double pole breaker and GFCI outlet

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  #1  
Old 01-22-11, 02:10 PM
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double pole breaker and GFCI outlet

I have a 20amp double-pole breaker that I ran the 12-3 into a junction box and connected to two 12/2 cables to wire separate circuits. One of the 12/2 goes to a fridge and an oven with no GFCI protection at outlets. The other 12/2 is for three kitchen outlets and I want to put a GFCI at the first outlet and then connect to the load side and make the other two GFCI protected with regular outlets. My question is the shared neutral and my understanding that all the neutrals at each outlet are to be pigtailed since the original source is a double-pole breaker. Can pigtails be used at the GFCI, or would each outlet require its own GFCI. Can I double pigtail the neutrals at the GFCI wit a pigtail to the line and a pigtail to the load? Also, with the shared neutral, if the GFCI tripped, would that cause any issue on the non-GFCI side of the circuit?
 
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Old 01-23-11, 01:19 PM
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Further research on various sites is leading me to believe I would have to use a separate GFCI outlet at each occurrence as you are not to attach to the load side of the GFCI in the scenario I have given. I would still appreciate a response as to if this is correct. Additionally, I have read that some believe the shared neutral can be problematic and cause GFCI trips. Would I be better off just rewiring back to the box with 12/2 and connecting to two new single 20amp breakers, eliminating all of these issues?
 
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Old 01-23-11, 01:42 PM
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Would I be better off just rewiring back to the box with 12/2 and connecting to two new single 20amp breakers, eliminating all of these issues?
That would be the simplest.
 
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Old 01-23-11, 01:54 PM
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I believe I understand what you are saying, but I will not answer your questions directly. Instead I will state what I think you should do. First, yes it would be better for each circuit to have it's own neutral all the way to the panel. But if the work is already done, i.e. wiring of 12/3 to a junction box, all is not lost. In this case, as I understand, each of two circuits, on opposite phases of a double pole breaker, are wired to the junction box. One will not be on GFCI, and the other will be wired to a GFCI outlet. No issue so far. For the circuit that is on GFCI, do not tie the neutrals from the line side to the neutrals on the load side. From the load side on, this is essentially a new circuit and so neutrals on that circuit are to be tied together. All outlets on the load side of the GFCI are protected by the GFCI and so additional GFCI breakers are not necessary. If the GFCI trips, the outlets on the line side of the GFCI, and on the opposite phase breaker will not be affected.
 
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Old 01-23-11, 01:58 PM
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You will be providing 2 circuits for countertop application, right? Both will be GFCI protected.
 
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Old 01-23-11, 03:17 PM
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My question is the shared neutral and my understanding that all the neutrals at each outlet are to be pigtailed since the original source is a double-pole breaker. Can pigtails be used at the GFCI, or would each outlet require its own GFCI. Can I double pigtail the neutrals at the GFCI wit a pigtail to the line and a pigtail to the load? Also, with the shared neutral, if the GFCI tripped, would that cause any issue on the non-GFCI side of the circuit?
If you keep line and load neutrals separated as you do the pigtailing (like all GFI circuits), I don't see the problem. The non-GFI circuit sharing the neutral from the junction box back to the panel shouldn't be affected.
 
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Old 01-23-11, 05:27 PM
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I'm a little confused. My question is regarding the neutral and that fact that neutrals are to be pigtailed on a multi-wire circuit (or so I understand). Because of this I don not believe I can use a GFCI on the first receptacle and then wire on the LOAD side and have the downline receptacle protected. It is my understanding I would have to pigtail at the LINE of the GFCI and then do the same installing a GFCI at the two downline receptacles.

Is your opinion it would be best to just go 12-2 back to the box on two separate 20amp breakers. My junction box is easily accessible in the basement and it would not be too difficult.
 
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Old 01-23-11, 07:00 PM
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You can't use a GFCI before the split. After the split you may connect to the line side and use GFCIs for each receptacle connecting each new one to the the line side of the previous one. However after the split you can also use regular receptacles and wire from the load side. That is because the GFCI after the split only "sees" differences between the neutral and hot after the split.

Neutrals are pigtailed before the split because loss of neutral could cause high voltage across the receptacle. However after the split loss of the neutral only results in a dead circuit so they don't need to be pigtailed.
 
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Old 01-24-11, 02:34 PM
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So you are saying that downline from the junction box, I would wire as if I were only on a single circuit 12-2 cable which is what it is at this point. In other words, I can connect from the source to the line side of the GFCI at the first receptacle and then connect to the load side and run to two downline regular receptacles which will then be GFCI protected? I just thought neutral connections on a multi-wire branch could not be connected through the receptacle and had to be pigtailed. I didn't understand how I could pigtail at the GFCI.
 
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Old 01-24-11, 06:00 PM
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So you are saying that downline from the junction box, I would wire as if I were only on a single circuit 12-2 cable which is what it is at this point. In other words, I can connect from the source to the line side of the GFCI at the first receptacle and then connect to the load side and run to two downline regular receptacles which will then be GFCI protected?
Yes, after you split the circuit at the junction box, wire the rest of each branch like a normal 12-2 circuit and forget about the fact the multi-wire circuit has been split.
 
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