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Old 04-22-2009, 10:34 PM   #1
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GFCI plugs in kitchen


My kitchen has been without the electrical outlets for almost two months.


A little background, my house is of two halves, the first half being part of the original structure from the early 1900's and the other half being from an addition in 1970. The kitchen is in the basement of the newer half. All plugs in kitchen and bathroom were wired with GFCI plugs. Since moving in two years ago, the dishwasher was not in operational condition.

In February, I purchased a new dishwasher. My husband was nice enough to install it. However, while installing this, something happened with the circuit of outlets. These two are independent of each other. Anyway, he switched out all of the outlets with the belief that one of them must have been bad. He used regular grounded outlets for all except one of the outlets he kept the GFCI. Long story short, it didn't fix the problem. The outlets still have no power.

As a woman with only sisters, my father taught us early on that we could do anything we put our minds to and since I still have no power in my kitchen, I am ready to figure this out on my own.

First question is this. If a circuit has one GFCI outlet, should all of the outlets on that circuit have GFCI outlets?

To keep this post somewhat shorter, I will ask my next questions after I get the answer to the GFCI outlet.

Thanks in advance, as I appreciate any help I can get!

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Old 04-22-2009, 10:56 PM   #2
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GFCI plugs in kitchen


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First question is this. If a circuit has one GFCI outlet, should all of the outlets on that circuit have GFCI outlets?
No, not necessarily. Depending on how the outlets are wired, you can have one GFCI outlet protect multiple "standard" outlets" on the same circuit.

I would assume that breakers/fuses have been checked in the main panel by now. Are there any other GFCI outlets anywhere in the house? Are there any other outlets that do not work besides the outlets in the kitchen? What happened prior to the outlets not having any power? I would suspect a bad/loose connection in one of the outlet boxes or even possibly in the main panel. Post back with some more information and questions.

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Old 04-22-2009, 11:00 PM   #3
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GFCI plugs in kitchen


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First question is this. If a circuit has one GFCI outlet, should all of the outlets on that circuit have GFCI outlets?
As I understand it no. The GFI will protect everything downstream from it.

Gary

Last edited by Gary_602z; 04-22-2009 at 11:01 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 04-23-2009, 06:41 AM   #4
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GFCI plugs in kitchen


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As I understand it no. The GFI will protect everything downstream from it.

Gary
if they've connected the downstream outlets to the load side of the GFI. I've just wired my new kitchen and in a few places had need to connect the next outlet downstream to the LINE side of a GFI so that outlet was specifically not protected (i.e. the microwave, or the motor on the range hood).

The back of any given GFI nowadays seems to be all crazily labelled and stickered with dire warnings about wiring downcircuit outlets wrong.
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Old 04-23-2009, 07:15 AM   #5
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GFCI plugs in kitchen


I would not say it is "crazily" labeled. They are clearly labeled LINE and LOAD.
The new yellow stickers are aimed at DIYers who do not know what line and load are so that they do not miswire the GFI.
Those yellow labels annoy me to no end. If you do not know how to wire a GFI and that the LINE goes on LINE you should not be doing it.




Quote:
Originally Posted by DeterminedMom View Post
Anyway, he switched out all of the outlets with the belief that one of them must have been bad. He used regular grounded outlets for all except one of the outlets he kept the GFCI. Long story short, it didn't fix the problem. The outlets still have no power.
This is a knee jerk DIY reaction to a circuit or receptacle that is dead and it is almost never the problem, as you have found out.


You need to find the first device or box in the circuit and check it for voltage. There could be another GFI already installed on the circuit and it is tripped.
If your husband did what I mentioned above and misiwred the GFI with the LINE in on the LOAD side it would not work either.

Do you have ANY experience doing electrical work or troubleshooting? It is great that you have the desire and were taught to DIY, but you DO need some knowledge and basic skills to troubleshoot electrical. You cannot simply ask for all the steps required. There is no A-B-C book on troubleshooting.
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Answers based on the 2008 & 2011 NEC.

Last edited by Speedy Petey; 04-23-2009 at 07:19 AM.
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Old 04-23-2009, 09:38 AM   #6
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GFCI plugs in kitchen


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However, while installing this, something happened with the circuit of outlets. These two are independent of each other.
Most likely something happened during the dishwasher install.
Are you sure they are independent of each other - that is, they are fed by two different circuit breakers or fuses?

