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  1. #1
    Lisa Robbins's Avatar
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    Default Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    I am a homeowner who has had to do her own finished electrical. Everything has gone well until now. I am trying to add the two required GFCI receptacles to my kitchen island. I have a single 15amp circuit to start with. I began with a junction box and splitting the line in two directions (to either side of the island as required by code). Each is connected to a 20amp GFCI receptacle via the line connector (not the load). The breaker keeps tripping and when I tried to reset a receptacle once it sparked at me. There have been two brief moments when both green lights were on the receptacles but then I turned off the power to secure the receptacles in their boxes and put the plates on. When I turned the power back on the breaker tripped. Does anyone know what I might be doing wrong?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    Terri,

    I commend you for wanting to do this yourself, but when it comes to electrical you should have the work done by a Licensed Electrician. Why risk injury to yourself or a possible fire hazard by doing it yourself (DIY).

    rick


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    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    I'm not an electrician and there are others on this Board more knowledgable than I but you are interperating code requirements incorrectly. Two GFCIs on the same circuit would not be required and should not be used in this application, just one. That GFCI would then be connected to the second receptacle (and others if necessary) from the load side. Once the GFCI is installed correctly and other outlets are connected to it, correctly, then those subsequent outlets are also protected by the single GFCI. My best advice, have a qualified electrician complete the work and have them inspect the work you have already completed. Kudos for attempting the work, however.


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    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    Does anyone know what I might be doing wrong?

    Yes, you are working on something that has the pontential to kill you or someone in your house, that you know little about or nothing about and should not be working on it at all.

    Call a professional before you burn the place down, or worse.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  5. #5
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    Remove both GFCI receptacles and leave the disconnected wires hanging out of the box and see if the breaker still kicks out. If the breaker holds reinstall one GFCI receptacle and then try the breaker again. If it still holds then reinstall the other GFCI receptacle. Your problem should reappear somewhere during this process. Of course like the others have said....only do this if you are qualified!


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    James,

    You give advice on how to do correct the problem first but then follow up with "only if your qualified".

    Seeing such questions on here concerns me cause this is not a DIY site or was it intended to be I believe by Brian. That may have all changed but I think we're all taking on some liability by giving DIY such advice. When these folks come on here and they have just (1) post and they are asking such advice we're not really looking out for their best interest and risk possible injury to them in explaining things in detail.

    Some may think I'm off base on this, but its just my opinion.

    rick


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    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Terri Bandaruk View Post
    I am a homeowner who has had to do her own finished electrical. Everything has gone well until now. I am trying to add the two required GFCI receptacles to my kitchen island. I have a single 15amp circuit to start with. I began with a junction box and splitting the line in two directions (to either side of the island as required by code). Each is connected to a 20amp GFCI receptacle via the line connector (not the load). The breaker keeps tripping and when I tried to reset a receptacle once it sparked at me. There have been two brief moments when both green lights were on the receptacles but then I turned off the power to secure the receptacles in their boxes and put the plates on. When I turned the power back on the breaker tripped. Does anyone know what I might be doing wrong?


    It occurs to me that SOME GFCI receptacles have an indication light which illuminates to display there is a WIRING ERROR, some illuminate to indicate that the GFCI has self-tested and the face is energized.

    To begin with all GFCI receptacles individually packaged are sold with listed written instructions. I suggest you review those.

    Secondly, you describe your work with limited (pretty much none, including the circuit path) details, so no one could begin to explain without making a series of assumptions and Wild A$$ Guesses as to what you have and have not done. From what you have chosen to share - it is abundantly obvious you do not know what you are doing (20 Amp face GFCI receptacles installed on a 15 Amp Circuit serving a Kitchen Island).

    It seems odd that your only mention of disabling power to the circuit came after the installation of the GFCI receptacles and before the installation of the face plates.

