GFCI Receptacles Question

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  #1  
Old 01-23-02, 01:11 PM
rmelton
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GFCI Receptacles Question

Recently had a home built and in the kitchen there is a GFCI receptacle on the right of the sink but on the left side of the sink it appears to be a non GFCI receptacle. I asked the contractor about it and he told me the two were wired together and the GFCI receptacle would trip even if the non GFCI receptacle had an issue.

Does this sound correct? If so, how are they wired to acheive this?
 
  #2  
Old 01-23-02, 01:27 PM
G
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Yes if wired correctly the GFI will monitor the other recepatcle.
The Gfi works by sensing the difference in the current of the Hot and neutral conductors. When everything is working properly these currents should be equal. If anything happens to change this even by the smallest margin the GFI will instantly trip, therefore saving an accident from happening.
On the GFI receptacle there is a space for the incoming or line conductors to be wired to, also on it is a section for the downstream receptacles to be connected to so they can receive the same protection. In theroy when the GFI trips it opens the circut between itself and what is downline of it. Because the GFI is tripped do not assume there is no power there as the breaker would still be "hot" and feeding power to the GFI, the receptacle itself may be dead but the incoming wires wouldn't be.
 
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Old 01-23-02, 01:28 PM
Craftsman
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  #4  
Old 01-23-02, 02:30 PM
J
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This is a very common and accepted practice. It is also often the source of confusion. As a cost saving practice, builders use the method you mentioned where they have 1 or more normal outlets downstream of the GFIC outlet. The confusion often occurs when the GFIC outlet trips, cutting power to all the rest of the outlets in the chain. Homeowners know that they don't have power at an outlet but don't know why. Often the GFIC outlet is not even in the same room. Then the hunt must begin...looking for the outlets with the reset buttons on them. I recommend asking your contractor where the GFIC outlets are and which outlets they protect. You will probably find out that the kitchen isn't the only place you have this senerio.
 
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Old 01-23-02, 02:39 PM
rmelton
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I understand the concept now. I actually know each place they did this. Fortunately, for me, they only did this in the kitchen and two of the bathrooms - but the downstream recptacles are in the same room - should not have to hunt for them. Thanks for the replies.
 
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Old 01-23-02, 02:48 PM
M
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Your garage and outside receptacles are also required to be GFI protected. In my current house there is a "house GFI" receptacle in the basement which protects the outside receptacles. In my previous house they were protected by a GFI in the laundry room. You should probably find where the GFI protecting the outdoor recptacles are for your future reference.
 
  #7  
Old 01-23-02, 03:36 PM
J
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Spring for $6 at Home Depot and buy a GFCI receptacle tester. It will allow you to confirm that what the builder says is true, and verify that all of your receptacles are wired correctly (GFCI and not). The electrical inspector at your building department carries one, and so do professional home inspectors. This item should be in everyone's tool box.
 
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Old 01-23-02, 03:40 PM
Jxofaltrds
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John $6? Mine was around $20.
 
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Old 01-23-02, 07:24 PM
J
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Jxofaltrds,

I need to know where you bought it so I can avoid that place.

Home Depot has the standard Sperry receptacle tester (SKU #345238) for $4.98. The one that handles GFCI too (SKU #398469) is $6.97.

But maybe you have something better than that (although rmelton would be quite happy with the $6.97 one).
 
 

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