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Fulg 12-04-2010 01:34 PM

OK to run one GFCI + 4 standard outlets from a junction box?
I am adding 1 GFCI outlet to a branch which currently only has 4 outlets in my den. The GFCI will go in the garage which is on the opposite wall. Adding onto the last outlet in the line would require cutting through multiple walls and a ceiling, but the first outlet is readily accessible under the stairs.

I figure my options are:

1) run a line from the first outlet to the GFCI, and another from the GFCI back to the 2nd outlet and then the rest of the branch will be under the GFCI which is unnecessary.

2) make a junction box just before the 1st outlet. Feed the existing 4 outlets on one branch and the GFCI by itself on the other. This will be simpler, require buying less wire, and allow the garage GFCI to operate on it's own without affecting the rest of the circuit.

Obviously I would prefer option 2, but is it ok? If not, is option 1 even acceptable?

Thanks in advance.

Jim Port 12-04-2010 02:27 PM

If you do not use the LOAD terminals on the GFI nothing except the GFI itself will be protected. There might not be a need for the junction box. You could run your new cable from an existing receptacle location if the box has enough cubic inch capacity left.

Fulg 12-04-2010 03:43 PM

It's fine and probably preferrable for the GFCI outlet to be the only one protected. It's going to the garage and the rest of the outlets are on a back wall in my den. The reason I would want to use a junction box is because the 1st outlet on the circuit is the only one I can get to without demo, but it's a long way from where I am putting the garage outlet. So if I chain the remaining 4 outlets from the GFCI, I'll have to make a long run to the GFCI and then another long run back to that 1st (now it would be the 2nd) outlet. Using a junction box would be easier because I would only have to run a line one-way to the GFCI, and more importantly I won't have to buy another roll of wire because I have just enough to do it that way. :)

So I guess my real question is: CAN I run a single-outlet GFCI branch + a standard outlet branch with 4 outlets, from a junction box at the beginning of the circuit? That would be the easiest thing to do in this situation and would allow only the garage outlet to be GFCI protected which is technically what I need anyway.

Thanks again.

Jim Port 12-04-2010 04:36 PM

You don't need to run out and back to the garage GFI. You could use the new junction box and T off to the garage. You might need to add a second box close to the first one to ensure you have enough free conductor in the box to allow you to splice.

Fulg 12-04-2010 07:20 PM

Great, thanks. The first outlet and potential junction box location is only about 12 feet from the breaker box, and the remaining 3 outlets are within 20 feet of that. The branch run to the garage will be about 15 feet from the junction box. Do you still think I need that second junction?

Jim Port 12-04-2010 08:55 PM

You need 6" of free conductor in the box in odrer to make up your splices. If you have a cable run between pt a and pt b and you cut it between A and B you will not have enough free conductor to splice with.

Fulg 12-04-2010 11:43 PM

Oh ok. I'm going to disconnect the incoming line from that first outlet and make it the junction point anyway so I'm set on that. I'll just make sure to put the junction box far enough from the first outlet to give me at least 6" of free conductor on that incoming line. Thanks again for the advice.

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