    Presuming all was correct to that point (which of course it could NOT BE since you are working towards final electrical and are ADDING receptacles to a kitchen island AND have indicated that you are doing so on a 15 Amp circuit and are installing 20 Amp face GFCI type combination devices, i.e. receptacles!!!!), and assuming that your receptacles are of the type which illuminate to indicate all is well not the opposite, and that you do not have gfci protection on the circuit itself, I would WAG that your tucking of the wiring into the junction box, the receptacles and wiring (which has not been described) into the boxes (materials also not described) or the installation of the face-plates or screws caused an overload, short, arc or fault. I suspect you have not only selected incorrect materials, and installed them incorrectly, but that you have also committed one if not several wiring errors, and created a dangerous situation. Even if you "get them to appear to work" the project as you have described it is not code compliant, and is a HAZARD to property, equipment, and persons.

    As indictated by prior posters, get yourself someone qualified to do the selecting of proper materials, planning the circuit, diagnostic and corrective work for this small appliance convienence receptacle circuit.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 07-06-2010 at 08:56 AM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    James,

    You give advice on how to do correct the problem first but then follow up with "only if your qualified".

    Seeing such questions on here concerns me cause this is not a DIY site or was it intended to be I believe by Brian. That may have all changed but I think we're all taking on some liability by giving DIY such advice. When these folks come on here and they have just (1) post and they are asking such advice we're not really looking out for their best interest and risk possible injury to them in explaining things in detail.

    Some may think I'm off base on this, but its just my opinion.

    rick
    I see what you are saying to a point but some of the HI I have run across have no business removing a panel cover but the do anyway and then ask for an interpretation of what they saw....which folks here freely give. I see no more liability giving this person advice than I do giving another HI advice. It's not the advice but how it is used is what matters.


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    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    Just a guess but it seems you created a short when securing the GFCI receptacles in the boxes. A ground fault or anything else unique to a GFCI will not cause the breaker to trip (unless it is a GFCI breaker)

    Jim Luttrall
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    This reminds me of a trip out with an electrician to get a GFCI outlet installed in a bathroom post-pending, pre-sale. It was a newer house so it was odd that it didn't have GFCI in any of the bathrooms.

    Anyway, starting in the master installing a GFCI the GFCI outlet kept tripping. There was a third cable running in the box that we discovered was the cause, and that one GFCI outlet then fed the other bathroom, so all was good, except the one cable completely disconnected. We had no idea where it went, but everything seemed to still work, so we left it disconnected.

    A bit later the original owner showed up and remembered that her husband had installed an outlet behind the drawers so that she could keep her hair dryer plugged in. We didn't go back in to look at how that was hooked up, but that was undoubtedly the problem.

    This was the second trip out with an electrician for that property. Shortly after putting it on the market I discovered some wiring in the crawlspace that was completely mis-wired feeding an exterior outlet (how I noticed it). If you touched that outlet while grounded, you got a slight shock.

    Anyway, the moral of the story is: If you don't know what you're doing, don't do your own electrical wiring.


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    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Terri Bandaruk View Post
    There have been two brief moments when both green lights were on the receptacles but then I turned off the power to secure the receptacles in their boxes and put the plates on. When I turned the power back on the breaker tripped.

    All I have are questions, some of which have been brought up in posts above.

    a) What type of boxes did you use: metal or non-metallic (plastic)?

    b) When you leave the receptacle out of the junction boxes will they work and stay on all the time, every time?

    If the answer to a) is "metal", then (as described by others above) you may likely be shorting the hot to the neutral by both touching the metal box or ground faulting the hot to ground by it touching the metal box and (presuming it is) you actually grounded the metal box properly (unlikely that it was done properly, but it may accidentally be grounded (it should be grounded).

    If the answer to b) is "yes" and the answer to a) is "metal" ... see above description.

    If the answer to b) is "yes" and the answer to a) is "non-metallic", then you may be disturbing some conductors in trying to push the GFCI receptacle back into the box.

    If the answer to b) is "no", then you likely have some other problem, and possibly the above problems too.

