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Old 05-17-2012, 11:46 AM   #1
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3 wire romex to electrical panel and GFI?


SUMMARY
I bought the wrong romex, too late to take it back. Can I use this 20 Amp yellow romex with three wires (plus the grnd wire) to connect to the panel 20 Amp circuit breaker on one end and the GFI on the other?

DETAIL
Am installing a GFI in a bathroom in this old house. I will have a dedicated CB in the panel and this GFI will be the only outlet fed by this CB. I bought the wrong romex, it is yellow 20 Amp, but it is three wire instead of two. I realize I can simply clip the red wire in the romex at both ends and hook up the blk, wht and grnd. But code-wise, is it not a good idea to use this otherwise proper romex for this project?

Thx.... Amaturishly yours...
D

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Old 05-17-2012, 11:48 AM   #2
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3 wire romex to electrical panel and GFI?


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Originally Posted by dvarga View Post
SUMMARY
I bought the wrong romex, too late to take it back. Can I use this 20 Amp yellow romex with three wires (plus the grnd wire) to connect to the panel 20 Amp circuit breaker on one end and the GFI on the other?

DETAIL
Am installing a GFI in a bathroom in this old house. I will have a dedicated CB in the panel and this GFI will be the only outlet fed by this CB. I bought the wrong romex, it is yellow 20 Amp, but it is three wire instead of two. I realize I can simply clip the red wire in the romex at both ends and hook up the blk, wht and grnd. But code-wise, is it not a good idea to use this otherwise proper romex for this project?

Thx.... Amaturishly yours...
D
The wire is fine, do not clip the red wire-just cap it. It can used for another circuit if needed later.

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Old 05-17-2012, 11:48 AM   #3
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3 wire romex to electrical panel and GFI?


Just cap off the red with a wire nut. You may need another circuit somewhere down the line.
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Old 05-17-2012, 11:51 AM   #4
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3 wire romex to electrical panel and GFI?


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Just cap off the red with a wire nut. You may need another circuit somewhere down the line.
I was 5 milliseconds quicker.
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:04 PM   #5
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3 wire romex to electrical panel and GFI?


Thanks.... certainly that for the GFI end of the romex. How to terminate the red wire correctly in the panel exactly?

D
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:15 PM   #6
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3 wire romex to electrical panel and GFI?


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Thanks.... certainly that for the GFI end of the romex. How to terminate the red wire correctly in the panel exactly?

D
Same way, with a wire nut.
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:16 PM   #7
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3 wire romex to electrical panel and GFI?


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Originally Posted by dvarga View Post
Thanks.... certainly that for the GFI end of the romex. How to terminate the red wire correctly in the panel exactly?

D
Just use a wirenut there and in the box, a small yellow or orange is fine, a red or tan if you only have them.

Later when the missus wants another receptacle or light nearby, you will be ready to go.
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:20 PM   #8
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3 wire romex to electrical panel and GFI?


If you do not know how to run a multiwire branch circuit properly, tell us now and we can explain.
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:27 PM   #9
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3 wire romex to electrical panel and GFI?


I have wired other CB's up in the past for new circuits. Obviously I am not an electrician, although I do have an electronics background.

And I know how to just not use the red wire in this 3 wire 20 Amp romex for this GFI outlet and connect it as a 2 wire romex.

The uncertainty that I have is in regards to accepted electrical practices. I've never seen a three wire romex enter a service panel. Would an inspector open the panel and inspect and see the capped off red wire and that be an issue for him/her?

Thanks!
D
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:29 PM   #10
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3 wire romex to electrical panel and GFI?


Quote:
Originally Posted by dvarga View Post
I have wired other CB's up in the past for new circuits. Obviously I am not an electrician, although I do have an electronics background.

And I know how to just not use the red wire in this 3 wire 20 Amp romex for this GFI outlet and connect it as a 2 wire romex.

The uncertainty that I have is in regards to accepted electrical practices. I've never seen a three wire romex enter a service panel. Would an inspector open the panel and inspect and see the capped off red wire and that be an issue for him/her?

