Discussion in 'Do It Yourself (DIY)' started by skinz78, Feb 8, 2011.

How to wire a GFCI outlet

  1. icsparks

    icsparks Well-Known Member

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    You can wire GFCI outlets down stream in a circuit but remember that if the load side of the outlet is used to feed the other outlets down stream then the first outlet that trips will kill all power to the remaining down stream outlets in the circuit. If you wire to the line side of the outlet on all of the down stream outlets then each one will be a stand alone and not trip down stream. If wired correctly the tank outlet should work no matter how it was wired upstream. push the test button on the tank outlet and it should trip. If it doesnt then you need to find another electrician because he hooked up the wire on the load side of the outlet at the tank. If you push the test button on the upstream outlet then both outlets should be dead.
     

  2. Spendley

    Spendley Well-Known Member

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    So if my outlet is a regular outlet and does not have the reset switches, the electrician was an idiot and didn't know what he was talking about?

    Full disclosure- I am also an idiot when it comes to these things :)
     
  3. Zacco

    Zacco Well-Known Member

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    Spendly. You can protect up to 10 outlets down stream of a GFI. Connected to "load" side of the actual GFI outlet. NEC code. Allow 1.8 volt amps per outlet. The outlet that your electrician pointed out is probably protect from a GFI upstream. To test the outlet in question trip the GFI's in the basement. If the outlet in question goes out or loses power and is protected by the GFI.
     
  4. Zacco

    Zacco Well-Known Member

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    Or looses power, then it is protected by a GfI.
     
  5. Spendley

    Spendley Well-Known Member

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    Okay. Thanks Z!
     
  6. .Marshall

    .Marshall Well-Known Member

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    Saving this, thanks skinz!
     
  7. sportfisha

    sportfisha Active Member

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    Great post. Thanks a lot.
     
  8. seanthecity

    seanthecity Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the post. I'm putting one in tomorrow.
     
  9. mallorieGgator

    mallorieGgator Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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  10. Greg Chapman

    Greg Chapman Member

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    Just tried to self install a GFCI myself -- and all appearances things looked ok until I switched on the room lights (same circuit). GFCI popped. I rechecked my work -- looked fine.... so instead of burning down the house called an electrician.

    Turns out two room lights down stream were the culprit. They were first-flight LED bulbs from Phillips, about 4 years old. The electrician said he sees this all the time with LED bulbs of this age. I swapped out for newer bulbs, and things worked perfectly.

    Just something to watch out for if you do it yourself.
     
  11. Thoms_here

    Thoms_here Well-Known Member

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    Thanks so much for the post! Very nice of you.
     
  12. Captain Jack

    Captain Jack Well-Known Member

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    You can splice the wires first and then pigtail power to the GFCI, that way the splice still sends power to whatever is wired and the GFCI will not affect the power to it.
     
  13. Bob Escher

    Bob Escher Bye bye freshwater R2R Supporter

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    Hmm I have a plug in one for my tank plus a ground probe

    Thanks for the post
     
  14. Joker79

    Joker79 Well-Known Member

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    Good thread!
     
  15. fabutahoun

    fabutahoun Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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  16. jason2459

    jason2459 Not a paid scientist R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Great thread. I like redundancy and as much protection against equipment failures as possible. Things like Heaters and power strips in our hobby have created more havoc then necessary with the occasional fun dip of lights into the tank...

    My standard Copy/paste on this topic:

    I would also suggest a CACFI along with GFCI

    CAFCI will help protect your house from fire
    GFCI will help protect you from electrocution

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    And a good surge protector will help protect your equipment.

    Individual one shown above. Tripplite makes some good ones. Be warned some newer surge protection devices will stop power from flowing all together once it can no longer provide surge protection. This is actually a good thing IMO for many things like computers/tv/etc but NOT a good thing, again IMO, for many other things like refrigerators, freezers, our aquariums, etc. Some will make an audible alarm when exhausted which is nice too.

    Plus a whole home. None last forever and will need replaced eventually based on how many surges and intensity of surges they've been hit by. Surges can come from outside your home, not just lightening strikes, and from inside the home.

    Eaton Ultra and SquareD hepd80 are a couple good whole home surge protectors.
    [​IMG]


    Plus having more then one circuit with life support spread across them. I have two additional circuits then what's pictured above to my main tank on the first floor with GFCI at the receptacles so its easier to reset them if tripped. Then the two shown in the picture above go to my basement sump with the GFCI at the breaker. Along with being a CAFCI. There are also AFCI breakers but don't protect against as many arc faults as a CAFCI.

    And don't get confused by combination AFCI (CAFCI). That doesn't mean it combines GFCI with it. The packaging has to specify GFCI as well to support both CAFCI and GFCI. Sometimes called dual.


    [​IMG]

    Here's some visuals
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And CAFCI protects against both of these where AFCI only parallel
    [​IMG]

    In the US the NEC will typically require a class A GFCI protection in places like a bathroom (fishtank) which trips at 6mA. Some places like commercial applications can use class C, D, or E that trip at 20mA.

    http://m.csemag.com/index.php?id=9575&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=102229&cHash=89c8746cdc4a7fd8a3cb93f1d51ba57a
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
  17. Roger Galburt

    Roger Galburt Active Member

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    You can also have a GFI breaker put in the breaker box. Does the whole circuit with one device. Need an electrician to do it but why burn down your house for a few bucks. :eek:
     
  18. Huff747

    Huff747 Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I went to replace one of my outlets in my home office and when I opened it up (after breaker was off) and I found this. 2 wires coming into th box with white, black, red, ground. And the tab has been removed which I think would make this a switched receptacle except we've lived in the house for ~4 years and this outlet is not tied to any switch, both outlets have always been on. The only 2 switches in the room are for the light and ceiling fan. Can I just remove the red wire from the wirenut to the receptacle, leave the wirenut on the pair of red wires coming in and wire the outlet with just the black, white and ground?

    Thanks for any info

    IMG_4113.JPG IMG_4111.JPG
     
  19. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    You are correct, that looks like it is wired as a half hot switched receptacle.

    Without knowing where the other ends of each wire go it is hard to say for sure. Unfortunately, I can only see the wiring in 3 of the 4 wire nuts. You have one for the Reds, Whites, and grounds. I'm guessing the 4th one is for the Blacks.

    The issue I see is that in a half hot switched receptacle, the reds should not be tied together. Normally the feed cable will use the neutral and black. On the cable to the switch, the black is tied to the feed cable and the red is tied to the switch receptacle. The black and red from this cable are then connected to the switch.

    While it is possible that the installer had other intentions in mind, such as having each receptacle on separate circuits, I can't confirm that and it definitely isn't how I would recommend doing it. It does make me say that you should be very careful in there since it may be fed by two breakers, one with power on the red the other on the black.

    I would make a concerted effort to determine where each end of that cable go and try to determine the installers intent. Sorry I can't be of more help!
     
  20. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Let's bring in @Paul B and @Ramasule since they have more residential experience. I'm an industrial guy so they may prove to be more helpful.
     
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