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  1. #1
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    Default GFI Wiring Question

    I've run into this problem a few times in the past and saw it again yesterday. Two GFI outlets in the kitchen, each with the test and rest buttons. The outlet to the right of the kitchen sink trips when tested but will not reset unless the outlet on left-hand side of sink is reset first.

    What wiring configuration would cause this and does it need to be corrected?

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  2. #2
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    I've run into this problem a few times in the past and saw it again yesterday. Two GFI outlets in the kitchen, each with the test and rest buttons. The outlet to the right of the kitchen sink trips when tested but will not reset unless the outlet on left-hand side of sink is reset first.

    What wiring configuration would cause this and does it need to be corrected?
    When I see this what I normally find in that the downsteam GFCI is fed from the load side of the upstream GFCI receptacle so the downstream will not reset because there is no power feeding it because the upsteam needs to be reset also. All that needs to be done is the wiring to the downstream GFCI receptacle needs to be made hot all the time by moving the wiring on the load side on the upstream receptacles to the line side.

    Or you could replace the downstream GCFI receptacle with a regular receptacle that will be protected by the upstream GFCI receptacle.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    The downstream GFCI is wired feed-through from the upstream GFCI, as though the downstream GFCI were a non-GFCI receptacle.

    With the downstream GFCI receptacle being wired as feed-through at the upstream GFCI, either the upstream GFCI is tripping first before the downstream GFCI trips, or both are tripping at the same time, either way, before the downstream GFCI can be reset you need to reset power at the upstream GFCI.

    Not a big problem where you describe, but when wired that way and one is in the garage and one is outdoors ... finding the GFCI which tripped can be a challenge. That would be the only drawback for wiring one GFCI as feed-through from another GFCI, and is a good enough reason not to wire it that way. The better way to wire one GFCI off another GFCI is by-pass or tapping of the line side to the upstream GFCI to the downstream GFCI.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    The key to this question is - the downstream GFCI will not reset unless there is power to it. Simple.

    The first time I discovered this, it made me look stupid. It was new home construction, and testing the downstairs powder GFCI with my 3-light tester caused the GFCI in the upstairs bath to pop. Then the one downstairs wouldn't reset, so I wrote it up as faulty. I went upstairs and tested and reset the upstairs GFCI. Then the electricians arrived to finish something. I told them there was a problem with the GFCI downstairs. "No, you just need to push this button here, ya dummy." Click, it's working fine.

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

  5. #5
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    The key to this question is - the downstream GFCI will not reset unless there is power to it. Simple.

    The first time I discovered this, it made me look stupid. It was new home construction, and testing the downstairs powder GFCI with my 3-light tester caused the GFCI in the upstairs bath to pop. Then the one downstairs wouldn't reset, so I wrote it up as faulty. I went upstairs and tested and reset the upstairs GFCI. Then the electricians arrived to finish something. I told them there was a problem with the GFCI downstairs. "No, you just need to push this button here, ya dummy." Click, it's working fine.
    I'm wondering if you consider this a repair item? I forget to put in my previous post that I do put it down as needing repair for the reason you just stated....it's confusing.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    Right. I usually just tell the client that the receptacles are wired together, so if this GFCI won't reset here, to go reset the other one. I guess I could write that into the report too, but were will the report be, 6 months from now?

    Correction - it is in the report, in the Bathroom section, "#2 GFCI resets at .... #1 wall receptacle". Or "at the breaker panel" which is often the case.

    Last edited by John Kogel; 05-30-2011 at 12:58 PM.
    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    I guess my concern is that if the GFCI rec in the master bath kicks out and it is fed from the GFCI rec in the first floor half bath and it kicks out also then there is really no need to have the GFCI rec in the master bath since you have to go to the half bath to reset it anyway. But I agree it is not a safety issue...it's an inconvenience.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    It's better to be a little over exuberant when adding GFCI receptacles to up grade existing not protected outlets. If the GFCI trips when the hair dryer ends up in the sink its better than if it doesn't. Test all of them if they trip go on about your business. Tell the client if present but there is nothing wrong with your installation.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The downstream GFCI is wired feed-through from the upstream GFCI, as though the downstream GFCI were a non-GFCI receptacle.

    With the downstream GFCI receptacle being wired as feed-through at the upstream GFCI, either the upstream GFCI is tripping first before the downstream GFCI trips, or both are tripping at the same time, either way, before the downstream GFCI can be reset you need to reset power at the upstream GFCI.

