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Old 03-08-2010, 04:14 PM   #1
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GFCI with 12/2 wire Safety Question


My house was built in the mid 60’s so the wiring is 12/2 (no ground). I want to install GFCI in the kitchen near the sink. I have tested the lines coming in and the line on the right side of the outlet (looking at the outlet) is the line wire (measuring 120volts with a multimeter), the line on the left is the load wire. This works fine until I hook up the second GFCI to the left of the 1st outlet. When I hook up the outlet it immediately trips the 1st GFCI outlet. The second outlet also has a load and line wires. I believe the load on the second outlet is also controlling a switch in my garage. The only way I can get this to work is to put both the load and line wires onto the “line” holes on the GFCI on both outlets. When I hit reset the 1st outlet the power goes off to only the first outlet. Is this safe???? How do you wire it safely?? I attached to images to aid it what I am trying to explain. NOTE both outlets are GFCI

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GFCI with 12/2 wire Safety Question-gfci1.jpg   GFCI with 12/2 wire Safety Question-gfci2.jpg  

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Old 03-08-2010, 05:03 PM   #2
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GFCI with 12/2 wire Safety Question


Are you installing the GFCI's to have a 3 prong outlet ?

You only need (1) GFCI outlet to protect the rest of the outlets
Does the switch in the garage control an outside light ?
If so it may have a short/water intrusion causing the problem

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Old 03-08-2010, 10:19 PM   #3
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GFCI with 12/2 wire Safety Question


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Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Are you installing the GFCI's to have a 3 prong outlet ?

You only need (1) GFCI outlet to protect the rest of the outlets
Does the switch in the garage control an outside light ?
If so it may have a short/water intrusion causing the problem
Yes, I am installing to have a 3 prong outlet.
I know i only need one, but even if I put a regular outlet in outlet 2 position, the GFCI trips on outlet 1. I do not believe I have a water problem, how would I look for a short?
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Old 03-08-2010, 10:22 PM   #4
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GFCI with 12/2 wire Safety Question


OK

Connect line to LINE on each outlet to incoming power
Put the labels on that State "No ground present"

For a switch you only interupt the hot feed
You do not connect neutral to one side of the switch & hot to the other
So maybe just the drawing is messed up ?

If you want the light GFCI protected then use power from the LOAD side
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Old 03-09-2010, 11:49 AM   #5
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GFCI with 12/2 wire Safety Question


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
OK

Connect line to LINE on each outlet to incoming power
Put the labels on that State "No ground present"

For a switch you only interupt the hot feed
You do not connect neutral to one side of the switch & hot to the other
So maybe just the drawing is messed up ?

If you want the light GFCI protected then use power from the LOAD side

“Connect line to LINE on each outlet to incoming power”
Isn’t this what I have I have? I connect the line “LINE” to the “Line” on the GFCI.
As far as the switch, I was just trying to show in the drawing the line goes over to the switch next didn’t mean to have a certain side hooked up.

Is the way I have the GFCI in option 2 safe? (second attached picture above) I have both the hot (black) LINE and LOAD lines on the same “Line” terminal on the GFCI, and I have both the neutral (white) LINE and LOAD lines on the same “Load” terminal on the GFCI. This is the only way I could get it to work.

Is this even doing anything? The GFCI will reset/test like it is working on just the outlet tested or do I need to somehow ground the outlet?

Thanks,

Last edited by Coors; 03-09-2010 at 11:50 AM. Reason: explain picture
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Old 03-09-2010, 12:04 PM   #6
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GFCI with 12/2 wire Safety Question


Ignoring the switch wires yes both GFCI's are connected correctly
By going from POWER in to LINE on both GFCI outlets each one will trip by itself
This is fine & many houses are wired this way
Each GFCI will test & trip
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Old 03-09-2010, 12:43 PM   #7
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GFCI with 12/2 wire Safety Question


Thanks for the info Scuba Dave. I am a new home owner so I am sure I will be back many times. Thanks again
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Old 03-09-2010, 01:10 PM   #8
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GFCI with 12/2 wire Safety Question


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Old 03-09-2010, 05:53 PM   #9
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GFCI with 12/2 wire Safety Question


At the time you were tripping the GFCI, was anything turned on in the rest of the circuit? If you turn everything off and see if it still trips, then you can at least narrow down on where a problem may be (maybe in a light fixture).

Looks to me that you have a ground fault further on in the circuit which is what GFCI units catch. A ground fault exists when electricity is being used and the current "outgoing" on the hot wire and the current "coming back" on the neutral are not the same; the difference must have leaked onto the ground wire or a ground somewhere or maybe onto the neutral of some other circuit. If two circuits come togehter in the same junction box, their neutrals may not be tied together.

When you gave up and connected the rest of the circuit to the line side of GFCI #1, you removed GFCI protection from that downstream section and therefore got no more tripping for the time being.

You will need to go from one receptacle or switch to the next along this branch of the circuit, disconnecting both hot and neutral to see if the problem is upstream or downstream of that point.

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Last edited by AllanJ; 03-09-2010 at 05:58 PM.
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