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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    18

    Default GFI outlets on same circuit

    Hi,
    I'm replacing some old outlets in my kitchen. Several of the outlets are on the same circuit. Should I put a GFCI in place of each outlet on the circuit, or is that overkill? I've heard that you only need one GFCI on a particular circuit to be protected.

    Thanks!

    Dave

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    731

    Default Re: GFI outlets on same circuit

    Quote Originally Posted by Dmurr33 View Post
    Hi,
    I'm replacing some old outlets in my kitchen. Several of the outlets are on the same circuit. Should I put a GFCI in place of each outlet on the circuit, or is that overkill? I've heard that you only need one GFCI on a particular circuit to be protected.

    Thanks!

    Dave
    Depends on how you install the device, to protect only its face (and the loads connected to it) or if you protect the load side of the circuit. It is important to note the I in GFCI stands for Interupter, that is to open the path (interupt its path). The installation can be made to interupt the path to the face of the combination device only should the device detect fault conditions, or both to interupt the path to the face of the device and to interupt (or open) the path the load side of the circuit.

    Terms to investigate LINE and LOAD. Pigtailing or parallel wiring.

    If you are unfamiliar with tracing a branch circuit or small appliance circuit, electrical wiring in general, parallel wiring versus series parallel wiring, personal safety, the use of testing equipment, etc. I suggest you hire someone who is. It is important to know which side of the circuit is FROM the electrical panel (power from the panel to the circuit or upstream versus downstream) and which side is power onward.

    Most combination devices (such as a combination GFCI and receptacle) come with instructions and specifications which discuss this very issue (protecting load side or downstream side of the circuit - but will not explain how to trace the circuit).

    Overkill to have them in series (more than one device protecting same load).

    Sometimes it is a design decision to have one GFCI device upstream installed to only protect its face and onward power unprotected/unaffected, possibly later onward power then being protected by a device downstream that is installed to protect the load side as well. Example, a difficult to reach position or one not in the same room or is hidden such as in a pantry, closet, appliance garage might be upstream but only protecting its face (or serving a device which may nusiance trip or should activity downstream on the circuit trip it, it might be difficult to locate) so it does not protect load side of the circuit, then remaining circuit is protected by a second (or third, etc.) combination GFCI and receptacle device which is installed to protect both its face and load side of the circuit exposed above the countertop or wherever.

    You might see this configuration employed more often with multipurpose circuits such as those supplying inside lights and/or non-gfci protected receptacles and outside lights and outside receptacles - the GFCI receptacles may be wired to only protect face of the receptacles and not load side of the circuit so the lights and other devices will still operate if the device trips.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    731

    Default Re: GFI outlets on same circuit

    P.S. you should be familiar with and able to identify if you have a multi-wire circuit in this kitchen before you begin (because you won't be able to use this type of device if you do), and if your present duplex receptacles have split yokes and are servced by more than one branch circuit, appliance circuit, or multipurpose circuit. It is also important to know if you are replacing older two-blade receptacles or older grounded (three bladed) receptacles, and if two-bladed if they have different size blade slots; and if your wiring system is a properly and sufficiently grounded and bonded one.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,557

    Default Re: GFI outlets on same circuit

    Quote Originally Posted by Dmurr33 View Post
    Hi,
    I'm replacing some old outlets in my kitchen. Several of the outlets are on the same circuit. Should I put a GFCI in place of each outlet on the circuit, or is that overkill? I've heard that you only need one GFCI on a particular circuit to be protected.

    Thanks!

    Dave
    If the outlets are wired so that the power goes to one outlet and wires then go to the next outlet and from it to the next, etc. (called daisy chaining) and you determine which cable is the power source to the first receptacle connect it to the line leads on the on the GFCI and the other wires to the load leads on the GFCI, then use regular receptacles for the other outlets all would be protected.

    However if the receptacles are feed by separate drops from a junction box you would have to use a GFCI at each outlet.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: GFI outlets on same circuit

    Quote Originally Posted by JLMCDANIEL View Post
    If the outlets are wired so that the power goes to one outlet and wires then go to the next outlet and from it to the next, etc. (called daisy chaining) and you determine which cable is the power source to the first receptacle connect it to the line leads on the on the GFCI and the other wires to the load leads on the GFCI, then use regular receptacles for the other outlets all would be protected.

    However if the receptacles are feed by separate drops from a junction box you would have to use a GFCI at each outlet.
    Jack
    First underlined section of quote: wiring receptacles load THROUGH is NOT called daisy chaining. Daisy Chaining is wiring loads in series the receptacle yoke device provides the face loads in parallel to the branch circuit.

    Second underlined section of quote: that is not entirely correct and is in fact is mostly incorrect as it is phrased.

    Disagree completely with the entirety of the quoted post as it is phrased presently as it is mostly and nearly completely incorrect and very misleading.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,356

    Default Re: GFI outlets on same circuit

    Just put a GFI breaker on the circuit going to the kitchen. Then you don't have to worry about the way the outlets are wired. As I recall, GFI breakers are about double the cost of an outlet-style GFI.

    You should NOT put a GFI on the refrigerator or freezer.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    6,480

    Default Re: GFI outlets on same circuit

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue RidgeParkway View Post
    First underlined section of quote: wiring receptacles load THROUGH is NOT called daisy chaining. Daisy Chaining is wiring loads in series the receptacle yoke device provides the face loads in parallel to the branch circuit.

    Second underlined section of quote: that is not entirely correct and is in fact is mostly incorrect as it is phrased.

    Disagree completely with the entirety of the quoted post as it is phrased presently as it is mostly and nearly completely incorrect and very misleading.
    As usual another confusing, misleading, and inaccurate post by the resident know-it-all. Call it what you will any typical outlet circuit is wired from the panel to one receptacle box then on to the next, which is what Jack was saying, and you were very well aware of. To protect that series of outlets the first outlet in that series must be located, then it is wired exactly as Jack suggests.

    There is a very old and very wise adage, if you don't have anything positive to add (or say ) DON'T!
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
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    1,356

    Default Re: GFI outlets on same circuit

    "Daisy chaining" is ALWAYS understood by ELECTRICIANS as running wires from one outlet box to the next. Nearly nothing is ever wired "in series" because if it was it wouldn't work.

    In a true "series" circuit, the hot connects to the "hot" side of the first device, from the "neutral" of the first device to the "hot" of the next device, and so on, then from the "neutral" of the last device to back to the control panel.

    In home wiring, only switches are wired in series, such that they interrupt the "hot" side of the circuit. A GFI (which is really just a monitored switch) is wired in a "double series" kind of configuration -- it is placed inline with BOTH the "hot" and "neutral." It works by measuring the current on both lines; if there's an imbalance, it trips. (It helps if you think of a GFI as just the switch portion, ignoring the outlets on its face, which are wired in parallel with all downstream outlets.) All other devices are wired in parallel.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: GFI outlets on same circuit

    Daisy Chaining can also be understood by electricians as being a wiring error it refers to in-series installation within a circuit, a real electrician has a concept of a device's circutry and how that effects the path of the circuit.

    However since the original poster is obviously not an electrician, and none of you are, it is a moot argument. A commonly made by DIYers who wish to control multiple light fixtures by a single switch where they wire them like christmas lights, in series not in parallel.

    GFCI combination devices can be installed to protect the load circuit of the device AND the load side of the circuit, or to protect the load circuit of the device and NOT protect the load side of the CIRCUIT. Both are correct ways to install the device, depending on the intention of the installer.
    Last edited by Blue RidgeParkway; 01-05-2009 at 11:37 AM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: GFI outlets on same circuit

    testasdf test test

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