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Old 01-19-2010, 09:25 PM   #1
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Adding Plugs in a Square Box


I have a single GFCI outlet in my bathroom -- a switch on top (for the exhaust fan) and a plug on the bottom. It says, "15 AMP/125V receptacle" on it. While doing some paneling work I exposed the outlet and found that it's in a square box, not in a small rectangular one, and there's room to add something else. I would like to install another GFCI outlet (two plugs and a dedicated LED night-light) next to the existing switch/plug combo. I doubt I would EVER use all those outlets, but I like the idea of having at least two outlets and the nightlight.

Can I do this easily (without running more wires)? If so, how do I wire them together? The existing switch/plug combo has a black wire going in, another going out (to the fan) and it's grounded to a white wire.

Thanks in advance for any help!

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Old 01-20-2010, 06:17 AM   #2
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Adding Plugs in a Square Box


Everything seemed simple, until I got to the part about the switch grounded to the white wire. If it is indeed a neutral, that is no good, and possibly dangerous.

Since you did not question the 'white' ground, I would suggest having a professional look at what you have there. If you plan on DIY electrical work, I suggest a good book, like "Electrical Wiring-Residential" based on 2008 code, by Mullin.

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Old 01-20-2010, 01:25 PM   #3
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Adding Plugs in a Square Box


Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
Everything seemed simple, until I got to the part about the switch grounded to the white wire. If it is indeed a neutral, that is no good, and possibly dangerous.

Since you did not question the 'white' ground, I would suggest having a professional look at what you have there. If you plan on DIY electrical work, I suggest a good book, like "Electrical Wiring-Residential" based on 2008 code, by Mullin.
Thanks for the recommendation -- actually, I was confused about the white wire, I meant to say that the plug has a black going in, white going out.

So assuming everything is fine, do I just pigtail the second outlet? Do I need a GFCI on the second outlet if the first outlet is GFCI?
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Old 01-20-2010, 04:27 PM   #4
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Adding Plugs in a Square Box


You can install an ordinary receptacle pair (outlet pair; plug pair) next to the GFCI single receptacle single switch unit, provided that the latter (original) unit has an extra set of (hot and neutral) terminals marked "load".

The existing GFCI will then protect the ordinary receptacles next to it.

Connect the load hot to the new receptacles hot (a gold screw).

Connect the load neutral to the new receptacles neutral (a silver scrw) and to nothing else.
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Old 01-20-2010, 06:25 PM   #5
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Adding Plugs in a Square Box


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Originally Posted by thebigsee View Post
Thanks for the recommendation -- actually, I was confused about the white wire, I meant to say that the plug has a black going in, white going out.

So assuming everything is fine, do I just pigtail the second outlet? Do I need a GFCI on the second outlet if the first outlet is GFCI?

I wouldn't assume everything is fine if someone has used the white neutral as a ground before you got there.Best to have a real close look at this.
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