GFCI Outlet Installation

All these replies are irrelevant because that post said:


GFCIs are not conventional wall receptacles.
Takoma Park Volunteer Fire Department Postmaster wrote:

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Duh!
BUT if you spent more for your "conventional" outlets, you will get a variation of the "clamp" on the GFCI.
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The conventional receptacle already has a screw that should be used and a push in connection that should not be used. How does a GFCI solve problems created by wires pushed into the back of a conventional wall receptacle? So you recommend replacing all wall receptacles with GFCIs? Your point is ....?
John Gilmer wrote:

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w_tom wrote:

I don't think all the replies were based on the above material you quoted. It was this line(quoted below) that you wrote that may have engendered them - it is the reason I responded, at any rate. "That was not a reference to GFCIs that can only connect using screws."
Your above statement is not wrong - but it may be misunderstood. The point being that with these GFCI's the wires can connect via screw tightened *clamps* as well as by wrapping around the screws. The better practice with the newer GFCI is to use the holes in the back. The clamp, not the screw, holds the wire, and it does a better job of using the force that the screw exerts - it "bites" the wire better. It uses the screws allright, but does not require wrapping the wire around the screw.
Ed

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Those newer GFCIs with wires in the back still required a screw to be tightened. I appreciate how some could have misconstrued what I had posted. The point about wiring conventional outlets was made as a sidebar; not intended directly as part of the original question.
I never saw a GFCI that clamped a wire without tightening a screw.
snipped-for-privacy@bellatlantic.net wrote:

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wrote:

Might want to give information about the 'down stream', 'load' receptacles. Are any in moist areas, like outside, basement, etc?
hth,
tom @ www.CarFleaMarket.com
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David wrote:

It is ok. Cap it, and see what doesn't work. There has to be *something* downstream (ie electricaly farther away from the voltage source) because you have wires going out as well as coming in. You might find that a seldom used receptacle - perhaps in the garage or outdoors is dead. When you find something that doesn't work in the future, remember the capped wires. When you call the electrician in to fix it, tell him about the bathroom GFCI & capped wires. That will reduce the repair time.
Ed

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Great... Thanks. I capped the load wires and put the receptacle assembly back together. It works fine. With my multimeter, I checked the voltage of all the outlets and switches that are on the same circuit line with the GFCI receptacle (the receptacles that power off with the GFCI receptacle when I flip the breaker switch). Are these the receptacles that I need to check? There were 7 outlets and 2 switches that I tested. I think I got them all. They all tested at about 120 volts. I'm not sure what else I could/should test. I'd like to get a wiring diagram of my town house. That way maybe I could tell for sure if I missed anything. Does anyone know how I can get one? Would a home wiring diagram be helpful in this case?
Dave

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David wrote:

Yes! Home wiring diagrams don't exist until you make one - and you can't make one that includes the wires that are capped off. The closest you'll get - until you make your own - is looking at the labeling that is supposed to be at your service panel.
But all is not lost - in making your own diagram, you are likely to find out where those capped wires go. To make a diagram: draw each room on its own piece of paper. Mark *EVERY* outlet. An "outlet" is any place where a device can use electricity from you house wiringt, not just receptacles. Mark the diagram with every light, switch, receptacle and hard-wired appliance. Don't forget to mark the thermostat and doorbell transformers - you'll need to search for them. You'll also need to make a diagram that shows *ALL* outdoor outlets. With a helper at the panel, go from room to room with your diagrams, and mark the breaker number that kills the power to each and every outlet. Use a 3 lite tester to test for power at the receptacles. It is much easier and better than a multimeter for this task.
In the process, you should find something that does not work. If you do, it is highly probable that it is connected to the wires that are capped. When you are done with the diagrams, put them on the PC and print them. Then make one more - a diagram of your service panel showing *EVERYTHING* that is connected to each breaker. Tape a clear sheet of acetate on the panel and put the diagram inside. You don't need a CAD program for this - anything that allows drawing rectangles and adding text will work - even a word processor.
The next time you have a problem, there will be no guesswork needed. It takes a few hours, but it is well worth the effort.
Ed

