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Old 07-15-2013, 01:08 PM   #1
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Elec Box Says 20 AMP SPARE??


Do it yourselfer here. I am attempting to install two GFCI exterior outlets in my home. My basement is unfinished so this is pretty easy. I have outlets mounted now all I need to do is wire them up. I have two electrical boxes (one on each end of a ranch style home) that are labeled "20 Amp Spare", however I do not see this labeled in the breaker box as such. What do you think this means and can I simply tap into these electrical boxes for each of my GFCI's ? Thanks so much for the help.

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Old 07-15-2013, 01:57 PM   #2
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You only need one GFCI as the first outlet in the circuit. There are tools out there to help identify circuits

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Old 07-15-2013, 02:10 PM   #3
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Elec Box Says 20 AMP SPARE??


Understood about the gfci, I'm probably not going to be putting them on the same circuit because I am installing them on opposite ends of a large ranch so I don't want to run that much wire between the two. Anyways I guess my question is more about the spare. Why would this be done by the electrician? Simply for convenience? How do I know how much of a load I can put on these "spares"?
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Old 07-15-2013, 02:16 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by electricamateur View Post
Understood about the gfci, I'm probably not going to be putting them on the same circuit because I am installing them on opposite ends of a large ranch so I don't want to run that much wire between the two. Anyways I guess my question is more about the spare. Why would this be done by the electrician? Simply for convenience? How do I know how much of a load I can put on these "spares"?
Find the breaker in question and determine what else is on that circuit.
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:55 PM   #5
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Elec Box Says 20 AMP SPARE??


It seems unlikely that anyone would put in a breaker and run wire to a junction box that is not being used. Certainly needs to be scoped out to determine what's up.
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:13 AM   #6
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Moved to Electrical forum.
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:24 AM   #7
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It seems unlikely that anyone would put in a breaker and run wire to a junction box that is not being used.
I disagree. While not often, this is certainly done. Why would they wrote "20A spare", and not just "spare"?
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:26 AM   #8
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electricamateur, with help, put a tester on the wire and turn off breakers one by one. You'll find it.
If it is off you may need to trace it physically to see which one it is.

Have you even opened the panel yet? What kind of experience do you have doing electrical work?
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:20 AM   #9
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Elec Box Says 20 AMP SPARE??


Being a 'spare' it may or may not have a breaker on it.

Some will put a spare in if it would be difficult to get to the panel at a later time.
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Old 07-16-2013, 08:49 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Gac66610
Being a 'spare' it may or may not have a breaker on it.

Some will put a spare in if it would be difficult to get to the panel at a later time.
I agree. There might just be a few inches of Romex in the panel, with nothing hooked up.

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