    Not a big problem where you describe, but when wired that way and one is in the garage and one is outdoors ... finding the GFCI which tripped can be a challenge. That would be the only drawback for wiring one GFCI as feed-through from another GFCI, and is a good enough reason not to wire it that way. The better way to wire one GFCI off another GFCI is by-pass or tapping of the line side to the upstream GFCI to the downstream GFCI.
    Yes, I had the same setup that you describe except one was in the kitchen and the other downstairs by the laundry tub, took me forever to figure that out (the laundry was the upstream one).


  10. #10
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    While I'm not in the building trades I work around folks who are not electricity savy. In fact, the simple use of a 2-way radio can leave them... well, lost.

    Having said that, I would view as more unsafe than inconvenient any situation which causes confusion. Especially around outlets that are near a too convenient connection to ground.

    Either parallel wire the inlet sides of the GFCIs or swap one for a common receptacle. I'd not have it in my home any other way.

    Stam


  11. #11
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    I have run into this many times. In many of the cases it was just a waste of a GFCI receptacle.

    I suggest they may remove the downstream GFCI and use it in another location.

    Like other stated here that they can be a bit of a pain to get them all reset.

    Don Hester
    NCW Home Inspections, LLC
    Wa. St. Licensed H I #647, WSDA #80050, http://www.ncwhomeinspections.com

  12. #12
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    I believe Don Hester has the correct answer. Not needed- use elswhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Hester View Post
    I have run into this many times. In many of the cases it was just a waste of a GFCI receptacle.

    I suggest they may remove the downstream GFCI and use it in another location.

    Like other stated here that they can be a bit of a pain to get them all reset.



  13. #13
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    Quote Originally Posted by DENNIS OMARA View Post
    I believe Don Hester has the correct answer. Not needed- use elswhere.
    The better answer is to correct the improper wiring and leave the GFCI receptacles where they are.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The better answer is to correct the improper wiring and leave the GFCI receptacles where they are.
    Jerry;
    Why do you say it's better to correct the improper wiring and leave the GFCI's where they are ? The downstream GFCI is unneccessary, and could be swapped out for a standard receptacle. Wouldn't that be the more straightforward, less complicated solution for the homeowner?


  15. #15
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    Default Re: GFCI Wiring Question

    Quote Originally Posted by DENNIS OMARA View Post
    Jerry;
    Why do you say it's better to correct the improper wiring and leave the GFCI's where they are ? The downstream GFCI is unneccessary, and could be swapped out for a standard receptacle. Wouldn't that be the more straightforward, less complicated solution for the homeowner?
    Dennis,

    Because the ONLY REASON it it wrong is that it is inconvenient, and to remove the GFCI receptacle leaves it still inconvenient.

    Thus the better correction is to PROPERLY CORRECT THE IMPROPER wiring that wiring which makes it inconvenient.

    That leaves a GFCI receptacle at each location which can be reset from each location, which means convenience.

    The downstream GFCI is not unnecessary, it is there for convenience, and for convenience IT IS necessary.

    Talk about being uncomplicated ... correct the wiring and have the GFCI receptacle RIGHT THERE AT THE RECEPTACLE, no complicated 'where is the GFCI button which resets this' ... nope, the uncomplicated way is to be able to reset it from right there where it tripped from. Dang, now that is as straightforward as you can get.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: GFCI Wiring Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Dennis,

    Because the ONLY REASON it it wrong is that it is inconvenient, and to remove the GFCI receptacle leaves it still inconvenient.

    Thus the better correction is to PROPERLY CORRECT THE IMPROPER wiring that wiring which makes it inconvenient.

    That leaves a GFCI receptacle at each location which can be reset from each location, which means convenience.

    The downstream GFCI is not unnecessary, it is there for convenience, and for convenience IT IS necessary.

    Talk about being uncomplicated ... correct the wiring and have the GFCI receptacle RIGHT THERE AT THE RECEPTACLE, no complicated 'where is the GFCI button which resets this' ... nope, the uncomplicated way is to be able to reset it from right there where it tripped from. Dang, now that is as straightforward as you can get.
    Yes, but that's only simple and straightforward if you are familiar with residential wiring.
    We need Roger to post an illustration.
    Or this:
    The upstream GFCI should be pigtailed, so that the downstream GFCI operates independently.

    I would just leave well enough alone. How often do bathroom GFCI's trip for you? Never for me.
    Well, never since I scrapped my 1970's Remington Microscreen, that is.

