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

How to wire a GFCI outlet

  1. Huff747

    Huff747 Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Thanks.

    Perhaps I'll just avoid that outlet. I had another outlet about 4 feet away that only had 1 wire with black, white, ground that I have already converted to GFCI. I was just hoping to be able to convert and use both but maybe I'll just act like this one doesn't exist unless somebody else chimes in with a solution. I have no clue how to track down where the wire may go, everything around it, the floors above and below are finished and I checked a couple other outlets in the room and none of those have contained red. And the only switches currently in this room control the ceiling fan and light separately.

    I kind of suspect at one point it was switched as the notes on the breaker box for the entire house are very detailed and seem to indicate that several outlets throughout the house are switched but since we purchased the house there isn't a single outlet we've found that actually is switched. All switches are accounted for with ceiling lights and fans and all outlets (unless there's one we've not used in the 4 years) have always been on.
     

  2. Brew12

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

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    With electricity, I prefer not to guess so please don't take this as a call to action.

    What I expect is that there was an attempt made to have the outlet turned on and off with the ceiling fan light. Either it wasn't done correctly and never worked or they decided they no longer wanted the light to be switched and didn't properly switch it back.
     
  3. Ramasule

    Ramasule Well-Known Member

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    0 residential.
    Did you forget that I am a protection specialist? I'm in the middle of testing a 411L.

    In fact, I almost threw up in my mouth when I looked at the current residential code, as I want to reno my basement. Combination arc fault / ground fault breakers?? I can't run my tesla coil on those!
     
  4. Brew12

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

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    Doh!!! Sorry!
     
  5. Ramasule

    Ramasule Well-Known Member

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    Thats just a split receptacle, two 15 amp circuits. Common in kitchens and the like. You have 240 wired to that outlet technically, that's why the tab is broken. If you want GFCI on both circuits you will require 2 receptacles.
     
  6. Ramasule

    Ramasule Well-Known Member

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  7. Huff747

    Huff747 Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Thanks for the info and the links. Flipping one breaker kills power to both top and bottom outlet so is it two circuits? I guess I can wire it up like the diagram and give it a shot. May do a test run before I cut the wall for a 2 gang box. Or I may stick with avoiding that outlet altogether for this.

    Thanks again.
     
  8. Ramasule

    Ramasule Well-Known Member

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    Flipping A breaker kills power to top or bottom. The two breakers should be stacked ontop of each other. You will need to flick 2 tabs (they may be tied together)
     
  9. Brew12

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

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    I don't think that is what he has. I think this is a failed attempt to make one of them switchable
     
  10. Huff747

    Huff747 Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Yeah, I don't know what I have. I flip one breaker and neither outlet works. The breaker directly above this one in the box is a separate room. I have one of those 2 tab breakers in my box so I assure you this isn't one of the two tab breakers, just one breaker that appears to be killing power to both outlets. So I think that supports my avoid this outlet because I have no clue what's actually going on concept.
     
  11. Ramasule

    Ramasule Well-Known Member

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    Take a picture please of your panel box please, and point to the breaker.
     
  12. Ramasule

    Ramasule Well-Known Member

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    You don't need a 3wire conductor to make a switched outlet, you would see 2 x 2wire.

    If you have a multimeter look at my profile picture, that is what I want you to do.

    It's called the @Paul B 208 volt test.
     
  13. Brew12

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

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    Per code you would need a 3 wire since you are required to carry the neutral. The typical way would be to use the black to carry the hot to the switch, then use the red to get the hot from the switch back to the receptacle. I just can't figure out why they would tie the reds together. That part makes no sense to me.
     
  14. Ramasule

    Ramasule Well-Known Member

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    No, you would pigtail the hot up to switch leg 1, connect the white to switch leg 2 and wrap it with a layer of black tape to identify it as current carrying wire, and bring that wire down to the other side of the outlet.

    Connection as follows
    Outlet, Broken Tab Brass
    Home Run Black -> Outlet Bottom Brass and Switch Wire Black
    Home Run White -> Outlet Silver (Non Broken Tab)
    Switch Run Black -> Switch Leg 1
    Switch Run White(Tape black) -> Switch Leg 2
    Outlet Top Bras -> Switch Run White(Tape black)
     
  15. Huff747

    Huff747 Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I will do that when I get back. Since my last message I've left town for yearly Labor Day camping trip. Be back late Sunday. Thanks again for all the info.
     
  16. Huff747

    Huff747 Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I owed a few pictures of my panel so here they are:

    Full panel shot:
    IMG_4139.JPG

    Closer shot pointing to the breaker in question:
    IMG_4140.JPG

    And for what it's worth the description that was printed for the panel. I tried to write office as what they seem to be referring to as a Living Room is an office:
    IMG_4141.JPG
     
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  17. Brew12

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

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    Well, that confirms we are dealing with an attempt to have switched outlets. I can't help but wonder if the fact they don't work is related to the electrician spelling "lite" instead of light! :confused:
     
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  18. jimsreef17

    jimsreef17 Well-Known Member

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    That is a half switched outlet. If you do g have a switch controlling it, if has probably been spliced constant in the box where your switch is for the ceiling light/fan. You can remove the red wire between the wirenut and receptacle. Replace the receptacle with one that doesn't have the tab removed or a GFI whatever you want to do. You can also bring that red wire from the receptacle and splice it with the blacks if you want to keep that receptacle.
     
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  19. Ramasule

    Ramasule Well-Known Member

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    Don't hate the player @Brew12 hate the game!

    Neutrals
    "
    When wiring lighting circuits supplied by a grounded general-purpose branch circuit, the 2011 NEC now requires you to provide a neutral conductor at nearly every switch point [404.2(C)]. The purpose for this is to complete a circuit path for electronic lighting control devices, such as occupancy sensors. For many such devices, you must provide standby voltage and current at the switch.
    "

    Changed in 2011 lol.
     
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