    This is all WAG as you did not provide enough information, however, it is good to see that you are still alive to ask the questions, so that is at least a good start.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    I concur with Rick's responses regarding the original post. And as H.G. pointed out, there is much more going wrong with the project than simply tripping a ground fault or breaker or finding a problem in the electrical line. Terri is unwittingly traveling down a slippery and potentially dangerous slope with this.

    Although we are more than happy to give advice or offer information to others on this board, even to the point of being competitive at times, it remains a place for offering advice to peers or other professionals in the various building trades; not to attempt to explain how to repair or install things to novices in the field of residential construction. In fact we are actually doing a dis-service to them by trying to explain the "fix" sometimes, as in this case. It simply encourages them to flounder around further and possibly get deeper into trouble instead of cutting their losses and seeking qualified help at the site thereby getting safely on with their project.

    I am not trying to sound elitist but as was already pointed out, in this particular case, no one here will argue the fact that what is going wrong with the wiring easily has the potential to cause a fire or personal injury or even death via electric shock, down the road. As simple as it appears to be, this really is a job for a professionally trained technician. Then, Terri, the next time you have a problem like this you will have watched the pro and, most likely, picked his brain about how a job like that should be done correctly and safely. Consider it payment for schooling as well as a guarantee for you and your family's and friends safety.

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    Terri,

    Please seek professional help. Some here have attempted to offer explanations based on your written narrative of how this job has gone wrong, but this is more of an attempt to show off their knowledge than a consideration of your abilities. To continue and follow through with this job is dangerous and unsafe.

    Good advice is to find a professional who will explain what he is doing and let you watch.

    I had a similar situation 30-something years ago. I bought a wood-burning stove and needed to install brick to meet the clearances to combustible surface installation requirements. I got some books on brink-laying at the library and thought I could be a brick-layer. After a few tries and a day spent washing concrete off of bricks and starting over, I hired a professional who redesigned my project and made it look good. I was good at a number of trades, but no brick-layer. The professional was good, I was his helper and could barely keep up with him. He worked me to oblivion. If I was doing this same job today, I'd still use a professional.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    The girl asked a simple question. I bet she is sorry she did....or maybe not since is most likely getting a good laugh!


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    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    James,
    This site is called "Inspection News" which I believe was intended for home inspectors to help one another. I personally hate to see it become another DIY.com type board as is out there for people to go on. Answering DIY's type questions seems to lead into arguments (not always discussions) among HI's on this board and does not look professional in my opinion.

    Again, just my opinion.

    rick


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    I agree with Rick. The site is for home inspectors not DIYers. If you inspected the house and found this deficiency your comment would be something like "Should be evaluated and repaired by a licensed electrician".


  17. #17
    Kary Krismer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    I would agree with Rick and Bob. I've mentioned the story before of the lousy wiring the prior owner of my house did in the main bathroom. It caused the GFCI to trip whenever the fan was run. My inspector just mentioned it as an issue. I didn't expect him to diagnose it.

    BTW, I would add that there very well may be other issues with the electrical in this particular house, but that it's not apparent because no GFCI outlets are involved.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    From the Home Page of Inspection News:

    Welcome to the InspectionNews Network of Inspection Information
    The InspectionNews Information Network has been developed to aid prospective, new and established home inspectors in their quest to find home inspection information and answers to business and technical questions.


    No mention of DIY's.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    The OP sent me a very nice email and I have no doubt I did the right thing plus I believe she is more than capable of using and understanding useful information. Her innocent question "Does anyone know what I might be doing wrong?" was enough do drive you folks bat-sh*t crazy! It is kinda humorous...don't you think?


