Question replacing two-prong kitchen receptacles

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by Gar Gan, Feb 8, 2019.

  1. Gar Gan

    Gar Gan New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2019
    Location:
    Pearland, TX
    Our house was built in 1960 and I am planning on upgrading the old two-prong receptacles that are still in the kitchen. There are two kitchen circuits, maybe four or five receptacles on each, and each circuit is served by a 20 amp breaker in the panel box. My plan is to install a GFCI/AFI receptacle at the beginningof each circuit, followed by 3-pronged outlest downstream for each.

    Regarding the GFCI/AFI, since each circuit is controlled by a 20 amp breaker, then each of my GFCI's must also be 20 amp, correct? As opposed to using a 15 amp GFCI. Even though all the receptacles downstream will be of the 3-throng 15 amp variety.

    Just want to make sure I purchase the appropriate GFCI/AFI for what I want to do. Tks.
     
  2. Stuff

    Stuff Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Most GFCI's that are 15 amp are fine with a 20 amp circuit as they are listed as feed-through for 20 amp. Yes, you can use 20 amp as you have a 20 amp circuit. Check the specs of the device you buy if you go with 15.

    The downstream receptacles then need labeled "GFCI protected, no equipment ground"

    Check your wiring. You may have a ground wire in your boxes or cut off short that can be used. Might be a pain to use, though.
     
    MASTERPLUMB777 and stardog like this.
  3. Sponsor

    Sponsor Paid Advertisement

     
    MASTERPLUMB777 and stardog like this.
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    It's a rare kitchen, plug-in device that needs a 20A receptacle, so, you're probably better off not putting in 20A versions (but rated for 20A pass-through) to prevent the likelihood of maybe two being on the same circuit. WHen it's a dedicated circuit, and 12g wire is used, I like to use a 20A receptacle which then gives you more flexibility in what you can plug in, but since it's dedicated, no chance of overloading anything.

    I replaced all of the 2-hole receptacles in my mother's house with GFCI and 3-hole receptacles. It was a pain finding the first one in the daisy-chain on each circuit, but I made it happen. Some of those over 60-year old devices were REALLY sloppy (loose), so it was time.
     
  5. stardog

    stardog Reporter

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2013
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    The reason I ask, I had just bought a 15 amp GFCI/AFI, then realized the kitchen circuit breakers are 20 amp each. I'll check the Leviton package and website to see if I can use it.
     
  6. stardog

    stardog Reporter

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2013
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I am going to go with the 20 amp GFCI/AFI, then all standard 15 amp 3-prong receptacles downstream. And also the proper labeling as required.
     
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    While you can't put a 20A receptacle on a 15A circuit, it's fine to use a 15A one on a 20A circuit as long as the device can pass through the maximum load.

    This gets a bit messed up with things like a dryer or range plug, where you can use a higher rated receptacle when installed on a smaller circuit, meaning you could plug in something that would overload it.
     
  8. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida ?

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    FYI. Does your kitchen circuits have a ground? Without a ground wire (green wire) those plug in testers will not work. They use the ground as a fault to ground when the test button is pushed. GFCI will work with two wires but any outlets down stream outlets may need to be labeled as "no ground". The three prong plug would only be for convenience. If there are no grounds this is the time to run new wire.

    Some areas require (and good practice) that the pass through outlets be pig-tailed. That is the incoming wire, the outgoing wire (to the next outlet) and the wire to the receptacle are connected together with a wire nut. Therefore, the 15 amp outlet is not passing through up to 20 amps. Since at a kitchen counter top you can have two appliances that take a fair amount of power on one circuit, pigtailing is preferred. If all outlets are 20a rating then the outlet can be used to pass through.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
  9. stardog

    stardog Reporter

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2013
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    No ground, just want to upgrade to 3-prong for convenience sake. Also, all outlets will have the appropriate labels attached. Did decide to go with the 15 amp Leviton dual GFCI/AFI receptacle at the beginning of the run for the 20 amp circuit. Only because it has the 20 amp feed-through capability. Should be sufficient. My kitchen outlets are rarely used for anything, and rarely more than one at a time. And never 20 amp appliances.

    Have never used the pigtail method, although it seems to be referenced a lot. I need someone or a source to fully explain the how to and benefits of pigtailing.
     
  10. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida ?

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    If you use back wire feed receptacles pig tailing is not needed. I use these anytime I change a switch or outlet. They allow it to be extremely easy to wire through especially if the old copper wire is nicked and there is not enough wire to make a new fishhook or a side wire connection. Just place the wires under the same clamp on each side of the screw. These are also made more robust than the 99 cent ones in the big box at HD.

    You should not assume that since these will be rarely used that it is OK to do the installation as you see fit. Some one in the future that may own the home that may use them differently. Such as a toaster and coffee machine are on the same outlet or circuit, etc. From your description you're doing it the right way.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
  11. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    If the neutral is shared after the GFCI feed thru, you will get tripping. If that occurs, consider putting in separate GFCI receptacles in each of the boxes if there is room. They are not that expensive, and will simplify finding the reset button when you get a trip. That also identifies which receptacle had the ground fault.

    If there is common neutral sharing (MWBC), you are not allowed to cascade the neutrals at the outlets, and instead must use pigtails. I am not an electrician.

    https://www.ecmweb.com/content/multiwire-branch-circuits-can-be-dangerous
     
  12. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    ONe benefit of pigtailing was mentioned previously...if you ever need to go into that box again, when you pull out the receptacle to remove it, you're not breaking the run to the others downstream. That also means that if you ever had a loose connection at the receptacle's power inputs, it wouldn't be intermittent downstream, either. If you fail to torque the wire connections properly, over time, especially if you use higher powered devices, the heating/cooling can cause the screws to back off a little. NOt an issue if it's torqued properly, but it would be localized to that one if you used pigtails rather than anything else downstream. It means you're pulling out and bending only one set of wires versus two cables...12g wiring gets pretty stiff!
     
Similar Threads: Question replacing
Forum Title Date
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog Replacing Emergency Lights in Office - Question about Wiring Feb 7, 2019
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog Ignorant question, business replacing receptacles and switches. Oct 28, 2013
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog Replacing old fuse box questions Aug 26, 2010
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog Electrical chase code question Dec 13, 2018
Electrical Forum discussion & Blog Another Generator Question Nov 14, 2018

Share This Page