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Old 09-24-2012, 05:29 PM   #1
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old electrical wiring


I am a musician, not an electrician. I am trying to install a new GFI circuit in my bathroom. I shut off the circuit breaker and took off the old broken 2 gang receptical. There are 4 black wires coming from the metal box with no ground. (There are no white wires as the house was built before 1930.) Only one wire is hot as tested with a multi-meter against the metal box. When testing the hot wire against the others black wires, there is nothing except one wire shows maybe trace electric (20 volts, maybe). The GFI also controls two other outlets that now have no service because of the missing bathroom outlet.

1st) what does "load" mean, what does "line" mean, and what does it mean on the Leviton GFI that says if the circuit supplies more than one outlet to have an electrician do it? 2nd) if there is only one hot wire, where does it go? 3rd) the GFI's little green light is on (showing there is electric there) but the GFI itself doesn't work (it's brand new) when the "test" button is pressed. 4th) where do all the other wires go? I finally got one of the other outlets working, but that's it.

HELP!!!!

Chaz
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Old 09-24-2012, 05:33 PM   #2
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old electrical wiring


Well, from what you described you can't install a GFI there. Even in old homes, the still ran a grounded conductor (white). It is possible that some of the coloring correct because it is so old but you should still have 120VAC from your hot wire to another wire.

Line is the wire that comes from the panel and the load is everything that is "after" the device in the circuit.
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Old 09-24-2012, 05:39 PM   #3
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old electrical wiring


Thanks, but does that mean I have to re-install a 2 gang receptical again? Can't I ground the outlet to the box?
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Old 09-24-2012, 05:45 PM   #4
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old electrical wiring


A 2-gang receptacle means you have 2 receptacles. How were the receptacles hooked up before? You could ground the GFI to the box but the box isnt grounded in the first place if it is that old.

I re-read what you posted before. The GFI doesn't work when the test button is pressed? That is normal operation.
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Old 09-24-2012, 05:52 PM   #5
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old electrical wiring


Oops. Ok then it's a one gang receptical (room for only 2 plugs). There was a little green clip attached to the box and then the green screw on the outlet. Now, three of the wires have no electric, and only one does. When then "test"button is pressed, nothing happens. And nothing also happens when I press the reset button. The GFI in the kitchen has a test button which pops out and the light goes out when I press it. Then I push the reset button and it works again. Not so in the bathroom GFI. Maybe I should call an electrician.
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Old 09-24-2012, 05:58 PM   #6
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Well, I can maybe agree with calling an electrician. If you have no ground in your box it is a good idea to run a new wire with a ground, especially considering its age. There are a lot of things to consider with old wiring like this as well that an electrician coming to your home and telling you what he thinks is best. If you cant find 120V with a meter from your hot wire to your neutral wire then you don't have other options. If you have 2 other wires, you would need to use a meter and check to see where they go and what they feed and which one is the hot and which is the neutral.
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Old 09-24-2012, 06:07 PM   #7
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old electrical wiring


Go back through and test again. Take the known hot and meter it with the other wires. You should get 120v between the know hot and two other wires. Also look how the wires enter the box. That should help you pair your cables up. This is pretty basic. Dont fold yet.
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Old 09-24-2012, 06:43 PM   #8
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old electrical wiring


Did you note were all the four wires went to,
before you removed the old broken recepticule ?


If you have four wires ?
Most likely there is
1 - hot supply - (power in).
2 - hot supply out - ( goes to next recepticule).
3 - neutral wire in - (obvious).
4 - neutral wire out - ( goes to next recepticule).

But you must test this theory to confirm
before you apply any power !

A tester should tell you which one is hot supply -1.

Next test with a meter to find the other wire which is neutral,
with meter on hot supply, and the neutral in -3.
there should be full mains voltage.

The other two wires 2 & 4, most likely go to further recepticules
The recepticules that are now dead ( because the other two wires
are still not connectted ).
this should tell you were these other two wires go to.

A continuity test will tell you which is the hot
and which is the neutral.
once you have confirmed which is which
these two wires connect on to the other two wires
in the recepticule.

If your gfci is not working, it could be because it
has no neutral.

If you dont feel 100% confident to solve this
dont do it ! call a electricain instead.

Last edited by dmxtothemax; 09-24-2012 at 06:45 PM.
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