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Old 01-04-2010, 01:54 PM   #1
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15 AMP GFCI and breaker panel


2 questions,
We were at the hardware store buying a GFCI outlet for the basement bathroom. We wanted the tamper resisitant outlet with a nightlight. It only came in a 15 AMP. I thought that on a 12 gauge wire, protected by a 20 AMP breaker I would need a 20 AMP GFCI, but the employee at the store told us a 15 AMP GFCI would be fine. Is this correct? Any issues with tripping the breaker with a hair-dryer, etc?

While succesfully connecting a new circuit to a new breaker in the panel, the ground/ neutral bus seemed to be almost maxed out. I have 3 more wires to connect and not enough empty slots/screws. Can I add my grounds and neutral wires from the new circuits to existing wires making sure to keep the grounds and neutrals on different screws?

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Old 01-04-2010, 02:02 PM   #2
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15 AMP GFCI and breaker panel


To cover your first question.
Article 210.21 of the NEC reads at 210.21(B)(1)

A single receptacle installed on an individual branch circuit shall have an ampere rating not less than that of the branch circuit.

There are 2 exceptions but one applies to portable motors 1/3 hp or less.
The other applies to arc welders.

Now 210.21(B)(2) Total Cord-and-Plug Connected Load. Where connected to a branch circuit supplying two or more receptacles or outlets, a receptacle shall not supply a total cord-and-plug-connected load in excess of the maximum specified in Table 210.21(B)(2).

Which states that
circuit rating-----Rec rating--------Max Load
(Amps)---------(Amps)-----------(Amps)

15 or 20------------15--------------12
20---------------20--------------16
30---------------30--------------24


Now 210.21(B)(3) Tells us

Receptacle Ratings. Where connected to a branch circuit supplying two or more receptacles or outlets, receptacle ratings shall conform to the values listed in Table 210.21(B)(3), or where larger than 50 amperes, the receptacle
rating shall not be less than the branch-circuit rating.

There are two exceptions.
#1 applies to arc welders
#2 applies to electric discharge lighting

Table 210.21(B)(3) Receptacle Ratings for Various Size Circuits

Circuit Rating-------------------Receptacle Rating
(Amperes)----------------------(Amperes)

15-----------------------------Not over 15
20-----------------------------15 or 20
30-------------------------------30
40-----------------------------40 or 50
50-------------------------------50

Your Gfci would equate to 2 Rec. The reason they are called a duplex.

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Old 01-04-2010, 02:07 PM   #3
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15 AMP GFCI and breaker panel


For your second question.
You may double the grounds. However the code does not allow you to double the grounded conductors(neutrals).
There should be a place for you to add a ground bar.
If you do add the ground bar make sure you only add grounding conductors to it. The case of the panel is not allowed to carry current for your grounded conductors(neutrals).
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Old 01-04-2010, 05:47 PM   #4
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15 AMP GFCI and breaker panel


Thanks codeone for the help. So if I understand correctly,
I can add a 15 amp GFCI (duplex outlet w/ nightlight) to the 20 amp circuit which is powering the bath GFCIs upstairs. The 3 GFCI bath outlets upstairs all read CLASS A GFCI 20 AMP 2P 125V 60HZ / 15A RECEPT.)

And I shouldn't have to add a new grounding bar in the panel since I have 3 available screws on the neutral/ grounding bar and I'm adding 3 more circuits, should be just enough for the grounded conductors from the new circuits and I can double the grounds to the grounds of existing circuits.

3rd question, I should be able to protect the outlets in the basement which are powered by a 15 AMP circuit by making the first outlet a GFCI outelet, according to the table above, a 15 AMP GFCI would be OK, correct?
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Old 01-04-2010, 06:49 PM   #5
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15 AMP GFCI and breaker panel


Yes 15a GFCI is 20a pass thru...as are most (if not all) 15a outlets

NOTE: You want power going to EACH GFCI
You do not want to feed a 2nd GFCI off the LOAD side of the 1st GFCI

Yes, you can protect the entire basement circuit IF the 1st outlet in the circuit is a GFCI
The rest are then connected off the LOAD side fo the GFCI
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Old 01-04-2010, 07:08 PM   #6
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15 AMP GFCI and breaker panel


Quote:
Originally Posted by 8roty View Post
Thanks codeone for the help. So if I understand correctly,
I can add a 15 amp GFCI (duplex outlet w/ nightlight) to the 20 amp circuit which is powering the bath GFCIs upstairs. The 3 GFCI bath outlets upstairs all read CLASS A GFCI 20 AMP 2P 125V 60HZ / 15A RECEPT.)
Yes this is correct. As long as the circuit only has bathroom recs on it.
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Old 01-04-2010, 07:10 PM   #7
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15 AMP GFCI and breaker panel


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Originally Posted by 8roty View Post
3rd question, I should be able to protect the outlets in the basement which are powered by a 15 AMP circuit by making the first outlet a GFCI outelet, according to the table above, a 15 AMP GFCI would be OK, correct?
Yes As Scuba Dave said..

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