Wiring 2 gang box with 2 duplex gfci

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Old 12-03-16, 02:36 PM
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Wiring 2 gang box with 2 duplex gfci

I am trying to figure out how to wire some outlets. I am replacing existing outlets, and have wired them exactly the same way they were, but they won't reset. But, the guy that owned this house before me did everything wrong, so I don't know if wiring them the same as before is even correct. I can't find any diagrams for this configuration online, and was hoping someone could explain what I am doing wrong.

So, I have a 2 gang box with 2 duplex gfci outlets in it. One of them is always on, and the other is controlled by a switch.

I have tried to draw a diagram of this. The white wires are drawn in pink, and the black boxes are wire nuts. The outlet on the left is supposed to be always on, and the one on the right is switched.

In this configuration, the always on one works fine, but the switched one won't reset.
Thanks in advance for any help.

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Old 12-03-16, 03:05 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Most GFI receptacles..... but not all..... will stay in the set position when power is turned off.

Try turning the switch on and then pushing the reset button.
Now turn switch off and see if it stays in set mode.

Your wiring is correct.
 
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Old 12-03-16, 03:23 PM
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Try Pete's suggestion first. But if that doesn't work, you really don't need a second GFCI receptacle for the switched one. You could use a standard receptacle, powering it off the load terminals of the GFCI. You would run the hot lead from the load terminal to the switch and run the neutral from the switched receptacle to the neutral load terminal on the GFCI. The return line from the switch would go to the hot terminal of the switched receptacle. The switched receptacle will be protected by the one GFCI.
 
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Old 12-03-16, 03:41 PM
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''The white wires are drawn in pink,''


maybe I am looking at that image wrong... but I see a pink (Neutral) wire going to that switch... switches aren't suppose to have neutral wires, are they???


First GFCI that is always on is wired correctly, but you have to remove that neutral from the switch and pigtail it to the silver screw at the LINE on the second GFCI that is controlled by the switch. Then another hot wire needs to be wired from your ON position at the switch to the brass screw in LINE on the second GFCI.
 
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Old 12-03-16, 03:45 PM
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Or thing is you drawn that pink wire that is going to the switch with wrong color. But as long as in the actual installation it is pigtailed with the hot wires like it is shown in the image it will function as a hot wire and can be wired to the switch.

So my bad, your wiring in the draw it's okay.
 
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Old 12-03-16, 04:26 PM
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The switched one will not even go into set position whether the switch is on or off, but the always on one will stay in set position even if the breaker is off.

So, since I can't get it to the set position at all, I can't try this.
 
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Old 12-03-16, 04:28 PM
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It will NOT go to set position unless there is power. So.... it looks like there is no power to it.

In your diagram.... you used a red wire to the switch. Did you connect that to the hot wire on the always live GFI ? If you connected it to white.... nothing will happen.
 
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Old 12-03-16, 04:30 PM
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I have these next to a pool, and they were both gfci before, so I just thought that's the way it should be. But I was wondering why they both were gfci, because I thought that only the first outlet in a circuit needed to be gfci.

So, maybe that is the easy solution here is to just not use gfci on the switched outlet if you think that is safe?
 
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Old 12-03-16, 04:43 PM
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In the manual, it says that this outlet is designed to not set if there is an error in the wiring, even if it has power.

I assumed that since there is a piece of romex going from the outlet junction box to the switch junction box, that for ease, the white wire in the romex was used as a black wire. Both of the wires that go the switch are really black wires regardless of their actual color, right?

The hot wire from the breaker goes into a wire nut with the hot wire for the always on recepticle and the wire that goes to the switch (the white wire, that is really black).

Also, in the manual, they are talking about wiring gfci outlets together. And they have the hot wire going in on the Line screw and then out on the Load screw to the Line screw of the 2nd one. Maybe this is my problem that I used only the line screws? I don't understand their diagram, so I added a photo of it.

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Old 12-03-16, 04:55 PM
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Now it is clear that despite your drawing wiring is correct, your actual wiring in the installation is not.

Please if you can post an image of the wiring of the actual installation.


Answering your question about if is safe to use a non GFCI outlet replacing the one controlled by the switch? It will be safe AS LONG as then you wire the Switch from the LOAD terminals of the first always on GFCI, then the Switch and the second non GFCI outlet will both be protected by the first GFCI LOAD, not LINE.

If you wire a non GFCI outlet from the LINE of the first GFCI then that outlet will NOT be protected and it will be dangerous and a code violation due that it's close to the pool.
 
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Old 12-03-16, 06:12 PM
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Wiring

changed post..............................................
 
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Old 12-03-16, 06:22 PM
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I will try to post a photo of it in the morning, since it is dark now. The box is pretty crowded, so I don't know you will be able to see much. But I am absolutely sure that the wiring is as it is in the drawing.

I would prefer to just keep the gfci in there if I can.

But if I put the normal outlet in there instead, the black wire comes in from the breaker into the line terminal of the gfci, and then goes out on the load terminal (hot side) to the switch directly, rather than to the wire nut as it is now?

