Wiring a GFCI outlet

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Old 03-15-11, 11:11 PM
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Wiring a GFCI outlet

I opened up one of my GFCI outlets my electrician has wired. He connected the line cables to the LOAD side instead of the LINE side. The outlet still works. Should I change it to the LINE side or it does not matter?

Now I wish to add another outlet from this GFCI outlet. I understand I can attach a new hot wire and a new neutral wire to the LOAD side of the first GFCI outlet, but does it go to the LINE side of the SECOND outlet or the LOAD side?

One last question, the long screw that attaches a switch or an outlet to the mud ring, where can I buy these screws? These are not switch plate screws but I need some new ones. Is there a name for these screws?
 
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Old 03-16-11, 03:03 AM
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The incoming power should go to the LINE terminals. Newer GFI receptacles should not work if wired backwards like yours is.

Regular duplexes do not have a line or load.

The screws you need are 6-32x1"
 
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Old 03-16-11, 07:24 AM
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Thank you. That makes sense, so they made an error.

I also have some regular duplex outlets, they have two brass screws on one side and two silver screws on the other. If I have a GFCI outlet wired, and wish to "daisy chain" this to it, it will have the hot and neutral coming off the LOAD side of the GFCI but the hot can go into one of the two brass screws and the neutral into one of the silver ones, which one, or does it not matter?

Also, it says in the instructions to "break off the FIN". What is the purpose of the fin and does the whole metal fin go away or only the tip of it?
 
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Old 03-16-11, 05:29 PM
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Yes it matters. Black (or hot) will attach to the brass screw, and the neutral will attach to the silver screws. If you decide to daisy chain further, it is still black to black and white to white. Remember the LOAD of a GFCI incorporates the two screws opposite each other, NOT beside each other. I think you may have it mistaken. Just checking.
 
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Old 03-17-11, 11:01 PM
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What about an outlet with two brass screws on one side and two silver switches on the other side? Does it matter which one to connect to? For example this one:



and about breaking the "TAB" in between the two screws, what purpose does that serve?
 
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Old 03-18-11, 04:09 AM
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Always neutral to silver, hot to brass.

If each plug-in on the yolk is on the same breaker but used for a separate purpose such as one being always hot and the other switched then just the brass tab is broken.

If each plug-in on the yolk is on a different breaker then both brass and silver tabs are broken. All grounds are tied together and pigtailed to the grounding screw. However neutrals are not tied together and go only to their half of the receptacle.

Note receptacle posted in picture is 20a. In the US it is not normally used on residential circuits even if 20 amp breaker.
 
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Old 03-18-11, 06:32 AM
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If you are not using the receptacle for multiple circuits or switched like Ray explained above, it does not matter whether the top or bottom screws are used to make the connections. The bridge acts as a connector and joins the wires together like a wire nut.
 
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Old 03-18-11, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
Note receptacle posted in picture is 20a. In the US it is not normally used on residential circuits even if 20 amp breaker.
I have many receptacles that are like that. All my circuit breakers are 20A or higher. When you say "not normally" do you mean unusual, but not in a bad way, right? I hope.
 
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Old 03-18-11, 12:02 PM
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By the way, if an outlet like this is used.



Is this the "correct" or "typical" orientation? with the wider "blade" on the left? I am thinking it does not matter, but I have it both ways in my house and if there is a reason to make them all point the same way I would flip them.
 
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Old 03-18-11, 12:37 PM
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The code does not require a particular orientation; you can put it any way you want. In the old days (before ceiling lights) you would often see a flipped receptacle to indicate that one was controlled by a wall switch for plugging a lamp in. Wall wart transformers (cell phone charger, etc) usually fit better with the round hole down.

When you say "not normally" do you mean unusual, but not in a bad way, right? I hope.
The 20A t-slot receptacles are optional in the USA so most contractors opt not to install them because of the slightly higher cost compared to the 15A straight blade "smiley face" style.
 
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Old 03-18-11, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by MiamiCuse View Post
I have many receptacles that are like that. All my circuit breakers are 20A or higher. When you say "not normally" do you mean unusual, but not in a bad way, right? I hope.
General use circuits for lighting and receptacles are prohibited from being greater than 20 amps.
 
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Old 03-18-11, 04:14 PM
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But they should not be used on a 15a circuit.
 
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Old 03-18-11, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
But they should not be used on a 15a circuit.
OK, then I think I am ok because I only have one 15A circuit in the entire house everything is 20A or above.
 
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Old 03-19-11, 04:28 AM
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You keep mentioning "20a or above". Residential circuits for receptacles can't exceed 20 amps. The only ones you should have are things like 240volt double breakers for A/C, Range, Dryer, etc. All single breakers should be 20 or 15 amps.
 
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Old 03-19-11, 10:23 AM
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What I meant was all my single breakers are 20A for outlets, switches etc...Other than those the rest are dedicated to specific devices that needs the additional amps - air conditioner 1, air conditioner 2, outdoor BBQ heavy duty vent, kiln, dryer, range, well pump, pool pump, whole house water heater etc...

What I worry is actually the reverse. If my single breakers are all 20A, is there any risk in using a 15A outlet or switch somewhere? I may have a few of those old ones around.
 
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Old 03-19-11, 11:17 AM
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In the US a 15 amp receptacle may be used on a 20a circuit so long as there are at least two places to plug something in. A duplex receptacle meets that requirement. 15a receptacles are 20 amp pass through.

The only time you can't use a 15a receptacle on a 20a branch circuit is if it is a simplex on a dedicated circuit with only one load. (US NEC)
 
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Old 03-19-11, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
In the US a 15 amp receptacle may be used on a 20a circuit so long as there are at least two places to plug something in. A duplex receptacle meets that requirement. 15a receptacles are 20 amp pass through.

The only time you can't use a 15a receptacle on a 20a branch circuit is if it is a simplex on a dedicated circuit with only one load. (US NEC)
Thanks that helps. I have to go check to see if I have any of those. I don't think I do but I could be wrong...I am thinking I may have a dedicated 15A simplex outlet (tied to a 20A breaker) for the whirlpool bath. If I do, by changing it to a duplex (even though I will never use the other one) is OK yes?
 
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Old 03-19-11, 02:12 PM
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If I do, by changing it to a duplex (even though I will never use the other one) is OK yes?
Yes that would be ok. Note it must be GFCI protected either at the breaker, or receptacle or a dead face GFCI. I have seen timers for Whirlpools installed next to a dead face GFCI and that is an approved way.
 
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