3 plug and switch box to GFCI 2 plug/1 switch

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Old 01-12-10, 07:34 PM
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3 plug and switch box to GFCI 2 plug/1 switch

I moved into an older home and am trying to upgrade and update a lot of things including the electrical. I'm fairly knowledgable about new wiring but changing some of the existing wiring still has me stumped at times!

Currently next to the kitchen sink is a two gang box that has a regular double outlet receptacle on one side and a switch/outlet combo receptacle on the other side. I'd like to take both of these out and replace them with a GFCI double outlet on one side and a single switch on the other. I need some guidance on the wiring.

The current wiring is as follows: Romex 12g Black, White and Ground comes into the box. Black and White are attached to the top of the double outlet. The ground goes to the screw in the back of the box, then to the double outlet. All three of these wires are wrapped around the screws on the double outlet (i.e. no wire nuts) and continue on to the switch/outlet combo next to it.

Leaving the box (and presumably continuing on to the disposal) is a white wire from the bottom of the double outlet receptacle and a black wire from the bottom of the switch/outlet combo receptacle.

Can someone give me a wire by wire description on how to use wire in a GFCI double outlet receptacle and a switch that controls the disposal?

Thanks so much for your help!
--Peggy in Western NY
 
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Old 01-12-10, 08:35 PM
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Eloquent!

That is the word which comes to mind when I was reading your writing! That is the best written description of wiring I have ever read! You are an excellent communicator.

Anyway what I would do is connect the black and white to the GFCI "line" connections.

Then from the same terminals on the GFCI* connect a white to the garbage disposal white.

Then connect a black from the same GFCI black to one switch connection. And the other switch connection to the garbage disposal black.

Then connect a 6 inch piece of 12 gauge ground wire to the switch ground connection, connect a 6 inch piece of 12 gauge ground wire to the GFCI ground connection.

Then twist together with pliers the ground wires from the outlet, switch, power romex, and garbage disposal romex. And tightly twist on a wire nut. (Leave that ground wire on the screw to the box of course.)

*Manufacturers of GFCI's make them differently. Some come with two holes in the back for the black "line", two for the black "load", two for the white "line", and two for the white "load". A total of 8 holes for the wires in the back of the GFCI. (And you tighten the screws on the sides to secure the wires.)

Other manufacturers might just have 4 holes for wires in the back. If this is the case with your GFCI, then you would need to use "pig tails" for the black / white wires like this...
http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/mi...nnectwires.jpg
 
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Old 01-12-10, 08:42 PM
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Following is a link to a picture of a GFCI with 8 holes in the back.

Line is electricity going in.

Load is electricity going out and would be used to go to other outlets to be protected by the GFCI. You will not be using those connections.

So you would use the 4 holes where it says "LINE". 2 blacks on one side and 2 whites on the other.

The whites would go on the side which has the larger slot for a plug. This is called a neutral.

GFCI back side picture...
http://www.checkthishouse.com/wp-con...-terminals.jpg
 
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Old 01-13-10, 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill190 View Post
You are an excellent communicator.
Thank you. I just figured that the better information I gave the better answer I would get!



Originally Posted by Bill190 View Post
Manufacturers of GFCI's make them differently. Some come with two holes in the back for the black "line", two for the black "load", two for the white "line", and two for the white "load". A total of 8 holes for the wires in the back of the GFCI. (And you tighten the screws on the sides to secure the wires.)
This is the type that I bought. I've never used the "holes" on these receptacles, only the screws. Do you have a opinion as to which one is better?

Thanks so much for your detailed answer. I am perfectly clear on what to do (I hope!! lol). I'll let you know how it went after I try it tonight.

--Peggy in Western NY
 
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Old 01-13-10, 09:00 AM
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Regular cheap receptacles come with holes in the back called back stabs. On these it is best to use the screws. Your only connection is a spring tab that can loosen over time.

It is a different mechanism with most GFCIs and some expensive commercial grade receptacles. They are called back wired and there is a pressure plate that grabs the wire and holds it tightly. The screws on the side are to tighten that plate.
 
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Old 01-13-10, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill190 View Post
Then connect a 6 inch piece of 12 gauge ground wire to the switch ground connection, connect a 6 inch piece of 12 gauge ground wire to the GFCI ground connection.

Then twist together with pliers the ground wires from the outlet, switch, power romex, and garbage disposal romex. And tightly twist on a wire nut. (Leave that ground wire on the screw to the box of course.)
Well, installation went extremely well thanks to your help.. with one exception.. there was no ground wire on the romex that was headed from the box to the garbage disposal.

Since there was no slack in the wire, I was not able to determine if there never was a ground wire in the original wire. It did look like older type wire but not as old as some of the cloth-clad stuff I've found.

Based on some of the strange stuff I've seen around here, it also wouldn't surprise me if I were to eventually find that the ground had been cut out of the wire that was pulled into the box, but there was really no evidence of that.

I have plans within the year to replace the disposal and will probably re-wire with proper romex at that time. Will I be safe without that ground in the meantime?
 
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Old 01-13-10, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by PeggyG View Post
I have plans within the year to replace the disposal and will probably re-wire with proper romex at that time. Will I be safe without that ground in the meantime?
As long as the GD is downstream from the GFCI, it should be sufficiently safe. However most all GD manufacturers require that the appliance be installed on a grounded circuit, so the installation is incorrect. Code requires that appliances must be installed per manufacturer instructions to be compliant.

I recommend this repair be completed sooner rather than later, simply because the GD is mounted to a metal sink full of water that you put your hands in....makes sense it should be grounded properly even with the GFCI.
 
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Old 01-14-10, 06:14 AM
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Your disposal should also not be on the same circuit as the countertop receptacles. Also GFI protection is not called fro by the Code, but I agree with Ben that it is good in your situation with the ungrounded wiring.
 
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