GFI outlet or Circuit?

Old 03-19-01, 07:12 AM
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I'm closing on a new home this week & I have a question about GFI's & if they way they are set up in my home is OK:

In each of the bathrooms there is one GFI outlet (with the test/reset buttons) and one that looks like a regular outlet. I asked about this because I'm used to seeing both with the standard GFI outlet. The builder told me that they are both on the same circuit and that the regular outlet will behave the same way as the GFI outlet if exposed to water, etc. Is this right? Or should they all be GFI outlets on the wall? This is in both of the bathrooms and in the kitchen (2 of 5 wall outlets are GFI w/ the test/reset buttons). Can you help me out?
Old 03-19-01, 09:25 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Fayetteville, NY, USA
Posts: 1,052
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A GFCI receptacle can fully protect a regular receptacle if the second is wired from the GFCI correctly. The GFCI has two sets of screw terminals, much like a regular recep, only they are labeled as "Line" and "Load". Power coming into the GFCI is connected to the "Line" screws, and if a regular receptacle is connected to the "Load" screws on the GFCI that regular receptacle is protected. If a ground fault, short circuit, etc. occurs at the regular one, the GFCI will sense it and trip out, killing power to itself and the second receptacle.

This is a completely normal set up, it's legal, and it works effectively. This is done to save money on individual GFCIs, which cost about $8 each as opposed to regular ones, the higher quality types costing about $1.50 each. To determine if the regular receptacle is connected this way, simply trip the reset button and see if the power to the regular one has gone out. If so, you're protected at the regular one.

Hope that helps.


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