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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was replacing a bunch of outlets in this room with some GFCIs -- but this one had 4 wires instead of just Black, White, Ground.

Do I just connect them all and close it up?

Is it that easy?
654699
654700
 

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No. You need to figure out which pair is the line (supplying power to the outlet), and which is the load (providing power to the next outlet). If you hook them up backwards, it won't work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
OK... so aside from knowing where the wires were on the old one...

In other words - I know which Black and White were on the top of the old outlet and which were on the bottom...

Does that suffice?

If not -- how can I decipher?
 

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OK... so aside from knowing where the wires were on the old one...

In other words - I know which Black and White were on the top of the old outlet and which were on the bottom...



Does that suffice?

If not -- how can I decipher?

Do you have a volt meter? The hot and neutral from the supply side like was previously stated needs to go to line side and the ones leaving need to go to the load side. You’ll need to 100% determine that in order to have it function properly
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Do you have a volt meter? The hot and neutral from the supply side like was previously stated needs to go to line side and the ones leaving need to go to the load side. You’ll need to 100% determine that in order to have it function properly
Yes - I have a volt meter.

So if I understand correctly --

I tested them -- I identified the HOT Block Wire --- I connect that to the LINE Side and the other to the Load.

But how do I know which White goes where?
 

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OK... so aside from knowing where the wires were on the old one...

In other words - I know which Black and White were on the top of the old outlet and which were on the bottom...

Does that suffice?

If not -- how can I decipher?
Does the new outlet and the old outlet have the same orientation of line/load on the back? You can't just think "top" and "bottom".
 

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But how do I know which White goes where?
The black and white wires are in pairs. Look at the back of the box where the wires come in.
The white wire in the same cable as the hot black is the line side neutral, and the white wire in the same cable as the other black wire is the load side neutral.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Let's say I got confused and got the whites on backwards... would something bad happen? Or will I just notice it doesn't work and have to reverse them?
 

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Let's say I got confused and got the whites on backwards... would something bad happen? Or will I just notice it doesn't work and have to reverse them?
Let's see, if you wire the load side neutral to the line side... I think you would have no power and/or the GFCI would trip immediately.
 

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Let's say I got confused and got the whites on backwards... would something bad happen? Or will I just notice it doesn't work and have to reverse them?
If you wire it incorrectly, most often the little light will light up indicating power but you will get nothing out of the outlet or any other outlets downstream. But nothing catastrophic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well -- nothing catastrophic happened -- and the outlet works!

As always -- I bow to your superior wisdom and thank you very much!
 

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I was replacing a bunch of outlets in this room with some GFCIs -- but this one had 4 wires instead of just Black, White, Ground.

Do I just connect them all and close it up?

Is it that easy? View attachment 654699 View attachment 654700
So you are replaced a bunch of receptacles in a room with GFCIs? Prior to your replacements they were not GFCIs?

If that is the case, the four conductors two hot two neutral were connected to a standard receptacle. Now you have changed it to a GFCI with a line and load side connection. That load side wiring goes to wherever it goes and may be feeding another receptacle in that room which you may have also changed out to a GFCI. Is there an issue with coming out of the load side of a GFCI then feed that into the line side of the next GFCI? Probably not but that second GFCI is wasted money. If the line from the load side continues on (looks like it's an exterior receptacle) to say a security light or camera, if this GFCI trips those fixtures would be off, which will not be the case if they are pigtailed in the box. It may or may not have been your intention.
 

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Yes - I have a volt meter.

So if I understand correctly --

I tested them -- I identified the HOT Block Wire --- I connect that to the LINE Side and the other to the Load.

But how do I know which White goes where?

You should be able to see from looking in the device box which neutral is paired with which hot ,the neutral paired with the hot will go on the line side also
 

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You should be able to see from looking in the device box which neutral is paired with which hot ,the neutral paired with the hot will go on the line side also
You should be able to see from looking in the device box which neutral is paired with which hot ,the neutral paired with the hot will go on the line side also
^paired with the live hot feeding the device going to the line side
 

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They're making it harder than it is.

There's a warning tape covering 2 terminals. Do not remove the warning tape because, well, gory details.

That leaves 2 terminals which are designed to take 2 wires each.

