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Old 06-20-2013, 12:06 PM   #1
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Gfci receptacles wired to junction box?


Hi, I don't post here too often but sometimes lurk. I have recently had a lot of wiring changed/added/updated to my home and I have some issues and questions.

We had an older receptacle outside that wasn't GFCI so it was changed however the electrician never gave it its own circuit. I discovered this when it tripped and I couldn't reset the outlet no matter how hard i pushed the reset button.

I found out that the circuit it was on was also connected to my basement lights and also went upstairs to the lights in the bathroom.

I called him and he came back yesterday and changed the outlet and this time found the wire that led outside to the receptacle followed it and it came to a junction box where it was spliced to the other circuit. So he installed a new breaker, ran some yellow romex (i don't know the guage) to the junction box, and then spliced the wire from the breaker to the older wire going outside and he connected the ground wires from both to the other grounds in the same junction box that were originally on the other circuit.

So the wire from the junction box to the panel is new, but from the box to the outside receptacle is older white romex. It goes though the top of my foundation, and through the crawlspace in the back porch before it gets to the outlet.

When I got home last night i was in the yard and i heard the GFCI trip. so I checked the new breaker and it was also tripped. I had nothing plugged into it in fact i hadn't even used the outlet yet. So this bothered me.

here's my questions:

1- Is the way he connected the grounds in the junction box ok? Would this make the breaker trip?
2-Could there be a problem with the older white cable that goes outside through the crawl space? It's possible something may have chewed on the wire at some point so I will check the wire in the crawl space to see if it has had damage.
3- Should the wire be changed to BX cable since it goes through a crawlspace?

Any help is appreciated. I did call the electrician back but he is hard to reach.

-John

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Old 06-20-2013, 01:21 PM   #2
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Gfci receptacles wired to junction box?


If I had to guess it would be that he tied the neutrals together.
Can not share a neutral with a GFI.

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Old 06-20-2013, 01:27 PM   #3
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Gfci receptacles wired to junction box?


you mean the neutrals from the other circuit? I think he connected the hot and neutral from the white romex (that goes to the outlet) to the yellow romex to the panel, and the ground of both was connected to the ground of the other circuit that goes through that box. I will check though maybe get a pic.
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Old 06-20-2013, 05:31 PM   #4
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Gfci receptacles wired to junction box?


If the new breaker in the box he installed isn't a GFCI breaker than make sure it's off before you go crawling around looking for problems with the new or old wire. A standard breaker that trips is an indication of too many amps flowing through the circuit usually due to a short, damaged wire or the "hot" wire touching something grounded....... if nothing was plugged into the circuit at the time.

If the new breaker is a GFCI breaker that's your problem. Two GFCI's can't be on the same circuit (the breaker in the box and the outlet).
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:47 PM   #5
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Gfci receptacles wired to junction box?


Call him back.
A breaker rarely trips without cause.
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:59 PM   #6
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Gfci receptacles wired to junction box?


If there are multiple grounds in the junction box they are required to be tied together.
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:08 PM   #7
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Gfci receptacles wired to junction box?


I could be wrong,
(wouldn't be the first time) but what it sounds like you're saying is he ran new 12/2 (yellow sheath) and spliced it with 14/2 (white sheath). This is against code, unless the breaker he replaced is a 15 amp, I think.
What size breaker did he put in?
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:14 PM   #8
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Gfci receptacles wired to junction box?


Thanks for the replies everyone. I opened the door to the crawlspace just to take a peak. I actually had it drilled shut to prevent critters from getting in. I used the new GFCI with my electric drill and it worked fine no trips. I eyeballed the old white wire and it seemed in tact. It used to be above some insulation but that has fallen off. I bought the house 2 years ago and haven't had any reason to mess around in there before. Unless its damaged somewhere that I cannot see I think the wire is ok.

I will try and get pics of the junction box and a close up of the new breaker he put in. I think it's just a regular 20 amp breaker.

Glad the grounds are supposed to be that way in the box.

And I did leave him a message and I haven't heard back yet.


-John
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:49 PM   #9
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Gfci receptacles wired to junction box?


