GFCI help

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by stardog, Feb 13, 2019.

  1. stardog

    stardog Reporter

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2013
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I am in the process of upgrading ungrounded receptacles in our house. The house was built in 1962. I have already upgraded one circuit by installing a GFCI-AFI receptacle in the first outlet from the panel, then replacing the remaining 2-prong receptacles with 3-prong (and adding the required stickers as well).

    I have two questions:

    1. For the remaining two circuits I am going to upgrade, instead of installing a GFCI-AFI receptacle in the first outlet and then replacing every outlet downstream, I am considering just having the circuit breaker in the panel replaced with a GFCI-AFI breaker. I just want to confirm that if I go the breaker route, then all I will have to do at that point is just replace each 2-prong receptacle with a 3-prong, correct? Plus the stickers, of course.

    2. I will also be installing an outdoor GFCI receptacle that will be piggybacked into a grounded receptacle from the interior wall. Although the interior circuit being tapped into is grounded, it does not have AFI protection. To meet code, will the outdoor receptacle need to be a dual GFCI-AFI, or can I get by with just a standard outdoor GFCI receptacle?

    Thanks for anyone's input regarding these two questions.
     
  2. Stuff

    Stuff Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Some houses built in that era actually had ground wires in the cables but the installers cut them off. Have your examined everything?

    1 - Sounds correct. I prefer installing new 2 prong receptacles and skipping the stickers as most don't need a 3 prong. Stickers are silly and fall off.
    2 - Shouldn't need AFCI as outdoor outlet. Inspector could say you are touching the circuit so needs updated.
     
  3. Sponsor

    Sponsor Paid Advertisement

     
  4. stardog

    stardog Reporter

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2013
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Thanks for the reply. As far as the circuit that the outdoor receptacle will be wired into, I am actually planning on having a GFCI-AFI breaker installed in the panel to replace the current breaker. That should bring everything into code for that particular circuit.
     
  5. Stuff

    Stuff Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Remember that most any outdoor receptacle needs to have the WR stamp on it. TR also with an in-use cover.
     
  6. kevreh

    kevreh New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2018
    Location:
    Virginia
    Stardog,


    When upgrading to 3 prong outlets, I assume there’s a ground wire in the outlet box?

    Local codes vary, but gfci’s are usually needed in wet areas like bathrooms. So not sure if your overdoing it.

    Also, based on what I’ve read, if you use a combo gfci afci breaker you need to remove any gfci’s on that circuit or you’ll get nuisance trips.
     
  7. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    Occupation:
    Test, Don't Guess!
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    You must not have read his post. He is replacing ungrounded receptacles with GFCI-protected receptacles, and labeling them "no equipment ground". This is an approved method.
     
  8. stardog

    stardog Reporter

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2013
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    kevreh did bring up a separate issue that had crossed my mind as well. If I do indeed add a GFCI-AFI breaker to the same grounded circuit that the outdoor GFCI receptacle will be tapped into, how will the two interact with each other? Will there be a potential negative impact (nuisance tripping), or, all things being equal, no impact at all? The outdoor receptacle will be seldom used, but want it for convenience sake near the small outdoor deck I will be building on the rear patio should a radio or light be plugged in occasionally. Obviously, by code, the outdoor outlet has to GFCI regardless.
     
  9. kevreh

    kevreh New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2018
    Location:
    Virginia
    I don't remember where I read it, but it was a reputable source (maybe the instructions from the breaker?) that said you can't have a gfci outlet in a circuit with a gfci breaker.

    Not if its on a circuit with a GFCI breaker.
     
    stardog likes this.
  10. stardog

    stardog Reporter

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2013
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    That is exactly what I was wondering. As long as the circuit itself is protected by a GFCI-AFI breaker, then theoretically the outdoor receptacle does not need to be GFCI. But, obviously well protected from the elements with a weatherproof enclosure. Correct thinking on this, and code approved?
     
  11. kevreh

    kevreh New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2018
    Location:
    Virginia
    That concurs with everything I've seen and read. But, check with local code to be sure. You can usually call the city or county and talk to someone to get an answer.
     
  12. Stuff

    Stuff Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Yes, you can put a GFCI receptacle on a circuit protected by a GFCI breaker. GFCI's came out decades ago and had some initial problems - lots of folks not understanding that grounds and neutrals needed to be separate. Instead of fixing the circuits they said no cascaded GFCIs.

    It is common for straight AFCI breakers to have GFCI receptacles on the circuit. e.g. latest codes for Kitchens.
     
  13. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    If the circuit is protected via a GFCI breaker, there is no good reason to install a GFCI receptacle (or spend the extra money) on one for outside. It won't make you any safer, and you might find you have to go to both the receptacle and the breaker to reset the circuit should it be tripped.
     
    stardog likes this.
  14. stardog

    stardog Reporter

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2013
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Just thinking out loud, if the circuit's GFCI protection is provided by instaling a GFCI in the first receptacle from the panel, would this essentially be the same as having protection provided by a GFCI circuit breaker in the panel? Meaning, an outdoor GFCI receptacle would still not be required as long as the protection exists via either the panel or the first receptacle, correct?
     
  15. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    Occupation:
    Test, Don't Guess!
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    A GFCI breaker provides ground fault protection to the entire circuit, so there would be no value in using GFCI receptacles in a circuit that is fed by a GFCI breaker. Depending on how many receptacles will be on the circuit and how many require GFCI protection, I would simply weigh the cost of one vs. the other along with what equipment might effected if the power goes out on the entire circuit.
     
  16. stardog

    stardog Reporter

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2013
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I should have clarified my reply. If a GFCI breaker was NOT installed in the panel, but rather the GFCI protection came from just the first outlet instead, then the same rule should apply: a GFCI receptacle still would NOT be necessary for the outdoor outlet, correct? Just curious if there is a preferred way to provide the protection: at the panel with a breaker, or at the receptacle at the start of the run. If I had a choice to make.
     
  17. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    As was said...if your GFCI has the leads to protect items downstream, everything IT feeds is also protected. SO, no, you do not need a separate one if it's already protected. That could be anything upstream, either at the panel with a GFCI CB, or by a GFCI upstream. NOte, most, but not all GFCI have leads to feed stuff downstream...to get that protection, you must use one of them.
     
  18. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    Occupation:
    Test, Don't Guess!
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    I do not recommend using a GFCI receptacle to protect additional receptacles which are not in the same room. One day there will be no power at one of those other receptacles and it will be a problem for someone who does not know how the circuit was wired.
     
    Stuff likes this.
Similar Threads: GFCI help
Forum Title Date
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog GFCI help Sep 20, 2018
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog Need GFCI help Jul 2, 2017
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog GFCI Troubleshooting Help Needed Apr 23, 2009
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog GFCI on split outlet Apr 4, 2019
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog GFCI Wiring/Testing Aug 1, 2018

Share This Page