Hook up the blacks to brass, the whites to silver and the ground pigtail to ground. It's that easy!







If you DO tear off the warning tape and attach to those terminals, now you get into the gory details. Code (110.3(B)) says you must follow the instructions, particularly step 8(c). Now you need to identify the other outlets which you now GFCI-protected by accident, and label them as such. You didn't even know you were protecting other outlets, and didn't actually intend to do that, did you?

I don't advise doing anything by accident. I mean if you want to familiarize yourself with the "downline protection" feature of GFCIs and put it to fullest use to save a lot of money and protect more stuff, that's awesome. But you should only do it AS A PLAN, not do it accidentally because you followed the literal instructions of some dudes on an internet forum. As things are now, you're going to have other outlets just randomly go dead on you for no apparent reason. You won't know why. You'll spend hours chasing your tail until you discover this GFCI tripped. Often people get so stuck they wind up calling an electrician, who charges them $100 to show where the GFCI reset is. That's why stickers are required.

So either do it the way I said, or learn how to use that feature and use it intentionally. In that case, make your own stickers and have it say where the reset is found.

And the dudes on the Internet forum telling EVERYONE to use Line and Load on a GFCI, please stop, unless you're willing to have the big conversation about how that works.
 

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They're making it harder than it is.

There's a warning tape covering 2 terminals. Do not remove the warning tape because, well, gory details.

That leaves 2 terminals which are designed to take 2 wires each.

Hook up the blacks to brass, the whites to silver and the ground pigtail to ground. It's that easy!







If you DO tear off the warning tape and attach to those terminals, now you get into the gory details. Code (110.3(B)) says you must follow the instructions, particularly step 8(c). Now you need to identify the other outlets which you now GFCI-protected by accident, and label them as such. You didn't even know you were protecting other outlets, and didn't actually intend to do that, did you?

I don't advise doing anything by accident. I mean if you want to familiarize yourself with the "downline protection" feature of GFCIs and put it to fullest use to save a lot of money and protect more stuff, that's awesome. But you should only do it AS A PLAN, not do it accidentally because you followed the literal instructions of some dudes on an internet forum. As things are now, you're going to have other outlets just randomly go dead on you for no apparent reason. You won't know why. You'll spend hours chasing your tail until you discover this GFCI tripped. Often people get so stuck they wind up calling an electrician, who charges them $100 to show where the GFCI reset is. That's why stickers are required.

So either do it the way I said, or learn how to use that feature and use it intentionally. In that case, make your own stickers and have it say where the reset is found.

And the dudes on the Internet forum telling EVERYONE to use Line and Load on a GFCI, please stop, unless you're willing to have the big conversation about how that works.
Why do you always make it sound like the other two terminals are so complicated? They are merely extensions of the slots on the front of the device.
 

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GFCI's wired as a cascading series (not parallel to the main supply) can very often result in multiple units tripping in the daisy chain. GFCIs are not meant to feed other GFCIs as a load.

It is possible that that OP's outlets were originally wired in parallel using the outlet terminals as connection points rather than wire nuts and pigtails.

OP may have been able to get by with a single GFCI for the entire room, (someone pointed out that the "other" GFCIs were a waste - which is true). If they are each acting as a load to the one prior it may be really hard to figure out what is going on when there is a trip.
 
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My point is none of this should be done by accident.

Why do you always make it sound like the other two terminals are so complicated? They are merely extensions of the slots on the front of the device.
To get people to figure that out and understand what that means, before deciding to use them.

But that's a great way to put it!
 

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So you are replaced a bunch of receptacles in a room with GFCIs? Prior to your replacements they were not GFCIs?

If that is the case, the four conductors two hot two neutral were connected to a standard receptacle. Now you have changed it to a GFCI with a line and load side connection. That load side wiring goes to wherever it goes and may be feeding another receptacle in that room which you may have also changed out to a GFCI. Is there an issue with coming out of the load side of a GFCI then feed that into the line side of the next GFCI? Probably not but that second GFCI is wasted money. If the line from the load side continues on (looks like it's an exterior receptacle) to say a security light or camera, if this GFCI trips those fixtures would be off, which will not be the case if they are pigtailed in the box. It may or may not have been your intention.
I have a GFCI in my bath with wires also ran from it to a GFCI located outside.
 
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