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

  17. #17
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    Why do some make a simple thing so complicated?


  18. #18
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    Default Re: GFCI Wiring Question

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Or this:
    The upstream GFCI should be pigtailed, so that the downstream GFCI operates independently.
    That's what I've been describing ... apparently not as well as you said it (because using pigtails adds bulk to a full box, just wire off the same terminals as you would the pigtail).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  19. #19
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    Sometimes I wish..... Article 101.1.... No stupid installations.
    OK, I know that would give AHJ's like myself unfettered authority to cause undue havoc based on our whims...... but sometimes.....


  20. #20
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    I just tell the folks to get rid of the down stream GFCI and replace it with a regular receptacle or have the 2 GFCIs wired independently. Cannot get any easier than that. Either they wind up doing it themselves (if they can, there are actually some folks, even though inspectors think not, that can do it themselves) or they pay an electrician for an hours time.

    All done


  21. #21
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    If those two GFCI receptacles were installed in compliance with 210.52(B)(3), then they would not be affecting one another.


  22. #22
    Mark S. Connely's Avatar
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    Quote Originally Posted by ken horak View Post
    its more of an inconvenience then an incorrect installation.
    If I were composing the report I would write it up as just that, an inconvenience issue. I would let them know that it is not wired incorrectly and not a safety issue but wired in such a way as to cause an inconvenience. I would also inform the buyers that it can be corrected quite easily.
    This way the home buyers know about it and can't bad mouth you for either not finding it or not reporting it.
    i disagree this is improperly wired as it is wired in violation of manufacturers directions thus being incorrect wiring ... it is both incorrect and inconvienient it should be corrected by a licensed professionel who knows what they are doing not like the one who installed it this way

    in addition most gfci recepticals are 15 amp code safety and wiring is 2o amp for bathrooms so feeding thru a 15 amp gfci is a safety issue technically they can be tapped to but not fed thru on a 20 amp circuit unless rated for 20 amps

    confusion reigns supreme lol

    Last edited by Mark S. Connely; 06-03-2011 at 12:23 PM. Reason: forgot one point

  23. #23
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark S. Connely View Post
    i disagree this is improperly wired as it is wired in violation of manufacturers directions thus being incorrect wiring ... it is both incorrect and inconvienient it should be corrected by a licensed professionel who knows what they are doing not like the one who installed it this way

    in addition most gfci recepticals are 15 amp code safety and wiring is 2o amp for bathrooms so feeding thru a 15 amp gfci is a safety issue technically they can be tapped to but not fed thru on a 20 amp circuit unless rated for 20 amps

    confusion reigns supreme lol
    You only become confused in this trade if you do not seek the correct sources that will accurately document what you say. To say that 15 amp rated gfci receptacles or 15 amp 5 -15 r's will not support 20 amp feed thru is incorrect information. The proper places to verify these ratings are the white book or ul standards. 15 amp 5-15 r gfci's have manufacturing instructions that go out of their way to tell you the device has 20 amp feed thru rating with the ul stamp to prove it.

    Checking with ul via email you generally will get a reply like this one ...

    UL 498, the Standard for Attachment Plugs and Receptacles, has requirements regarding receptacle feed-through terminals. For receptacles rated 15 or 20 A, 125 or 250 V, the feed-through construction is evaluated using a test current of 20 A and is considered suitable for use in a 20 A branch circuit. For further clarity, we will consider adding this information to our directory guide information.

    Please contact me if you have any further questions.

    Rich

    Rich Berman
    Sr. Staff Engineer
    Regulatory Services
    Underwriters Laboratories
    333 Pfingsten Road
    Northbrook, IL 60062


  24. #24
    Mark S. Connely's Avatar
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    . For receptacles rated 15 or 20 A, 125 or 250 V, the feed-through construction is evaluated using a test current of 20 A and is considered suitable for use in a 20 A branch circuit.
    Rich Berman
    Sr. Staff Engineer
    Regulatory Services
    Underwriters Laboratories
    333 Pfingsten Road
    Northbrook, IL 60062[/quote]

    rich perhaps you should go back to my statement before you make a foolish statement GFCI DO NOT HAVE FEEDTHRU TERMINALS
    or you would be correct the output is rated at 15 amps protected

    again confusion rules supreme


  25. #25
    Roger Frazee's Avatar
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    Just an added thought ... ya might want to read the NECs article 210 where it specifically allows the installation of 15 amp receptacles on 20 amp circuits......

