GFI Outlets


Old 06-21-02, 12:45 PM
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GFI Outlets

I would like to replace the existing standard outlets above my kitchen countertop. I would like to use GFI outlets. Should each outlet be GFI, or just the first (or last) one in the series?
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Old 06-21-02, 12:57 PM
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Depends on if they're truely in series or not -- if they're pigtailed then they're (essentially) in parallel and you'll either have to GFCI all of them or remove the pigtails.

If they are in series then a single GFCI is just fine, as long as you know which outlet is the first outlet, and you're sure they're grounded properly. GFCI with no ground is no protection at all!

You may want to consider simply replacing the breaker with a GFCI breaker, if there is one made for your brand and style of panel. Not all have them -- I have a 20 year old Square D main panel and they no longer make GFCI breakers for it (a Sq-D engineer told me that this older style panel wasn't sufficiently compliant for GFCI breakers... shrug). A GFCI breaker will last much longer than an outlet will, but it may not be as convienent to test or reset.
Old 06-21-02, 01:42 PM
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Receptacle outlets are never installed in series. GFCIs do not require an equipment ground wire to function. The replacement of 2 wire receptacles with GFCIs in locations where a ground wire is not present is clearly permitted by 406.3(D).
Old 06-21-02, 02:25 PM
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I support everything Don said. No need to remove any pigtails, and the GFCI receptacle will protect you from ground faults perfectly fine with or without a grounding connection.

Normally you need only replace the first receptacle on each circuit (if you need help in figuring out which one is "first", post back). But if your kitchen is wired with a multiwire circuit, then special considerations apply. If you take out that first receptacle and find that there are any red wires in there, then stop immediately and post back for more information.
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