gfi replacement, six wires, newbie

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Old 10-24-16, 06:22 PM
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gfi replacement, six wires, newbie

Hi, first post for me. I come to this forum with a question about replacing a 20-amp gfi outlet in a bedroom. There is at least one other outlet wired to this one. Three black and three white wires connect to the old outlet. As it is, I don't know how I'd go about determining which if any are grounds. Can anyone lend a hand describing how to determine what wires do what? Is it possible that the wires to the upper terminals come from the panel and wires to the lower terminals come from two additional separate outlets?

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Last edited by jimpea; 10-24-16 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 10-24-16, 07:03 PM
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a question about replacing a 20-amp gfi outlet in a bedroom.
The pictured receptacle does not appear to be GFCI. There is no requirement to use one in a bedroom nor any requirement to use a 20amp receptacle even if the breaker is 20 amps if it.*
I don't know how I'd go about determining which if any are grounds.
Grounds are green or bare. I see none in the picture. The box could be grounded in it is wired with metal conduit. Old style BX with no bonding strip though is not considered a reliable ground
Is it possible that the wires to the upper terminals come from the panel and wires to the lower terminals come from two additional separate outlets?
To determine that disconnect the wires and using a multimeter, preferably analog, measure between the black and white of each cable. (A non contact tester won't work.)

Why do you think the receptacle needs replacing or are you replacing it with a GFCI receptacle because you need to plug in a three prong plug?

*So long as there are two places to plug in a 15 amp receptacle can be used on a 20 amp circuit. A duplex receptacle meets that requirement.
 
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Old 10-24-16, 07:28 PM
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Thanks a ton for your reply. You are correct: I am replacing it only so I can use a three-prong plug. I understand that with a 20-amp circuit I can use a 15-amp receptacle, but I had read that if I planned to run a couple lights, a computer monitor, cable box and laptop from a power strip that it was better to use a 20-amp receptacle. Is this accurate?

Would you just replace this receptacle with a duplex instead of using a GFI? If so, would you pigtail the wires that led to other receptacles or wire it as it is? Would you add a ground wire?
 

Last edited by jimpea; 10-24-16 at 07:45 PM.
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Old 10-24-16, 08:17 PM
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I had read that if I planned to run a couple lights, a computer monitor, cable box and laptop from a power strip that it was better to use a 20-amp receptacle. Is this accurate?
No. You only need a 20 amp receptacle if you have something with a 20 amp plug like some antique Xerox machines . The guts of a 20 amp and a 15 amp receptacle are the same. Only the face is different. Both are 20 amp pass through.
Would you add a ground wire?
If you do it will have to either come from the nearest correctly grounded device or you breaker panel depending on local code. Easiest is to use a GFCI receptacle but you won't have a ground and things like surge protectors won't protect from surges.
 
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