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    Quote Originally Posted by James Risley View Post
    I would also guess that a small box was used and since GFCI's are rather large the chance of a problem when securing the GFCI in the box would be
    greatly increased particularly with a metal box.
    JR.
    I apologize - I didn't read the intent of the site before joining and asking my question. You guys have been awesome. James D, yes I did get a few laughs, Jerry P, yes I am still alive (thanks for the humor), and to everyone else - you're right thank you for the hard truth about the dangers. You have every right to put me in my place, I do push limits. But, for those that are interested...
    Those of you who mentioned the metal box and shorting out where right on. I am using stranded wire and the hot had several loose strands that did hit the metal when the receptable was placed into the box. That explains why I only had a problem when I set the final receptacle. It was dark, and I was tired and I didn't see it. My work will be inspected by the city tomorrow. But, I wanted you to know that your input is helpful in more than one way. It educates me on how to interview electricians to feel confident THEY are qualified, to estimate the extent of work for recognizing a fair bid, it makes me appreciate the tradesman I hire and not take their contribution for granted, and so I don't go brain dead as a stay home mom. I don't want to leave without saying I appreciate that you took the time to respond whether or not you supported what I was doing. Take care.


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    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    Honorable of you to support the lady James but look at the facts from her original post and be very careful about bad mouthing the rest of us here. She states:

    "I am trying to add the two required GFCI receptacles to my kitchen island."

    Nothing wrong with number of GFCI's if one chooses, but to the island? Perhaps...read on.

    "I have a single 15amp circuit to start with."

    What do you make of this statement, for a kitchen, James?

    "I began with a junction box and splitting the line in two directions (to either side of the island as required by code)."

    Is this a correct "code" requirement?? How about the placement and number of GFCI's for a kitchen in this statement?

    "Each is connected to a 20amp GFCI receptacle via the line connector (not the load). The breaker keeps tripping"

    What is the weakest link in the chain now? Does this raise a warning flag?

    Either this person (male or female) is indeed having a good laugh at our expense and taking advantage of our good nature by putting out incomplete and incorrect information in a scenario like that for us to try to figure out and respond to OR she may in fact be able to handle some types of electrical circuit wiring but is simply in way over her head on this one. Matter of fact, given her statements and references to "code" in the original post I would be suspect of the quality or safety of the work she said she has already done as well.

    Her "innocent question" as you say, "Does anyone know what I might be doing wrong?", has indeed been answered as diplomatically as possible. The wrong thing she is doing is NOT hiring a professional to straighten out her ever increasingly dangerous situation. Obviously she has bigger problems with her installation to this point than GFCI's that won't set. If she is as capable as you "have no doubt", she will learn from the professional the correct way to handle her current debacle and be able to use the information in the future.

    As home inspectors we are suspicious by profession. There were very many things to be suspicious of in the original post. Don't you agree?

    P.S. Terri responded before I got this post out there. I have to add the "stranded wire" comment? issue? to the mix now.

    Last edited by Bob Knauff; 07-07-2010 at 12:40 PM. Reason: .
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  22. #22
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    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Knauff View Post
    P.S. Terri responded before I got this post out there. I have to add the "stranded wire" comment? issue? to the mix now.
    Just to highlight that a bit.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    Quote Originally Posted by James Duffin View Post
    The OP sent me a very nice email and I have no doubt I did the right thing plus I believe she is more than capable of using and understanding useful information. Her innocent question "Does anyone know what I might be doing wrong?" was enough do drive you folks bat-sh*t crazy! It is kinda humorous...don't you think?
    James, I'm not trying to take sides here, but you giving her a walk through over the internet can, as others stated, make matters worse and put her or others in danger. I think the biggest danger being something happening down the road to someone else due to something she did wrong but "appeared" to work fine at the time.

    It's different when you are talking to an experienced electrician who got stuck somewhere and just needs another set of eyes to look at it. But it's clear that she did very limited research before attempting her project. Best advise would have been "STOP what you're doing and hire a professional" as others have stated.

    Also, not 100% sure, but I believe you are not supposed to put stranded wire on terminal screws in outlets or switches. Someone else care to confirm?


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    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabe S View Post
    Also, not 100% sure, but I believe you are not supposed to put stranded wire on terminal screws in outlets or switches. Someone else care to confirm?