Does the dishwasher work now?
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Old 04-23-2009, 10:55 AM   #7
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GFCI plugs in kitchen


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i I've just wired my new kitchen and in a few places had need to connect the next outlet downstream to the LINE side of a GFI so that outlet was specifically not protected (i.e. the microwave, or the motor on the range hood)...
1) If the microwave is plug-connected, and plugged into a "readily accessible" receptacle on a kitchen small appliance branch circuit (it's a portable "counter-top appliance") the receptacle must be GFCI protected.

2) If a receptacle is rendered ""not readily accessible" by an appliance fastened in place and/or located in a a dedicated space, then receptacle does not have to be GFCI protected however if it's powering a microwave it likely can't be powered from a small appliance branch circuit:

210-23(a) "The total rating of utilization equipment fastened in place, other than lighting fixtures, shall not exceed 50 percent of the branch circuit ampere rating where lighting units, cord and plug connected utilization equipment not fastened in place, or both, are also supplied."

Since "fastened in place" microwave ovens are normally between 13-15 amps plus the ventilation fan and the lights, their power requirements are usually well over 50 percent of a 20A circuit's capacity, making a dedicated circuit necessary.

3) The situation' s even more straightforward for range hoods:

422.16(B)(4) Range Hoods. Range hoods shall be permitted to be cord-and-plug connected with a flexible cord identified as suitable for use on range hoods in the installation instructions of the appliance manufacturer, where all of the following conditions are met:... (5) the receptacle is supplied by an individual branch circuit.

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Last edited by Michael Thomas; 04-23-2009 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 04-23-2009, 03:44 PM   #8
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GFCI plugs in kitchen


[QUOTE=Michael Thomas;264496]1) If the microwave is plug-connected, and plugged into a "readily accessible" receptacle on a kitchen small appliance branch circuit (it's a portable "counter-top appliance") the receptacle must be GFCI protected.

Mine is a countertop model installed off-counter in a shelf pocket and the outlet is going in behind it.

2) If a receptacle is rendered ""not readily accessible" by an appliance fastened in place and/or located in a a dedicated space, then receptacle does not have to be GFCI protected however if it's powering a microwave it likely can't be powered from a small appliance branch circuit:

the 20a branch for my microwave runs to it's 1-gang NON GFI duplex which is up behind it's shelf area, then continues on to a 1-gang GFI duplex that's mounted lower than countertop level behind a gas stove for it's electronics (2 or 3 amps? - we haven't picked the model stove yet). I can't quote you the code section, but I know that somewhere there's an exception for tapping off of a small appliance countertop branch circuit specifically for low draw things like a wall clock, or the electronics portion (timer, pretty led displays, ignitors) of a gas stove. However our stove pocket has a "pot filler" installed (a wall faucet to fill pots while on the cooktop) so even though the outlet is a) part of that "low draw" category, b) not "hand accessible" at countertop level, it is in a "wet zone" where by some unintentional means running/splashing water and outlet could come to meet. Therefore I made that one a GFI, fully expecting either a) the inspector to tell me I don't need it and change it or b) the inspector not to notice and I'll change it later if the stove we pick has electric starters that pop the GFI.

Sound reasonable? If all that is hateful I can just re-tap the stove outlet off of another nearby countertop outlet and leave the microwave as it's own 20a, but it won't be as clean to me.

210-23(a) "The total rating of utilization equipment fastened in place, other than lighting fixtures, shall not exceed 50 percent of the branch circuit ampere rating where lighting units, cord and plug connected utilization equipment not fastened in place, or both, are also supplied."

Since "fastened in place" microwave ovens are normally between 13-15 amps plus the ventilation fan and the lights, their power requirements are usually well over 50 percent of a 20A circuit's capacity, making a dedicated circuit necessary.

3) The situation' s even more straightforward for range hoods:

[I]422.16(B)(4) Range Hoods. Range hoods shall be permitted to be cord-and-plug connected with a flexible cord identified as suitable for use on range hoods in the installation instructions of the appliance manufacturer, where all of the following conditions are met:... (5) [U]the receptacle is supplied by an individual branch circuit.

