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Old 11-27-2008, 03:58 PM   #1
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Which neutral is which?


I want to install a few GFCI circuit breakers and I have a couple of questions.

Apparently, I need to connect the hot and the corresponding neutral to the breaker. Is there an easy way for me to tell which of the neutral wires connected to the neutral bus is the correct one? I suppose it will trip the GFCI constantly if I get it wrong, so I could determine it by trial and error, but I'd like something more systematic...

Second, will GFCI breakers work with "multiwire branch circuits" (i.e., shared neutral)? If so, I assume I connect the same neutral to both. Also, do both GFCIs break when one breaks?

Thanks.
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Old 11-27-2008, 04:10 PM   #2
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Which neutral is which?


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Originally Posted by Jeremy Hillary Boob, PhD View Post
I want to install a few GFCI circuit breakers and I have a couple of questions.

Apparently, I need to connect the hot and the corresponding neutral to the breaker. Is there an easy way for me to tell which of the neutral wires connected to the neutral bus is the correct one? I suppose it will trip the GFCI constantly if I get it wrong, so I could determine it by trial and error, but I'd like something more systematic...

Second, will GFCI breakers work with "multiwire branch circuits" (i.e., shared neutral)? If so, I assume I connect the same neutral to both. Also, do both GFCIs break when one breaks?

Thanks.
Follow the wire you take off the breaker to where it comes out of the cable, then you will see the corresponding white wire. Follow it to the neutral bar. It may be safer to turn off the main while doing this.

No, a single pole GFCI won't work with a multiwire circuit. You can buy double pole GFCIs but they are expensive!
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Old 11-27-2008, 04:12 PM   #3
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Which neutral is which?


If you can find the right breaker for the given circuit, trace the wire thats on it to where it enters the panel and it should have a white wire with it.
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Old 11-27-2008, 06:10 PM   #4
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Which neutral is which?


Trace the wire from the breaker up to the neutral.
Single pole gfcis will not work with mwbcs

Gfci outlets will, if wired right.

A double pole 20 amp square d gfci breaker costs about $150-$200.
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Old 11-28-2008, 10:53 AM   #5
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Which neutral is which?


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If you can find the right breaker for the given circuit, trace the wire thats on it to where it enters the panel and it should have a white wire with it.
Easier said than done. Tracing the neutral back from a receptacle is a challenging project. But is the way it should be done.

Use the neutral attached to the regular receptacle you are replacing. Chances are extremely high it's the right one. Even if it is not the right one, the GFCI should still operate correctly. I think?
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Old 11-28-2008, 11:11 AM   #6
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Which neutral is which?


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Originally Posted by J. V. View Post
Easier said than done. Tracing the neutral back from a receptacle is a challenging project. But is the way it should be done.

Use the neutral attached to the regular receptacle you are replacing. Chances are extremely high it's the right one. Even if it is not the right one, the GFCI should still operate correctly. I think?

If the gfci reads current going through one wire, but is not equal to the other wire, it will trip. They trip on imbalance.

Even if its not the right one, It may actually work. Unless it feeds outlets that use a different neutral.
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