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Old 12-01-2010, 11:09 PM   #1
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Baffled over a breaker...


Hello, I am in the process of redoing our master bathroom. Our bathroom has two circuit breakers in the box. The first breaker appears to control all of the bathroom lights, exhaust fan, and a gfci outlet on one side of a double vanity. The other breaker only seems to control the other outlet (gfci also) on the double vanity, nothing else in the entire house is effected when I turn the breaker to this outlet off, and I mean nothing that I can tell. I turned the breaker off and checked the top and bottom of every outlet in my house and garage, flipped every light switch in the house and they all work fine with this breaker off. Now here is the part that has me baffled. I took the plate off that outlet, unscrewed the outlet and pulled it out to find there are three seperate lines coming into the box; 2 standard 3 wire lines and a 4 wire. They have all of the whites nutted together, and all of the blacks nutted together (grounds together also of course) and then they have a single white wire going to the GFCI nuetral side of the outlet and the red wire from the 4 wire line going to the load of the GFCI. If there is only one circuit breaker to this outlet what in the heck would the other wires be for? This has me about to tear all my drywall out just to chase these wires everywhere. Thanks to anyone that may have an idea on this topic

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Last edited by Fritzo; 12-01-2010 at 11:12 PM.
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Old 12-01-2010, 11:14 PM   #2
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Baffled over a breaker...


Sounds like someone was remodeling and needed to GFCI protect an appliance or something. I have a feeling that GFCI protects a hard wired appliance. Post pictures if you want more assistance. Theres no way of telling what or why they did something. Maybe the appliance was removed.....It might also protect a heat tape for your plumbing.....good chance of that.

Also, whats your issue with this besides it being a nuisance? As long as the breaker is labeled I wouldnt worry about it.

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Old 12-01-2010, 11:45 PM   #3
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Baffled over a breaker...


You said the red wire goes to the LOAD side of the GFCI. Is there a wire on the line side? If you meant the red was connected to the line side then look at the breaker and see if it has a red wire. Could be a MWBC.
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Old 12-02-2010, 06:11 PM   #4
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Baffled over a breaker...


Quote:
Originally Posted by a7ecorsair View Post
You said the red wire goes to the LOAD side of the GFCI. Is there a wire on the line side? If you meant the red was connected to the line side then look at the breaker and see if it has a red wire. Could be a MWBC.

Thanks, you were dead on!!! Turns out they did run that type of circuit.. which is a great benifit for what I needed. I am installing heated flooring under our tile and needed a direct circuit for it to begin with. Now I can rob the red line for heat instead of the outlet.
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