More about GFCI Wiring
Overloaded GFI Outlet
Question:Chad, from Louisville, Kentucky asks:
Answer:My first thought is to identify the circuit that you have tapped into and find out where that circuit originates from and if there could be any problems occurring with that circuit. As for the GFCI outlet, I have experienced where GFI outlets can act like a circuit breaker if the load that is passing though is too great. GFCI outlets do not do well when they are overloaded. You have not mentioned, but it may be that the GFI outlet is rated for 15 amps and the circuit is actually a 20 amp circuit. If this is the case then installing a 20 amp rated GFI outlet may solve the problem. Dave
How Many Outlets Can Connect to the first GFCI Outlet
Question: Using the feed through method, is there a limit on either the number of downstream receptacles or the distance beyond the GFCI outlet?
Answer: You can add any reasonable number of outlets, the concern is to stay within the amperage load of the circuit, distance is not a problem as long as your under 200 feet, depending on the connected types of load placed on the circuit. Dave
Double Quad Outlets Protected by GFCI
Question:This feed through is really good, but how would I wire it if it were a quad with a GFCI in the first position to protect all 3 standard down stream outlets? I would like to put in two quads. Would it be Line in from feed to GFCI, load out to second outlet (standard - non GFCI)in same box; then wire out from this standard non-GFCI to the second quad (2x standard non-GFCI)? Do I just use short wires to connect the outlets in each quad together? Thanks, Dan
Answer: Yes Dan, It's basically the same wiring as shown except that you are wiring the LOAD side out to all your outlets and they may be connected by making jumper wires or tails from each set to one connection for the LOAD Set of wires.
The Difference between a 15 Amp and 20 Amp GFCI
Question: Rob asks: How can I tell if the GFI outlet is a 15 or 20 amp outlet? Does it say on the outlet?
Answer: Yes - the GFCI Outlet should have a label or impression which states the voltage and amperage. You will also notice that on a 20 amp GFCI Outlet the left or neutral plug opening will have both the vertical and horizontal opening for a 20 amp plug. You may notice that with some brands of 15 amp GFCI Receptacles have a 20 amp rated feed through, therefore a 15 amp GFCI receptacle may be installed on a 20 amp circuit.
GFI Outlets Feeding Other Outlets
Question: Charlie Asks: I have seen the square outlets that have the same shape as a GFI. When installing downstream outlets from a GFI should these be used? This is new construction in Indiana. Thanks Charlie.
Answer: Dave's Reply: The square design that you are referring to for the other outlets is just a different decorative design and really does not have any significance to GFCI protection that is provided by the GFI outlet. The design of the GFI outlet was adopted most likely because of the extra space that was needed for the ground fault circuit components.
Hot Tub on a GFCI Outlet Circuit
Question: I hooked a GFCI receptacle to an existing circuit and it trips every once in a while. The GFCI is rated for 20 amps and it is protecting my new 12 amp hot tub. I replaced the GFCI, but still getting occasional tripping of the GFCI! Could the new hot tub be a lemon? Steve
Answer: Keep in mind that the existing circuit rating should be identified. Check to see if the hot tub requires it's own dedicated circuit. Sharing a circuit with a hot tub could cause nuisance tripping of a GFCI outlet if the circuit is loaded up to capacity. The hot tub could be tested for possible inconsistencies, and it may help to search for feedback about the reliability of the unit as well. Dave
More about Wiring a GFCI Outlet
Learn more about Wiring a GFCI Outlet
Share Your Comment or Question
Installing One GFI for Each Bathroom
The builder at my house installed one GFCI for all 4 bathrooms, but every time 2 people use two bathrooms at once with a hair dryer, the GFCI outlet trips. Can I install 4 separate GFCI's without too much trouble?
Sure Steve, take a look at the Tailed Wiring Method for installing a separate GFCI outlet at each bathroom. This should take care of the problem.
#1 - Steve - 04/28/2014 - 14:37
GFCI in a 2 Wire System
I am putting in GFCI outlets in a two-wire system with no ground. I read that about the line and load part. So basically I put the power coming IN to the LINE on the left side and top (lets just use these for easy reasons) then the other wire going to the other plugs goes on the LOAD side (bottom and right) correct?
Yes, the LINE connections are for the Circuit Power Source, and the LOAD connections are used when supplying power to additional devices.
#2 - Ian - 11/11/2014 - 11:41
Wiring a Bathroom GFCI and Exhaust Fan
I'm trying to wire up a bathroom. I have the new power line running to a light switch with a ceiling fan light combo. It is a double switch meaning one switch is for the light and one for the exhaust fan. Then I tried to feed from this light switch to a GFCI that has a switch on top (for vanity light) and outlet on bottom and I can't get the GFCI unit to work. From this GFCI outlet I want to run to another GFCI with two outlets. What am I doing wrong?
The GFCI outlet requires the Line In and Load Out circuit wiring to be connected properly, otherwise the GFCI outlet will not function correctly.
#3 - melinda morris - 03/26/2015 - 03:20
Wiring a GFCI Outlet in the Kitchen
I want to hook up a GFCI outlet in the kitchen. Currently there are three outlets on the counter. Each have traveling legs off the load. Which outlet can I install the GFCI on? I do not see a outlet that either starts or ends with only two wires in it. THANKS
#4 - Steve DeThomas - 04/16/2015 - 16:14
Water Will Trip a GFCI
Comment on hot tub GFCI. If there is any leakage around the seal for the heating element, The conductivity of the water WILL cause the GFCI to trip off.
Rick, Maintenance Supervisor
Thank You Rick, Great Information.
#5 - Rick - 04/28/2015 - 15:36
Thanks for Your Comments!