    Wire-binding screw terminals, such as those found on switches and receptacles, are rated for solid or stranded, 10 AWG or smaller (i.e., those types of terminals are not allowed for larger than 10 AWG conductors).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  25. #25
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    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Wire-binding screw terminals, such as those found on switches and receptacles, are rated for solid or stranded, 10 AWG or smaller (i.e., those types of terminals are not allowed for larger than 10 AWG conductors).
    What about running the stuff inside a wall? What about the type of cable (e.g. not three conductor) and the possible need for conduit? Am I the only one here thinking lamp cord?


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    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kary Krismer View Post
    What about running the stuff inside a wall? What about the type of cable (e.g. not three conductor) and the possible need for conduit? Am I the only one here thinking lamp cord?
    We see lamp cord, extension cords, etc. That's wrong of course.

    This '72 mobile home was wired with some stranded wire, something like 6 stranded wires bundled together in a plastic sheath. Can't say how they worked with it at the other end. They had to split the sheathing to spread the feeders out to the different outlets.
    At least it's copper.

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    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kary Krismer View Post
    What about running the stuff inside a wall? What about the type of cable (e.g. not three conductor) and the possible need for conduit? Am I the only one here thinking lamp cord?
    I am presuming it is in a raceway of some type as, in a PM, Terri said the colors were white and black plus the ground, which indicated to me that it was not lamp cord but regular THWN or something similar she got at one of the Big Box stores.

    Yes, there was a lack of information provided, however, being as metal boxes were installed, along with the stranded wiring, some presumptions need to be made - and we do not know whether we are making the correction presumptions or the incorrect presumptions, which is why many of my answers state what some of my presumptions are - to alert the readers as to what I am thinking as it relates to what I am saying.

    Sometimes we guess right, sometimes we guess wrong, but the more information (presumptions) we supply in our answers the better for all parties involved.

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  28. #28

    Exclamation Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    Please end this discussion. Call an electrician.

    Brent Lerwill, Coos Bay, Oregon

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    Quote Originally Posted by ben jacks View Post
    Two very important questions....Are the stranded wire "lines" in metal conduit under 6' in length to each metal box receptacle? Is the home branch circuit supply cable 12-2 or 14-2 (with ground) Romex?

    Please note that a 15 amp circuit to the island is acceptable if there are two 20 amp GFCI small appliance circuits (each having their own existing GFCI protection) to the kitchen counter receptacles. I noted you mention stay at home mom, so I can understand making ends meet as a probable reason for attempting electrical wiring.

    Just a word of caution. Having the courage to attempt doing electrical is commendable, but to an insurance company, a fault caused by incorrect work is a liability to the installer...should something go terribly wrong. Ben
    Acceptable to whom? Just what do you think a kitchen island countertop is? Please cite under what code or section same would be "acceptable".

    OP lists location Huntington Beach, California. Not acceptable. Adding new receptacles to new locations FOR kitchen ISLAND, (which would have a TOP surface) they should be on a 20 amp small appliance circuit.

    They are serving a countertop, they must be on a small appliance circuit. Code requires a minimum of two of these circuits, but does not limit the number of them.

    No mention was made of a built-in or permanently installed appliance or equipment above or below the countertop of the kitchen island. Two such receptacle locations were mentioned, added to an existing circuit - no mention of a clock was made.

    Not too long ago a supposed "builder" from same city showed up complaining all about inspectors mentioning failure to meet minimum code. Wonder if there is a connection between said "builder" and the property/homeowner.


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    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    B.J.Total B.S. Small Appliance Branch Circuits, are required to be rated at 20 Amps, NOT 15 Amps. No mention was made for an appliance garage (behind a door) or refrigeration equipment.Your further B.S. about a kitchen island countertop requiring a sink to be required to be served via receptacles powered from a Small Appliance Branch is wrong. A kitchen island or penninsula are covered.Not allowed to have at surface facing up, but there are other options.Not much point quoting code to you, since you fail to read and comprehend, let alone properly apply what you cite yourself.


