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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Default Installing GFIC new outlets for old wiring

    Very old home. Have 15 amper circuits.

    First issue is the upstairs bathroom. The circuit for the light and the shaver outlet in the light is shared with the lights in the hall and the bottom of the stair. Want to replace the bathroom light and move to ceiling on wall switch add exaust fan from switch on same place and add regular outlet.

    Can I use a GFIC outlet for 15 amps with no equipment ground label and not effect the lights or the exaust fan?

    They tried to sell me a 20 amper outlet the one that takes the funny plugs at Lowes. I did not think that was right since the circuit is only 15 ampers. I was thinking to use a 15 amper GFIC so to match the circuit. I do not want to add outlet just replace the existing one and move location slightly straight down closer to the vanity. Nothing else is on this circuit except the current light (takes four bulbs) that want to replace which has a shaver outlet built in now and a bathroom exaust fan want to have in the ceiling. The hall lights on this circuit are two places upstairs hall and one at the bottom of the stairs first floor. the top stairs and bottom are on 3-way switches and the other hall light has a chain but if the chain is on it is turned on or off by the switches. The only other thing on this circuit is a bare light in the attic hatch which is only controlled by a chain there are no switches that effect it.

    If 15 amper GFIC outlet is the right one, which 15 amper to use? some say 15 amper feed and some say 20 amper feed, I am thinking I should use the 15 amper feed is that right?

    Kitchen circuit.

    want to make the kitchen counter circuit with 3-hole outlets GFIC. The present outlets are 2-hole but are the type that the slits are not the same size so it takes regular 2-pin plugs not just toaster plugs.

    Do I have to use GFIC outlets for every location? which outlets should I use 15 amper or 20 amper with the crocked hole? the circuits to the counters are 15 ampers. The Guy at the store said it was better to use the 20 amper GFICS one for each outlet but I thought that mnight not be right because it is a 15 amper circuit and the inspector said we do not have to rewire yet if we just change the outlets.

    How do I wire the GFICS in the kitchen if every one is the GFIC style? The refrigerator outlet is on one of these circuits and we have adapter for the three prong plug to the two slot outlet which is not good the inspector said. How do we not have the circuit with the refirgerator pop if we add the GFIC?

    The kitchen circuits and the upstairs bathroom and hall circuit are greenfeld wired according to the inspector report.

    Everything looks to be 14 wire except the wire in the light to the shaver outlet.

    We know that we have to use metal boxes for the moved locations for the bathroom switches and the double outlet. The inspector said it was important to keep the old boxes and put covers on them and not to patch over the wall covers just to put blank covers there.

    Please advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    731

    Angry Re: Installing GFIC new outlets for old wiring

    Also could you explain please what it means to whip a new box? When the inspector was describing the rules to install new box for the bathroom outlet he said to whip the new boxes from the one now behind the top of the wall with the light and shaver outlet to be covered with blank to the two new ones, one on the ceiling for new light and fan and one down to the vanity new GFIC outlet. What does whip the box mean? He must have explained it at the time because I wrote this down after in my notes but I don't remember what it ment. The Lowes guy had no idea what I was talking about.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Denver, CO
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    666

    Default Re: Installing GFIC new outlets for old wiring

    I’ll try a stab at answering your questions. Maybe not in order but I’ll hit the high points.

    I post per the NEC so if you have local codes that are different……… Well, then you do.

    The NEC only allows 15A rated receptacles on 15A circuits, so that answers all questions about what GFCI’s to buy and install.

    The NEC will allow 15 or 20A rated receptacles on 20A circuits so long as there’s more than one. That is why you are seeing 15A rated devices that have a 20A pass through rating. You are fine buying those devices.

    If your kitchen receptacles are feeding through to other recepts in the kitchen you have the option of using the line and load terms on the first device (A GFCI), protect the downstream devices from the load side of the GFCI and then replace the old two prong duplexes with grounding type, three prong, receptacles and note on the cover plates that they are not grounded.

    Since the fridge receptacle is probably only used for the fridge I’d leave it as a two prong device. However, I doubt you would get much nuisance tripping if it were GFCI protected. That’s between you and the inspector I guess.

    As far as a whip goes………. He more than likely just means a short length of cable between the old and new box.

    Yup, do not bury the splice boxes and use a blank plate instead.

    Protecting the bath light and fan with GFCI is optional. Although, I don’t understand the “Shaver Plug” you mentioned. Is that on the ceiling fixture you have now? If so and if you’re going to use it then I’d protect the fixture with GFCI.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    731

    Default Re: Installing GFIC new outlets for old wiring

    thank you for answers.

    the answer about the 15 amper helped most. the whip answer sounds like it to. i think something about the whippers had to be short because i wrote we must use metal boxes and more greenfeld not plastic cable for the bathroom to match. need fatter box where the old wall switch is now and whips from new wall box to new ceiling light and fan

    sorry i didn't explain right.

    bathroom shaver outlet.

    we have a very old electric medicine cabinet mounted on the wall now. box in the wall near the ceiling behind the light part of the cabinet. there is a turn knob on the cabinet near top side that will turn off all the bulbs or lit 2 middle or lit 2 outside or lit all 4. single shaver outlet is bilt in to the cabinet next to the turn knob. one wall switch on the wall above the side of the vanity next to the door. wall switch cuts off power to the cabinet knob and shaver outlet.

    we want to remove electric cabinet from the wall over the sink and put a flat mirror there that came with the vanity. install light and fan on ceiling and put two switches and a double GFIC outlet where the wall switch is now.

    we have to keep the wall box behind the elctric cabinet because it is where the circuit enters the bathroom. if we change it we have to make a new bathroom only circuit 20 ampers. have to change main to make new circuit to much money to do that now.

    kitchen refregerator.

    we have a converter plug for the three prong refregerator cord to plug into the two slot plug style outlet behind it. the inspector says no good must have a grounded type outlet there not safe to use the cord plug adapter. the greenfeld metal box is grounded.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: Installing GFIC new outlets for old wiring

    mabe the whips to the ceiling had to be short becase the ceiling fan and light have to be close to the wall switch and door to be far away from the toilet and tub shower.

    i looked at my notes and the sketch the inspector made again. he drew circles around the tub and the toilet showing where the ceiling fan and light and the outlet can not be then wrote: less than 6 feet in length.

    dose that make sense?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Lakeland ,MN
    Posts
    356

    Default Re: Installing GFIC new outlets for old wiring

    Kent answered all your questions as I would have. Good call kent.
    I just suggest one more thing make sure all you connections are tight. And make sure you put your wires on the line side of the new GFI outlet. Read the instructions in the box it explains how a GFI is to be wired. If it is wired wrong you will not be protected. Kent also stated that if there is no ground present that it must be marked as no ground. those stickers are typically found in the new GFI box. Good luck

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