Installing new GFCI outlets

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  #1  
Old 04-25-16, 06:30 PM
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Installing new GFCI outlets

I was just reading another thread on GFCI outlets & I think I saw/read.... you only need one (1) GFCI outlet on a circuit.

Now hold on a second... we are about to start updates in our home & we are planning to upgrade EVERY outlet in our 1070's home to GFCI 20 amp outlets... EVERY outlet. Yes it is a $450 - $500 upgrade but its what we wanted to do. (And just as a note, some with USB ports/outlets.)

So, are you electrical guys saying that I dont need to upgrade EVERY outlet in the house to GFCI?
Are you guys saying I only need to upgrade one outlet per circuit/breaker.
Are you saying that when I flip a breaker, I only need to upgrade one GFCI on that circuit that is now off?
 
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Old 04-25-16, 06:51 PM
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A GFCI outlet in the first position on circuit can protect the other outlets down stream. But why do you want all outlets GFCI protected?
 
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Old 04-25-16, 07:55 PM
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Pattenp is correct. You only need 1 GFCI per circuit. By installing it in the first outlet box you can protect the rest using the load terminals of the GFCI. That challenge sometimes is finding the first outlet box which is why many people just install GFCI breakers in the electrical panel, although they are much more expensive.

Another thing to watch out for is many times in older homes the outlets in the kitchen are split wired. Watch for a red and black wire installed on the same device.

On another note: 2014 NEC requires if an receptacle is replaced in an area that is required to have AFCI protection, an AFCI device is required to be installed. "Lucky" for you they now make GFCI/AFCI devices.
 
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Old 04-26-16, 04:54 AM
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pattenp:
Why? Because my understanding was that these GFCI outlets intent was to protect the item plugged into it as well as the circuit itself. So, I assumed that I needed a GFCI outlet to protect anything I would plug into it. Apparently I am wrong.

Tolyn:
If its supposed to be installed as the first outlet on the circuit, is there a way that I, as a layperson who knows less than nothing about electricity, can figure out which is the first outlet on the circuit? Or should I just get my electrician out there to find out for me? I can turn off a breaker & change outlets, but I certainly ain't no electrician.
Another question I have is, I am assuming GFCI outlets wire up exactly as the old standard outlets. As I take the wires off the old outlet, just wire it back the same way to the GFCI outlet... correct?

Secondly, just as I thought I had a basic understanding of GFCI, now you tell me there are AFCI outlets for the kitchen??????

Since we are planning to change out all the light switches as well, are there any special type switches I need to be aware of, or are switches still "just switches"?
 
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Old 04-26-16, 06:37 AM
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You are wrong with your understanding of GFCI outlets. They protect people from electrical shock. They aren't for protecting equipment. AFCI's are for protecting circuits from arcing from bad connections and damaged wiring. You need to do some more research to learn what GFCI and AFCI do and where they are required. Contact your local building official.
 
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Old 04-26-16, 06:49 AM
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It's a bit of a hunting expedition to identify the first device on the circuit, but can easily be done with some common sense and a simple tester. First identify all the devices on the circuit, then the one closest to the electrical panel is USUALLY the first on the circuit -- electricians don't like to waste wire. You can also get some hints if you have a basement, crawlspace or attic and can see the path the cables run.

Once you think you have found the first device, remove it from the circuit and leave the wires sticking out of the box. Turn the power back on and test all of the other devices for power. If they're all dead, congratulations you found the first device. If some still have power, one of those devices is actually the first.
 
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Old 04-26-16, 03:29 PM
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Ok that helps........... Thanks
 
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Old 04-26-16, 05:06 PM
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we are about to start updates in our home & we are planning to upgrade EVERY outlet in our 1070's home to GFCI 20 amp outlets
Why 20 amp outlets? What do you have in your house with a 20 amp plug?
 
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Old 04-26-16, 05:34 PM
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Why NOT a 20 amp outlet? While I am replacing, why not put them there. If I need it, its there.

Am I missing something here too? Is there a reason why I shouldn't?
 
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Old 04-26-16, 05:46 PM
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Why NOT a 20 amp outlet? While I am replacing, why not put them there. If I need it, its there.

Am I missing something here too? Is there a reason why I shouldn't?
It's a waste of money. Unless you are planning on installing a commercial copy machine or other commercial machinery in your home you'll never need them. 20 amp receptacles cannot be used on 15 amp circuits either, do you have any 15 amp circuits? I cannot even think of anyone I know who has a need for a 20 amp receptacle in their home.
 
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Old 04-26-16, 06:14 PM
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Even a 15 amp gfi is rated for 20 amp feed through. Save your money and use a 15 amp device.
 
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Old 04-27-16, 09:11 AM
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I phrase this as a question rather than a statement, because I am not sure if it is completely accurate. It does relate to the OP's question on a 20amp circuit...

You can run a 20amp branch circuit using 12ga wire and a 20amp circuit breaker. Then, just install standard "15amp" receptacles. This will provide a 20amp circuit without the additional cost of unnecessary 20amp receptacles.

It is my understanding that standard 15a receptacles are rated for 15a per "plug" - one or more 15a duplex receptacles is acceptable on a 20a circuit.

Of course working with 12g wire is more expensive and a pain in the neck, but this should provide the solution the OP is looking for without the issues associated with unecessary 20a receptacles.

At least that's how my electrician explained it to me (my state is still on the 2008 code). I'm wide open to correction if I didn't understand it correctly.
 
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Old 04-27-16, 11:45 AM
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jrm, that is correct............
 
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Old 04-27-16, 06:20 PM
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Of course working with 12g wire is more expensive and a pain in the neck
Sure 12 AWG wire is a little more expensive, but I never thought of it as difficult to work with. I suppose it could just be what you are used to.
 
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Old 04-27-16, 08:08 PM
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True... I guess I should have phrased it as 14 AWG wire is easier to work with. It is lighter, bends easier and is easier to snake. Plus, you can use it on the "push in" connections on 15a receptacles. The 12 AWG doesn't fit in those holes.
 
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Old 04-27-16, 08:24 PM
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Plus, you can use it on the "push in" connections on 15a receptacles
You must be new here. We never say use the holes in back. They are less reliable then the screws and one of the first things we suspect when a receptacle is dead.
 
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