Is your crawlspace is dry or do get damp from time to time ?

If latter then you may have comprised cable.

If you have any junction box in crawl space that will be the other place you will have to take a look at the connections to make sure they are in good shape.

The convential breaker should not trip without a reason.


Oh by the way with older white cable many time it can be either 14-2 or 12-2 you have to look for the markings on them or you can tell by the width typically 12-2 is wider than 14-2 is.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frenchelectrican View Post
Is your crawlspace is dry or do get damp from time to time ?

If latter then you may have comprised cable.

If you have any junction box in crawl space that will be the other place you will have to take a look at the connections to make sure they are in good shape.

The convential breaker should not trip without a reason.


Oh by the way with older white cable many time it can be either 14-2 or 12-2 you have to look for the markings on them or you can tell by the width typically 12-2 is wider than 14-2 is.

Merci,
Marc
I think it is mostly a dry space it is not big it is maybe a 11 x 6 block wall add on to the back of the house. Goes a few feet underground but not big enough to stand in. No junction boxes. Looks like the old white wire runs straight through to basement from recep. There is another wire on the other side that goes to the pantry directly. The water line for the hose also runs through the same space but is about 4 feet from the wire and if it dripped it would'nt have made contact with the wire. I have to check for leaks there as well although I didnt see any evidence of new water.

Here's the pic of the junction box in the basement. i didnt have time this morning to open it up. The right wire is the old one leading outside and the middle yellow wire is the new one going straight to the panel:



The bottom breaker that was put in Wed:



I'm wondering if I should change the white wire to BX or even just new yellow wire. As far as I can tell the outlet or breaker hasn't tripped since Wednesday

I really appreciate the help everyone. These sort of things stress me out. I just want to know it's safe and functional.

Last edited by JCosenza; 06-21-2013 at 11:09 AM.
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:13 AM   #11
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Gfci receptacles wired to junction box?


What is the writing on the white wire?

There is no code to require the cable to be yellow.
Older romex was all white for 14 and 12.
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
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What is the writing on the white wire?

There is no code to require the cable to be yellow.
Older romex was all white for 14 and 12.

I'll try and take a closer look when i get home to see if there's any markings on the older wire. It was definitely put in a long time ago.
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:19 PM   #13
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Gfci receptacles wired to junction box?


Ok so it hasn't tripped again and I checked everything out.

Here is the pic of the inside of the junction box:



The old wire is 12/2 as is the new wire. They are spliced together in the box and the other two are seperatly spliced. All 4 grounds are together. So I'm thinking this is correct.

Now that I've checked the wire it seems to be ok and they match the last thing I noticed was that all the breakers in the box are Murray and the new one tied to this circuit is a Siemens. The reason I know this is because the town inspector wouldn't pass the new Murray panel with seimens Breakers. The electrician had to come back and change all the breakers to match the box. So now I find it odd that he would add a seimens one. Im not sure that matters because I understand they are both exactly the same and made by the same company just different labels.

Also to be clear this guy has been an electrician for a long time and he is almost retirement age so I know he knows what he is doing.

So I'm sort of confused as to why the new breaker would trip. Ill keep an eye on it in the mean time. I use it a lot for my lawn equipment so hopefully it is ok. If anyone sees anything weird or if there's something else I should check advise.

Thanks again for taking the time.

-John
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:31 PM   #14
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Gfci receptacles wired to junction box?


John... Every thing I can see looks ok... but just for clarrity, it is the GFI that was tripping right, and not the breaker. You're last post had me question this.... and it is important to know.

Best


In your first post #1, you were refering to the GFI tripping... in your post immediately above you are refering to the breaker tripping. (For some reason I can not multi-quote right now).......?????
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Old 06-21-2013, 10:37 PM   #15
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Hi MTN. The breaker was added to the panel Wed morning and that evening after work I was in the backyard and we heard the GFI trip. It wasn't being used. I tried to reset it and it wouldn't reset. I went to check the breaker and it was tripped as well. I reset the breaker and then I went back outside and reset the GFI. It has been ok since then but worried me that a brand new circuit would do that.

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