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Old 06-02-2008, 03:11 PM   #1
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Replacing faulty GFI in kitchen. Wires too short.


The GFI in my kitchen went out and I am trying to replace it.

I'm new to home electrical work, but have worked with bread boards and have done some lightweight electronics repair.

When I pull my faulty GFI out of the wall, there's only enough wire to get it out about an inch, so it's a very tight fit.

I am having a problem getting it back into the wall. I have no idea how people would be able to do this as the wires each come out only an inch (to the tip) from the wall, it seems impossible to manage. And since the wires are thick and hard to bend it's very difficult to curve them around the screws on the new GFI.

I'd really appreciate any advice that could be given. Currently i have twist caps installed on all the wires to prevent destruction.

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Old 06-02-2008, 03:24 PM   #2
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Replacing faulty GFI in kitchen. Wires too short.


Take about a 6" piece of black, white, green or bare and wirenut them to the existing wires (color to color) and this will extend them

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Old 06-02-2008, 03:32 PM   #3
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Replacing faulty GFI in kitchen. Wires too short.


The wires coming from the wall are fairly thick. Do I need to match them to equal thickness wires? Are there standard sizes for these wires and how do I know which wire nuts are the right size for my job, so that they don't pop off and burn my house down?

I appreciate the reply. This is my first foray into repair of this sort.
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Old 06-02-2008, 03:48 PM   #4
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Replacing faulty GFI in kitchen. Wires too short.


Use 12 gauge wire and red (#76) wirenut, twist the ends together not the whole wire and put the wirenuts on tight.
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Old 06-02-2008, 03:48 PM   #5
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Replacing faulty GFI in kitchen. Wires too short.


Thank you
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Old 06-02-2008, 07:21 PM   #6
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Replacing faulty GFI in kitchen. Wires too short.


Pass and Seymore brand GFCI's terminate in the back/sides

I can see the OP struggling to stuff the added wires in the box

Sorry, I'm laughing with you.

Wait....you're not laughing, you are probably cussing.
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Old 06-03-2008, 08:05 AM   #7
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Replacing faulty GFI in kitchen. Wires too short.


Shawn, Most GFI's are backwired, where there are holes in the back of the receptacle the wire would stick straight into. Then, you tighten the screws on the side to clamp them in place.
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Old 06-03-2008, 05:55 PM   #8
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Replacing faulty GFI in kitchen. Wires too short.


Hey Shawn,

I love to see folks doing their own work but, you might wanna have a "tradesman" neighbor or a friend who's an electrician check your work out. The situation that you have is a bit tricky and you need to make sure your making solid connections...if your confident about that it should be O.K.

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Old 06-04-2008, 02:31 PM   #9
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Replacing faulty GFI in kitchen. Wires too short.


Also need to make sure you're connecting the wires to the load side of the receptacle, to make sure downstream receptacles are protected.
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Old 06-04-2008, 04:15 PM   #10
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Replacing faulty GFI in kitchen. Wires too short.


Wire nuts can get tough in tight spaces, especially for DIY-ers.

Another option is to use short lengths of the wire (of the same size), attach them to the terminals of the receptacle, and use these to connect instead of wire nuts. They're called "Wago Wall-nuts", and they work great. You can get them at HD or Lowes, and they're also sold under the Ideal brand name. They cost more than wire nuts, but you can buy assortment packs for a couple bucks. Great for short wires in tight boxes.
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Old 06-04-2008, 06:22 PM   #11
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Replacing faulty GFI in kitchen. Wires too short.


The only problem is that a standard 1 gang box is tight enough with a GFI receptacle, let alone with wirenuts. I am willing to bet the previous GFI was backwired, so the new one should go in just as easy as the old came out.
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Old 06-09-2008, 01:26 PM   #12
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Replacing faulty GFI in kitchen. Wires too short.


Quote:
Originally Posted by NateHanson View Post
Also need to make sure you're connecting the wires to the load side of the receptacle, to make sure downstream receptacles are protected.
You mean line side right?
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Old 06-09-2008, 08:41 PM   #13
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Replacing faulty GFI in kitchen. Wires too short.


I think he meant, the outgoing wires since he was referring to the downstream receps.

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