Thanks!
D
Nope.
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:34 PM   #11
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3 wire romex to electrical panel and GFI?


jbfan answered your question, but you did not answer mine.

Do you know the proper way to get two circuits from this one cable?
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:47 PM   #12
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3 wire romex to electrical panel and GFI?


Code05,

No I do not know how to get two circuits from this one cable. I'd like to know.

D
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Old 05-17-2012, 02:00 PM   #13
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3 wire romex to electrical panel and GFI?


Dvarga,

you can learn alot about this by searching for shared neutral circuits or multi-wire branch circuits (MWBC) on this forum, but here is the short version.

Two hots from opposite "phases" on the busbar are both 120V to ground (and 240 V to each other). Your circuit consists of 2 hots and one neutral. The neutral carries the unbalanced circuit current back to the panel. The balanced current from the 2 phases cancels out and doesnt even go back to the panel (so if one side is using 9 amsp and the other 4 only 5 goes back to the panel neutral bar)

The way to wire it is to get a 2-pole breaker (20A or 15A) and attach the red and black wires to this breaker. It does not matter which is attached to which screw.

The white goes on the neutral bar.

These circuits save wire and reduce voltage drop. However, you must make sure your neutral connections are very precise. Unlike a regular circuit, in which a loose neutral causes outages and heat, a loose or disconnected neutral on a MWBC would cause terrible voltage fluctuations unless the load on each hot was close to perfectly balanced.
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Old 05-17-2012, 02:15 PM   #14
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3 wire romex to electrical panel and GFI?


Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinp22 View Post
Dvarga,

you can learn alot about this by searching for shared neutral circuits or multi-wire branch circuits (MWBC) on this forum, but here is the short version.

Two hots from opposite "phases" on the busbar are both 120V to ground (and 240 V to each other). Your circuit consists of 2 hots and one neutral. The neutral carries the unbalanced circuit current back to the panel. The balanced current from the 2 phases cancels out and doesnt even go back to the panel (so if one side is using 9 amsp and the other 4 only 5 goes back to the panel neutral bar)

The way to wire it is to get a 2-pole breaker (20A or 15A) and attach the red and black wires to this breaker. It does not matter which is attached to which screw.

The white goes on the neutral bar.

These circuits save wire and reduce voltage drop. However, you must make sure your neutral connections are very precise. Unlike a regular circuit, in which a loose neutral causes outages and heat, a loose or disconnected neutral on a MWBC would cause terrible voltage fluctuations unless the load on each hot was close to perfectly balanced.
Good info, except:

1. You do not have to use a 2 pole breaker, 2 single poles and a handle tie is fine.

2. You did not even mention the fact that the neutral connections in the box must not rely on the device for continuity. You gonna elaborate on this?

If you are going to give advice, it should be complete.

A more clear description would be helpful to the OP here.
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:56 PM   #15
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3 wire romex to electrical panel and GFI?


Use of 3 wire cable for two 120 volt circuits in the multiwire branch circuit configuration.

Positoin the breakers in the panel so you have 240 volts from one breaker screw to the other and the handles are tied so that if one breaker trips then the other is flipped off.

Connect white wire to the panel neutral bus and the red and black wires to the two breakers respectively.

The 3 wire cable can go to various outlet boxes and you use red and white or use black and white to feed the light or receptacle etc.

When continuing to the nexst oulet box, the feed neutral must be connected directly to the continuing neutral; you may not use two separate screws or holes on the receptacle, etc. for convenience. (A short legnth of wire aka pigtail connects to the receptacle itself's neutral terminal.)

YOu may put ground fault interrupter receptacles along the circuit but there are restrictions on continuing GFCI protection to other outlet boxes. The feed cable (red and white or black and white) is connected to a GFCI receptacle line terminals. Typically you need to run a separate 2 wire cable from the GFCI load terminals to the next protected outlet box. Or continue with 3 wire cable, not using the load terminals, connected to the line terminals of additional GFCI receptacles where GFCI protection is needed.

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Last edited by AllanJ; 05-17-2012 at 04:12 PM.
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