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Interesting.. I live in a small 2 level townhouse. There are 3 breakers (switches) labeled "lighting" in the breaker panel. One of those breakers controls the downstairs lighting, and the other 2 control the upstairs lighting. There are other breakers in the breaker panel labeled range, A/C, water, dryer, etc., and one labeled "main" that shuts everything off. I tested all of the upstairs receptacle and switches that are controlled by the same breaker as the GFCI receptacle. They all tested normal. Could a problem with a receptacle/switch controlled by one breaker cause a problem with a receptacle/switch controlled by another breaker? If yes, how might that happen? If possible, please explain it to me at the high school level. I know the basics of series/parallel circuit design, but not much more.
Thanks for all of your help (everybody),
Dave

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One answer was posted previously. This is simple point to point wiring. Nothing that requires an advanced education. But translating simple diagrams from and to text requires careful reading. Now that answer which but one example:

Wire wires from different circuits connected together will not trip conventional circuit breakers but will be detected by GFCI units.
BTW, if you have determined the circuit breaker number for each outlet, then simply write that circuit breaker number on the inside surface of each cover plate. If one need ever turn off power to fix a receptacle, then he knows immediately which breaker to cut off.
David wrote:

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Interesting. Although, I don't think any of my switches or receptacles are controlled by more than one circuit breaker. But, I'll look out for it.
Dave

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David wrote:

The following answer is in response to your question. It is not related to your problem, which right now boils down to not knowing where the capped wires go. Ok, setting that problem aside.... Ignoring bizaare events and wiring errors, there is a way for that to happen, if you have shared neutral circuits. If the neutral wire opens on a multiwire (shared neutral) circuit, then the breaker on one circuit can affect the equipment on the other circuit. The open neutral causes the two circuits to be in series. I'll try to draw a diagram of a shared neutral circuit: hot1----------equipment--+ neutral--------------------+ hot2----------eguipment--+ In the above, the current can flow from the hot, through the equipment back to the panel via the neutral. (The + signs indicate that everything is connected together.) There is an open in the neutral in the diagram below: hot1----------equipment--+ neutral-------open ------+ hot2----------eguipment--+ In this diagram, current cannot flow from the hot, through the equipment and back to the panel via the neutral. But it can flow through the equipment connected to the other hot. The effect is that the two pieces of equipment are in series, and the circuit breaker for either hot leg will affect both pieces of equipment.
Ed

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GFCI Outlet Installation Group: alt.engineering.electrical Date: Sun, Apr 3, 2005, 3:09pm From: snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (David)
I just installed a GFCI outlet in my bathroom. There are five wires that connect to the outlet, 2 line, 2 load, and a ground. When I connect the line wires to the line terminals and the ground wire to the ground terminal, everything works fine. I get power. But when I then connect the load wires to the load terminals, the reset switch keeps tripping and the power keeps shutting off. I'm not sure why this is happening. Any ideas? I don't think that there are any loads down the line from the GFCI outlet, so I'm thinking that maybe I should just cap the load wires and call it a day. Is this o.k.? Thanks for the help. Dave -----------> You know,the same darned thing happened to me Frist time, but with a gfi 20A circuit breaker., I opened a plateded old fuse box, now a splice through, I found I had 2 different circuits on the same ground (neutral white wire) the wires are covered with threads but the rubber inside is still fine....... So I made a run of 12awg white stranded for the new circuit & left the piggyback on t's won circuit and isolated it from my gfi Kithchen/Bathroom Circuit and the GFI Breaker finally ReSet.
on gfci receptacles i find it hard to connect the line to the load side (the loadside has a deeper groove), but with the mix of travelers and adjacent circuit cables, it could happen to anyone I think it's best to spice pigtails to the gfci taps/screws and attach from there , this coud be a time saver if you have 1 or 2 fed-through wires and are attaching more than 1 load.
caped load/end circuits shouldn't affect gfci performance at all, reversed condunctors? yes, somethings they're better off on the line side, like the lighting circuit in the units....
oh well back to the books.... i don't worry any more :>) i just do it }:-)
OOP; shheee't still thinking about that stranded no.6 bare neutral to ground panel screw-in-lug., no barred earth bonding };-o
oy cet
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