GFCI questions

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Old 08-21-20, 01:06 AM
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GFCI questions

I moved to a house built in the 90's, if it matters. A circuit has 4 receptacles, 2 interior and 2 exterior. Both interiors are GFCI type. Both exteriors are the weather protection type, but not placed inside a panel. Recently, after a heavy storm, GFCI was tripped. I lost power to the frig in the garage. I would like to avoid it in the future.

1. Do I need to use GFCI because of the exterior receptacles?
2. Does GFCI affect only downstream outlets?
3. Assuming yes to 2, is there a way to tell if one outlet is upstream of another in the same circuit?
4. What about exterior security lights? Do they need GFCI?

Thank you.
 

Last edited by paker; 08-21-20 at 01:23 AM.
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Old 08-21-20, 05:41 AM
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Hi, one way to tell if a receptacle is up stream is to remove a receptacle and remove one set of conductors and see what goes out, one set will be HOT the other will be to the next receptacle in the circuit.
Geo
 
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Old 08-21-20, 06:44 AM
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Yes, a GFCI outlet will only protect that outlet and downstream outlets (because they are tied to the load side of the GFCI outlet).

And you can narrow down the farthest upstream outlet by figuring the likely cable path from the panel feeding the circuit. Then remove one set of conductors as @Geochurchi suggests and see if all other devices on the circuit are de-energized.
 
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Old 08-21-20, 06:46 AM
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1. yes
2. It depends on how it is wired.
3. press the test button on the GFCI and see which other receptacle also go off.
4.Light do not need to be GFCI.

A GFCI has two sets of terminals, LINE and LOAD. The LINE is the connection to the incoming power. The LOAD is the connection to any other devices you want this GFCI to also protect. What you can do is rewire the GFCI to only use the LINE connections and replace the normal receptacles that were connected to the LOAD with GFCI receptacle. That way only the GFCI with the problem will trip.
 
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Old 08-21-20, 10:36 AM
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Thank you for answering all my questions. I will move gfc receptacles to ends of the circuit (after testing) so that I will not lose power to the garage refrigerator.

I have a related question. I am in the process of figuring out which circuit breaker controls which lights and outlets. Is there a better way to do this without flipping individual circuit breakers? Can I inject a waveform to a receptacle or switch and detect all devices and lines connected to that circuit?
 
  #6  
Old 08-21-20, 10:52 AM
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I have a related question. I am in the process of figuring out which circuit breaker controls which lights and outlets. Is there a better way to do this without flipping individual circuit breakers?
There are fancier (such as Klein) versions of this tool, but as a DIY'er, I opted for this less expensive version (since once you have your house mapped out, there isn't much use for the tool for a DIY'er):
https://www.harborfreight.com/circui...ive-96934.html

Sure beats flipping breakers. For standard light sockets, you can get a cheap light socket to 3-prong plug adapter; then plug the transmitter into the adapter.

Curious to hear how the pros do it.
 
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Old 08-21-20, 11:51 AM
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Curious to hear how the pros do it.
The same way you do it.
A radio in a receptacle to identify a breaker controlling a certain area and then a non contact tester.
Those breaker locators also work to a certain extent.
 
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Old 08-21-20, 11:55 AM
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Thank yok. Will buy the tester.

EDIT: Does the tester (circuit detective) work with gfc receptacle? Can I plug the injector to a gfc receptacle and detect the corresponding circuit breaker?
 
  #9  
Old 08-21-20, 01:55 PM
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All receptacles in a garage are supposed to be GFCI.
 
 

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