Replacing Standard Outlets with GFCI


Old 11-21-13, 07:10 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: TN
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Replacing Standard Outlets with GFCI

I started to replace 3 standard outlets above the counters in my kitchen with 3 GFCI outlets but am now stumped. I successfully replaced one outlet (1 Black, 1 White and 1 Ground). Easy enough...then I went on to the next one and it has 2 Black, 1 White and 3 Ground that were wire-nutted together. No matter what combination I try, I can't get the outlet to work. (I checked the reset button to make sure it wasn't tripped) In some instances, the first outlet I successfully replaced doesn't work, so I put the connections back the way I had them on outlet #2 until I figure this puzzle out.

Electricity has never been my strong suit, so please excuse the ignorance.

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Old 11-21-13, 07:28 PM
pcboss's Avatar
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If the receptacles are on the same circuit you only need one device and wire the downstream receptacles from the LOAD terminals.

You are going to need to find some means to find out which pair of wires is hot. These go to the LINE terminals. The wiring going to the downstream portion connects to the LOAD terminals.
Old 11-21-13, 07:32 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: TN
Posts: 68
Ok. I'll have to take a look at it again and see what I can figure out.

Thank you.
Old 11-21-13, 07:35 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
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You should not need to install a GFCI outlet at each outlet location. You can install one where the circuit starts and then connect the rest of the circuit on the load screws of the GFCI. The GFCI will then protect the entire circuit. This will save you money as you will need just as many outlets as you have circuits.

Find the first box where the circuits (you should have two) start and see if you can kill an entire group of outlets. The box with the two blacks is a good start.

Just as a warning: Some kitchens outlets are split wired with two circuits. Check to see if any existing outlets have the tab broken between the two hots.
Old 11-21-13, 09:14 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
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With more than one circuit (or a multiwire branch circuit) serving the various receptacles then things can get tricky. But it will alwasy work if you install a separate GFCI receptacle at each location and do not use the load terminals on any of them.

If the original receptacle works but the GFCI receptacle does not then chance are the GFCI receptacle itself is defective.

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