Should this GFCI run work?

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by idoc4u, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. idoc4u

    idoc4u New Member

    Messages:
    83
    Location:
    Indiana
    Please see attached well crafted artistic rendering.

    I ran #12 wire from a 20A breaker to a junction box. From the junction box I created a pigtail and ran to the first GFCI outlet (Line) terminal. Also from the pigtail in the junction box I ran to a second GFCI outlet (Line). Then from the (Load) terminals on those GFCI's I ran to standard 15A receptacles.

    When I switched on the breaker, the first GFCI clicked off and none of the other outlets including the other GFCI outlets were hot.

    So I changed and wired so that the source went to the junction box. From the junction box I ran to only one GFCI (Line). From the (Load) of that GFCI I ran to the (Load) of a second GFCI.

    With that set-up, the first GFCI worked correctly, but none of the other outlets were hot.

    Shouldn't the wiring work as drawn?

    Thanks for any assistance with figuring out this wiring. It seems straight forward enough, but obviously I'm mistaken.

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  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,023
    Location:
    New England
    You should be able to feed two branches with GFCI's in them, but why? All you need is one. All receptacles beyond the first one would be protected. No reason to break it into two branches. It's not a good idea to feed one GFCI from another, though (from its load side), but feeding two in parallel to their line sides should work.
  3. drick

    drick In the Trades

    Messages:
    392
    Your hots and neutrals are most likely backwards. The GFI will not reset when they are reversed.
    -rick
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2010
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    This should work as drawn. Probably something reversed, or there is additional loads connected on that load side and/or your neutrals are commoned together somewhere creating multiple returns paths.
  5. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,534
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Never connect to the load when supplying a GFCI receptacle.

    The GFCI receptacle will not function should it be supplied to the load end of the device. Never connect to the load when supplying a GFCI receptacle.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,647
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The way you have it drawn, there should be no way either GFCI would affect the outlets on the other one. Feeding from the load of one GFCI to the load of the other one, turns it into an "junction point", not an outlet. (You could use wire nuts and do the same thing.) BUT, you said "when you turned on the breaker, the GFCI tripped", does that mean it happened automatically, and if so are you sure it was the GFCI and NOT the circuit breaker? If the GFCI did trip when power was supplied to it, then you have a wiring problem, NOT a GFCI one.
  7. idoc4u

    idoc4u New Member

    Messages:
    83
    Location:
    Indiana
    hj, both the GFCI and breaker tripped immediately after I switched the breaker on. I must have a wiring issue. I'll have to check it out an be sure that I have it wired as drawn.

    I don't believe joining the neutrals from the breaker box and those going to the "Line" terminals on the GFCI outlets together in the junction box would be incorrect.

    I do have the junction box and outlet boxes grounded.

    I thought I'd solve the problem by taking the hot and neutral from the breaker to the "Line" terminals on just one GFCI outlet and then from the "Load" terminals to my other outlets. When I did this, the downstream outlets didn't work. This suggests to me that I must be wired to the wrong terminals on the GFCI.

    The reason why I wanted to originally use 2 GFCI outlets in parallel was based on the location of the outlets. Wiring this way would be more efficient.

    Thanks again for your input.
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,647
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    NO problem with wiring them if "parallel" if the wiring is done correctly. The GFCI will trip because of a fault, the circuit breaker will trip because of a short. The two situations are NOT always, or even usually, the same.
  9. idoc4u

    idoc4u New Member

    Messages:
    83
    Location:
    Indiana
    hj, Thanks again for the reply. Here's what happened. I must have had a break in the wire insulation which caused a short. I rewired according to the drawing. My tester showed no power, but neither the breaker nor the GFCI tripped. I plugged in a light and worked like a charm. All outlets tested properly and responded to a manually tripped GFCI. I would not have thought about the tester being bad, but in fact that was part of this issue. Thanks again.
  10. idoc4u

    idoc4u New Member

    Messages:
    83
    Location:
    Indiana
    Not that there is any overwhelming reason to do it, but if theoretically wiring 2 GFCI outlets in series, would you wire from the "Load" terminal of GFCI #1 (closest to the breaker) and go into the "Line" terminal of the second?
  11. jbfan74

    jbfan74 Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    131
    Location:
    Newnan, GA
    You could wire it that way, but no reason in the world to do that.
    If ypou felt you needed two gfci receptacles, the you would feed the second one from the line termnals as well as the first one.
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