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Old 04-09-2008, 12:03 PM   #1
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GFCI puzzle


if this has already been covered, my apologies!

here's a puzzle I hope some "house wiring guru" can help me solve:
in my house there is but ONE GFCI outlet and it's in the garage. (you know,the outlet with 2 buttons on it)
all other outlets are just the "garden variety".
let's say,in the master bath,I've got an electric heater and a hair dryer going, so far so good! NOW, I go into the sparre bath,located right next door to the master bath and turn on another hair dryer, bingo, the juice goes out. (but the lights in both baths are ok) I popped a breaker right? NO breaker on the elec. panel is popped but the GFCI outlet has IT'S button popped. I reset that button and juice returns.
my questions are basically how is this stuff wired and in the same vein,can one GFCI outlet be "ganged" like that? I'm suspecting that every outlet that's near water is on that circuit. anyone?

tnx,

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Old 04-09-2008, 12:18 PM   #2
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GFCI puzzle


Your setup is common from the days before the electric code made changes to bathroom circuitry. Garage, exterior and bathroom receptacles were required to be GFI protected. To save the cost of additional GFI receptacles one was installed closest to the panel and the downstream receptacles received their protection from being wired into the LOAD terminals.

Something that you are using in the 2nd bathroom is leaking enough current to trip the GFI. GFI's look for an imbalance in the outgoing current vs the returning current. More than 4-6mA of imbalance will trip the GFI. GFI's do not trip when you try to use too current. That is the job of the breaker.

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Old 04-09-2008, 12:58 PM   #3
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GFCI puzzle


so am I correct in assuming that all these outlets are on their own circuit? I mean, nothing is on that circuit except outlets that need protection,right?

tnx,
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Old 04-09-2008, 01:04 PM   #4
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GFCI puzzle


You would need to turn off the breaker to determine what was on the same circuit as the bathroom receptacles. There could be more than what you are loosing power to when the GFI trips, it could be upstream from the GFI.

Turn off the breaker and see what goes off.
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Old 04-09-2008, 05:53 PM   #5
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GFCI puzzle


Oops! That circuit was running Grandpa's life support.
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Old 04-09-2008, 11:17 PM   #6
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GFCI puzzle


Quote:
so am I correct in assuming that all these outlets are on their own circuit? I mean, nothing is on that circuit except outlets that need protection,right?

Yes. In that era, the outside receps are probably on it too.
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Old 04-10-2008, 03:00 PM   #7
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GFCI puzzle


Quote:
Originally Posted by analogmusicman View Post
so am I correct in assuming that all these outlets are on their own circuit? I mean, nothing is on that circuit except outlets that need protection,right?

tnx,
All of those outlets share the same circuit, yes. And no, it is possible there are other outlets on that circuit that do not necessarily require the protection. My house built in '75 had the garage outlet, 1 outdoor outlet, 3 bathroom outlets and most of a downstairs bedroom on that same 15a GFCI protected circuit. I suppose because it was an old school electrician who treated it like any other convenience receptacle circuit, and loaded it with 9-10 devices, just like the rest of the 15a convenience circuits.
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Old 04-10-2008, 05:13 PM   #8
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GFCI puzzle


I'm just curious but as I checked which outlets are on that circuit (found the right breaKER ON THE PANEL) I noticed that none of the outlets over the kitchen sink are protected. are kitchens exempt? why wouldd protection for bathrooms be required and kitchens not. they both have watter,right? or is there some other reason?

tnx,

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