All of the Range Hoods we're looking at thus far aren't cord-and-plug connected, they're hard wired. That point of service will be downstream of what is technically a countertop outlet, but one that's extra, out of the "triangle", and well beyond my inspector-asked-for two dedicated 20a countertop branch circuits. I have 4 20a dedicated to the countertops, and this 5th one has the range hood hardwire connection downstream off of the LINE side of a GFI (i.e. not protected by it)

once I got past all the required stuff (dedicated 20a each for disposal, fridge, dishwasher, clothes washer, minimum 2 for the countertops) and got to this far wall of the kitchen I tried to economize a little bit ad doubled up a few points, but kept big draw items with little draw items, and tried to pay attention to exactly the points you raised: a) fixed items beyond 50% of the branch circuit needing that circuit dedicated b) the "clock" exception, c) what was in reach/out of reach and needed/didn't need GFI.

I appreciate your input and would be happy to hear more!
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Old 04-23-2009, 06:08 PM   #9
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GFCI plugs in kitchen


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I can't quote you the code section, but I know that somewhere there's an exception for tapping off of a small appliance countertop branch circuit specifically for low draw things like a wall clock, or the electronics portion (timer, pretty led displays, ignitors) of a gas stove...
For future reference it's exceptions 1 and 2 to 210-11(c). The two 20 ampere small appliance circuits required in Section 210-11(c)(1) for these areas cannot supply any other outlet(s). Exception No. 1: Clock Outlet. A receptacle solely for an electric clock can be connected to the small appliance circuit Exception No. 2: Gas Fired Appliances. Receptacles for supplemental equipment and lighting on gas-fired ranges, ovens, or counter-mounted cooking units can be connected to the small appliance circuit...

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Originally Posted by wmldwilly View Post
Mine is a countertop model installed off-counter in a shelf pocket and the outlet is going in behind it.... Sound reasonable? If all that is hateful I can just re-tap the stove outlet off of another nearby countertop outlet and leave the microwave as it's own 20a, but it won't be as clean to me.
My main concern was that it sounded like the MW might be going on one of the 20A kitchen small appliance circuits....



Fig 1. "Honey, why does the electricity keep going off?"

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Home Inspection: "A business with illogically high liability, slim profit margins and limited economies of scale. An incredibly diverse, multi-disciplined consulting service, delivered under difficult in-field circumstances, before a hostile audience in an impossibly short time frame, requiring the production of an extraordinarily detailed technical report, almost instantly, without benefit of research facilities or resources." - Alan Carson

Last edited by Michael Thomas; 04-23-2009 at 11:06 PM.
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Old 04-23-2009, 06:56 PM   #10
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GFCI plugs in kitchen


My entire kitchen was on a single 20a circuit including the fridge
Never kicked the breaker off
I didn't rewire until 3+ years after we moved in
Now the fridge is on a dedicated circuit & there are 3 small appliance circuits. Adjoining sunroom has a 4th circuit
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Old 04-23-2009, 10:42 PM   #11
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For future reference it's exceptions 1 and 2 to 210-11(c). The two 20 ampere small appliance circuits required in Section 210-11(c)(1) for these areas cannot supply any other outlet(s). Exception No. 1: Clock Outlet. A receptacle solely for an electric clock can be connected to the small appliance circuit Exception No. 2: Gas Fired Appliances. Receptacles for supplemental equipment and lighting on gas-fired ranges, ovens, or counter-mounted cooking units can be connected to the small appliance circuit...
Thank you! I'll jot that code number down in case the inspector wants to go mano-a-mano over code sections.

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My main concern was that it sounded like the MW might be going on one of the 20A kitchen small appliance circuits....



Fig 1. "Honey, why does the electricity keep going off?"
Here's my layout at the moment. it's boxed, romex'd, duplexes in with temp covers. My inspector basically said "don't call me again until all your devices are in, including ceiling fixtures". I thought to myself "great...put up the pendants and ceiling fixtures, get inspection, take them all down again to rock the ceiling. Ugh."



I don't think I'll have any problems with this layout, and all the big stuff (toasters, coffee pot, etc) are elsewhere near the other 4 dedicated 20amps.


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