" square handy box with this...http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...808&lpage=none That cover bumps it another 1/2". The 4" square box gives extra room for wiring.
 
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Old 02-21-08, 08:20 AM
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Simply because the math gives me a migraine....A basic rule of thumb....

Buy the biggest box you can find that will fit in the space you have. 99 % of the time it will work out fine, the other 1 % can be made up with neatness and common sense.
 
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Old 02-21-08, 08:41 AM
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I'd find a place between your main and the first receptacle to put another box, and put a GFCI there.

12 awg is really hard to work with in a tight space, you'll have to do something.
 
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Old 02-21-08, 11:26 AM
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To make it even easier you can place a single GFCI in a 2 gang box with the appropriate cover plate.
 
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Old 02-21-08, 11:37 AM
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Since that box (single gang) is already installed in the wall do you think i could just use a "handy box extender" to get that GFCI in the first one and then just stick with my other boxes on the other ones (where normal outlets will go)?

Or are the punchouts "universal"? Meaning that since I already had a single gang box installed could I add a 2 gang box and instead of connecting it (the conduit) to the middle top and middle side punchouts can I just remount the box and have the top right punchout and middle side punchouts lineup?

And then maybe throw one of those raised GFCI covers over the whole thing?
 
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Old 02-21-08, 12:09 PM
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J-Box

I think you meant that this was an "unfinished area". If so follow the advice from a previous post. Remove the single gang box and replace it with a two gang Raco deep box. Some boxes are raised where the green grounding screw goes for concrete mounting. This is a nice feature. Install your GFCI paying attention to "line and load". Bond the GFCI to the back of the box with a short piece of #14 copper wire. Use a green bonding screw in the back of the box. (machine threads) and use only a punched out one piece "Garvin" cover. The gfci mounts to the cover with screws included. Use "self grounding" receptacles on the load side. Crowded boxes put conductors under tension. This sets up a chance for energized conductors and (god forbid) a neutral from loosening.... Sounds like your trying to do a good job here. Good luck, be safe! (My post here assumes that you cannot use mud rings and standard wall plates on unfinished concrete walls.) This is true in my area.
 
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Old 02-21-08, 12:11 PM
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many of us have learned the hard way about "handy" boxes

Not really so handy. Anyway, that box won't really support even a standard recept with 12 awg in and out. Especially with your NM cable. Are we talking tapcons here? And, at $1.5 / 10' of pipe and $2 per box, you know the right thing to do here. 4" square boxes. Unfinished, poured wall. I'd rather live with a couple of small hole patches and $20 lighter wallet than deal with eternally too small boxes.
 
  #12  
Old 02-21-08, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by INDII View Post
I think you meant that this was an "unfinished area". If so follow the advice from a previous post. Remove the single gang box and replace it with a two gang Raco deep box. Some boxes are raised where the green grounding screw goes for concrete mounting. This is a nice feature. Install your GFCI paying attention to "line and load". Bond the GFCI to the back of the box with a short piece of #14 copper wire. Use a green bonding screw in the back of the box. (machine threads) and use only a punched out one piece "Garvin" cover. The gfci mounts to the cover with screws included. Use "self grounding" receptacles on the load side. Crowded boxes put conductors under tension. This sets up a chance for energized conductors and (god forbid) a neutral from loosening.... Sounds like your trying to do a good job here. Good luck, be safe! (My post here assumes that you cannot use mud rings and standard wall plates on unfinished concrete walls.) This is true in my area.
Indii, thanks for the info! But does the outlet need to be grounded to the box if the wire is 12/2 with a ground? Can I not use one of those handy adapter ground things that has a twist connector with a wire running off it with a Y shaped connector that easily goes under the grounded screw on the outlet?

EDIT: This thing: http://www.idealindustries.com/produ..._grounding.jsp

So the wire would come into the box, the white and black from the panel go onto the line connectors and the white and black running out to the next outlet go onto the Load connectors and the grounds are under a twist cap that has a green wire running from it to the ground screw on the outlet. I know that isn't "double grounding" but is that acceptable? Or do i have to *also* put a green grouding screw into the raised ground hole in the box, run a wire off that into the twist connector and then I would have three wires under the twist connector and the wire coming off the twist connector to the ground screw on the outlet?
 
  #13  
Old 06-28-12, 09:19 PM
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Cool gfci

hello this may be of some help leviton makes a smart loc pro slim gfci recepticle that is not as thick as the normal one the part number is x7599-w hope this helps out
 
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Old 06-28-12, 09:50 PM
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Wildcat, I doubt that the OP is still reading this thread.
 
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