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    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    James,
    This site is called "Inspection News" which I believe was intended for home inspectors to help one another. I personally hate to see it become another DIY.com type board as is out there for people to go on. Answering DIY's type questions seems to lead into arguments (not always discussions) among HI's on this board and does not look professional in my opinion.

    Again, just my opinion.

    rick
    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post

    Seeing such questions on here concerns me cause this is not a DIY site or was it intended to be I believe by Brian. That may have all changed but I think we're all taking on some liability by giving DIY such advice. When these folks come on here and they have just (1) post and they are asking such advice we're not really looking out for their best interest and risk possible injury to them in explaining things in detail.

    Some may think I'm off base on this, but its just my opinion.

    rick
    I completely agree with Rick but it appears many on this board are eager to show their knowledge and go to great lengths trying to troubleshoot and explain repairs, all of which contributes and fuels further such questions to the point where this site becomes more of a DIY rather than a professional HI forum.

    This may all be good for Brian's exposure and ad campaigns but it really dilutes the reasons so many HI's come here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kary Krismer View Post
    What about running the stuff inside a wall? What about the type of cable (e.g. not three conductor) and the possible need for conduit? Am I the only one here thinking lamp cord?
    Quote Originally Posted by brent lerwill View Post
    Please end this discussion. Call an electrician[/B].
    Right on Brent... that is the best advice we can give anyone attempting their own wiring because while the advice they hear on this board may be correct, it is still misinterpreted and you end up with fixture wire being used as permanent wiring.

    Joe Klampfer RHI
    www.myinspection.ca
    Pacific Home Inspections

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Terri Bandaruk View Post
    I am a homeowner who has had to do her own finished electrical. Everything has gone well until now. I am trying to add the two required GFCI receptacles to my kitchen island. I have a single 15amp circuit to start with. I began with a junction box and splitting the line in two directions (to either side of the island as required by code). Each is connected to a 20amp GFCI receptacle via the line connector (not the load). The breaker keeps tripping and when I tried to reset a receptacle once it sparked at me. There have been two brief moments when both green lights were on the receptacles but then I turned off the power to secure the receptacles in their boxes and put the plates on. When I turned the power back on the breaker tripped. Does anyone know what I might be doing wrong?
    BJ, I don't need to read, you do.


  33. #33
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    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    Am I the only one to notice that, on THIS thread ... yes, THIS thread ... MANY jumped on the 'why help the DIYer', YET ON OTHER THREADS WHICH CAME UP JUST BEFORE AND RIGHT AFTER this thread, those same people were eager to help the others ...

    Lack of consistency or just missed a gear in the replies to this thread?

    Some of you guys really need to get your act together and make up your mind: a) you are going to answer DIY questions; b) you are NOT going to answer DIY questions - then stick to your decision.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    Not wishing to debate the merits of the OPs endeavours, nor continue the diy nature that the thread has turned into (I take some responsibilty, however) but a related HI issue - for me - has arisen. We see GFCI's installed all the time, though sometimes not where the should be and usually check for placement and functionality. Can someone explain the consequencies, if any, of having two or more GFCIs on the same circuit with one coming directly off the load side of the other. From line to load and so on. And, how can that be determined during a typical electrical inspection? Thanks.
    (FWIW - that's how I read the original post)

    ip


  35. #35
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    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Page View Post
    Can someone explain the consequencies, if any, of having two or more GFCIs on the same circuit with one coming directly off the load side of the other. From line to load and so on.
    They only consequence one would not want would be that if there is a ground fault at at the last receptacle done the line (or at any other receptacle up from that one) ANY GFCI upstream of that ground fault could trip, making one have to search all over the house for the GFCI which tripped. Not all GFCIs trip at the same level (probably few do trip at the same level even though they do trip with their proper *range*), which means that the most sensitive GFCI is going to trip first.