If that is true, why does it now need to be that way if the switched gfci is kept? It seems like that's what they were saying in the manual.

Thanks
Eric
 
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Old 12-03-16, 07:47 PM
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Lightbulb

This is the correct way to wire the specific setup you now have using two GFCI, just replace the light bulb at the end of the diagram by your second GFCI controlled by the switch, remember that in this case the wires that comes from the switch will be connected to the LINE terminals in the second GFCI:

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Now, this is the correct way to wire the other setup, in this case you will have an always ON GFCI, the wires from the source will be wired to LINE terminals of the GFCI but then in this case you will wire from the LOAD terminals of the GFCI to the switch, and then finally from the switch to the non GFCI outlet as is usually wired, that way both the switch and the outlet will be GFCI protected by the LOAD of the first GFCI, in this diagram just add the switch after the GFCI and before the regular outlet:

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Old 12-03-16, 08:24 PM
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You are not reading what is written.

If you put a GFI at A..... the load side of A protects load side receptacle B and C. It does not say that B and C are GFI receptacles. In this case.... they are not. The diagram is misleading but they are assuming some knowledge on the installers part.

You do not want a GFI protected receptacle feeding another GFI receptacle.

If you wired the receptacles as your diagram illustrates.... you'd have this and a working circuit.

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Grounds are not shown in any of our diagrams but are required and are assumed to be connected properly.
 
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Old 12-04-16, 06:09 AM
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Oh, ok. That makes sense.

Although, the wiring in your diagram (and the first one posted by Jos) are the same as what I currently have set up.

I wonder if I got a bad Gfci outlet? Maybe I should swap their positions, or wire up a non-gfci in place of the switched one? Would that tell us anything?
 
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Old 12-04-16, 07:06 AM
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A white wire from a premade cable (such as Romex) and connected to a switch terminal or to colored wires needs to be marked with a band of colored (not green) tape or stain at both ends.

White wires of #6 or thinner gauge hand pulled through conduit may not be used for any purpose other than neutrals.
 
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Old 12-04-16, 08:08 AM
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To test if the non-working GFCI unit is defective, swap it with the currently working GFCI unit.

Alternatively (for those with a lot of experience only) get some wires with alligator clips at the ends. Radio Shack seels them. Turn off breaker, clip one wire from the line side hot of the working GFCI to the line side hot of the suspect GFCI, connect another wire from the line side neutral of the working GFCI to the line side neutral of the suspect GFCI. Then turn the power back on and press the reset button on the suspect GFCI.
 
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Old 12-04-16, 08:52 AM
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"Maybe I should swap their positions, or wire up a non-gfci in place of the switched one? Would that tell us anything?"

... you can indeed place a non-GFCI in place of the switched one AS LONG as you then wire the wire that goes to the switch wires coming from the first GFCI to the LOAD terminals instead of LINE in the GFCI, otherwise that non-GFCI will not be protected.


Just curious: Did you check for Voltage (using a Multimeter not a non contact voltage tester) at the switch turned on? If not please check Voltage at the switch position on terminal to see if that switch is working properly... maybe the problem is the switch not completing the circuit when turned on, therefore the switched GFCI nor anything that you put after the switch will work.

Also this is very common sense but that is a single pole switch with on/off position right? Verify that when is turned on the toggle will be up therefore it is in that upper terminal that you will wire for your switched GFCI, if the switch is wired in a way that the toggle position on is down or that the wire that goes to your switched GFCI is wired at the off position terminal, then you have to actually ''turn off, toggle to off position'' that switch in order to send voltage to the switched GFCI. However, I am assuming you already checked for all these basic things, right?
 
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Old 12-04-16, 10:47 AM
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The switch just breaks the hot. It does not matter which screw is hot or switched.
 
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Old 12-04-16, 11:02 AM
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So, maybe that is the easy solution here is to just not use gfci on the switched outlet if you think that is safe?
No. The 2nd outlet needs to be a GFCI or a GFCI protected receptacle (from load).
IF there is only a black and white wire in the switch box, your wiring should work as is.

You said the box is crowded and I would look for any wires touching. You might even want to take everything apart and redo the connections.
 
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Old 12-09-16, 02:19 PM
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Sorry, I stopped getting email notifications, so I didn't know anyone had posted anything new. But I came back because I figured out what the answer was, which had nothing to do with wiring.

I had decided to just replace the switched outlet with a non-gfci to see how that would work, but it didn't work either, which baffled me. I have one of those wet-location switch covers over the switch box (where you have a big plastic switch that covers the actual switch inside). When I took that off, everything worked fine. So, I discovered that there is this plastic U-shaped spacer inside keeping the switch from reaching the full On position. Once I took that out, everything was working fine.

I had gotten the cover as a warranty part from Bell-Hubbell, and it didn't have any instructions, so I didn't know to take that out.

But thank you everyone for your help!
 
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Old 12-09-16, 03:53 PM
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Mystery solved ! Thanks for letting us know the outcome.
 
 

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