    Wiring each successive GFCI off the line side of the previous GFCI means that only that one GFCI is protecting whatever is downstream from that one GFCI device.

    And, how can that be determined during a typical electrical inspection?
    Quite simple ... and not so simply done: Check all receptacle outlets in the house, trip ONE GFCI device, recheck ALL other receptacles, go back and reset the GFCI you tripped, go to another GFCI and trip it, then recheck ALL other receptacles, repeat for each GFCI device, whew!

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  36. #36
    Kary Krismer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Quite simple ... and not so simply done: Check all receptacle outlets in the house, trip ONE GFCI device, recheck ALL other receptacles, go back and reset the GFCI you tripped, go to another GFCI and trip it, then recheck ALL other receptacles, repeat for each GFCI device, whew!
    If you're that concerned about it, wouldn't it be simpler to just use an outlet testing device that has a GFCI trip function and try to trip each outlet when you checked polarity?


  37. #37
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    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kary Krismer View Post
    If you're that concerned about it, wouldn't it be simpler to just use an outlet testing device that has a GFCI trip function and try to trip each outlet when you checked polarity?
    That would not answer the question which was asked, but, as an attorney, you should have paid more attention to the question which was asked.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  38. #38
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    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    Jerry, thank you for your response and explanation. In fact your scenario happened to me during a recent inspection. I checked the one and only visible GFCI and then reset it, only to find several receptacles were still dead. I found the second GFCI, by accident inside a cupboard behind a false rear 'wall', which had tripped when I checked the first (visible) GFCI. The second hidden GFCI powered the 'dead' receptacles. I reset it and 'voila' power. Obviously I called it out to the customer for remedial action but other than the fact that the GFCI was hidden, I couldn't determine if there were specific detrimental consequences.

    ip


  39. #39
    Kary Krismer's Avatar
    Kary Krismer Guest

    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    That would not answer the question which was asked, but, as an attorney, you should have paid more attention to the question which was asked.
    Objection. Non-responsive.

    As a litigation consultant you shouldn't make those mistakes.

    I would ask a follow up question, but at this point I really don't care.


  40. #40
    Dan Kuznitsky's Avatar
    Dan Kuznitsky Guest

    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Some of you guys really need to get your act together and make up your mind: a) you are going to answer DIY questions; b) you are NOT going to answer DIY questions - then stick to your decision.
    Since an inspector is an inspector and not an electrician, carpenter, bricklayer, painter.... Wouldn't the answer to any question beginning with "how do I..." in regards to repairs be at least a DIY answer?


  41. #41
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    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    Dan,

    The kicker is when the word "repair" comes within the question. Then it is a DIY project.

    rick


  42. #42
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    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kary Krismer View Post
    Objection. Non-responsive.

    As a litigation consultant you shouldn't make those mistakes.

    I would ask a follow up question, but at this point I really don't care.
    You may consider that as non-responsive, the rest of us consider your question as repetitive - asked and answered, move on - if you do not comprehend the answer, pay the witness as an expert and he will take all the time needed to see that you pay attention and learn the answer.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  43. #43
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    Default Re: Why do two GFCIs on one circuit trip the breaker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Page View Post
    Jerry, thank you for your response and explanation. In fact your scenario happened to me during a recent inspection. I checked the one and only visible GFCI and then reset it, only to find several receptacles were still dead. I found the second GFCI, by accident inside a cupboard behind a false rear 'wall', which had tripped when I checked the first (visible) GFCI. The second hidden GFCI powered the 'dead' receptacles. I reset it and 'voila' power. Obviously I called it out to the customer for remedial action but other than the fact that the GFCI was hidden, I couldn't determine if there were specific detrimental consequences.

    ip
    If I may add to this hijacked thread some additional useable info.

    When a GFCI breaker won't reset, look for another one upstream. Restore power by resetting the one upstream, then go try resetting the dwonstream unit again.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

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