    Not wanting to bite your head off ... but holy cow man ...this has been code compliant for years ....


  26. #26
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark S. Connely View Post
    rich perhaps you should go back to my statement before you make a foolish statement GFCI DO NOT HAVE FEEDTHRU TERMINALS
    or you would be correct the output is rated at 15 amps protected

    again confusion rules supreme
    So Mark, how do you think the power gets to the load terminals if it doesn't feed thru? Roger has explained the errors in your statements.

    Last edited by Jim Port; 06-03-2011 at 02:18 PM.
    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  27. #27
    Mark S. Connely's Avatar
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Frazee View Post
    Just an added thought ... ya might want to read the NECs article 210 where it specifically allows the installation of 15 amp receptacles on 20 amp circuits......

    Not wanting to bite your head off ... but holy cow man ...this has been code compliant for years ....



    again a failure to read 15 amp recepticals are allowed have beren for years jeeze we are talking not about any prob with that the problem is with the output of a device (gfci) rated by its internal cantacts for 15 amps being put between a 20 amp circuit and the rest of a 20 amp circuit it causes premature failure as the contacts are not rated for it i will look up the references when i get back to office (im on my phone) but code requires if the load connected isa rated for 20 amps to use a 20 amp device (gfci) not outlet


  28. #28
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    You cannot connect a 20 amp load to a 15 amp GFI or duplex. The slot configurations are different.

    You can use 15 amp devices on a 20 amp circuit as long as there is more than one place to plug into. A duplex counts as two.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  29. #29
    Roger Frazee's Avatar
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    Mark

    It is always possible that we are confused at what we are trying to say. In my case I am not understanding your feed thru terminal statement ... that 15 amp gfci's do no have feed thru terminals. Yet 15 amp gfci have 20 amp feed thru ratings. So are you saying they do not have 20 amp feed thru ?

    Here is a spec from leviton to illustrate what I'm saying ... and I'm not confused ..

    http://communities.leviton.com/servl...pec%206599.pdf


  30. #30
    Mark S. Connely's Avatar
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    ok granted that is a feedthru GFCI rather rare but it doesnt change my point that if you use the output instead of the feedthru you are changing the intent of the circuit NEC 210-21 states other devices shall have an ampere rating that is not less than the load being served

    so if you feed the other bathroom or other GFCI with the output you are violating that part of the code however if you use the feedthru (meaning the screw terminal with space for 2 wires) rated for 20 amps than you are ok my point from the beginning you cannot feed a 20 amp circuit from a 15 amp output easy yes

    confusion of course (sorry about other posts i was doing professional testimony and answering from my phone) I cannot type on a phone.

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  31. #31
    Roger Frazee's Avatar
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark S. Connely View Post
    ok granted that is a feedthru GFCI rather rare but it doesnt change my point that if you use the output instead of the feedthru you are changing the intent of the circuit NEC 210-21 states other devices shall have an ampere rating that is not less than the load being served

    so if you feed the other bathroom or other GFCI with the output you are violating that part of the code however if you use the feedthru (meaning the screw terminal with space for 2 wires) rated for 20 amps than you are ok my point from the beginning you cannot feed a 20 amp circuit from a 15 amp output easy yes

    confusion of course (sorry about other posts i was doing professional testimony and answering from my phone) I cannot type on a phone.
    Mark

    I better understand now what your saying but you still are incorrect. . You can use the load terminals of a 15 amp gfci to feed a downstream 15 amp gfci or 15 amp non gfci receptacle even if those gfci's are wired to 12 awg and protected at 20 amps. Think about what your saying. If what you say is true there would be no way to use a 15 amp gfci receptacle to protect non gfci receptacles from its load terminals if the circuit is rated 20 amps.

    When in the USA did you ever see 20 amp gfci's required for 20 amp bathroom receptacle branch circuits if your going to use the load terminals to protect downstream receptacles in a bathroom(s)??

    Next .. it is just the opposite ... most 15 amp duplex gfci's are 20 amp feed thru to the load terminals to which you can connect 12 awg copper wiring to continue on at 20 amps to protect a nema 5-15 receptacle downstream. If this wasn't the case then the NEC would have to rewrite article 210 almost in its entirety.It is not the terminals that are rated 15 amps on a 15 amp gfci, ... the receptacle nema configuration is for a 15 amp device but this has nothing to do with the rating of the terminals/backwire or screw connections..

    Now having said that older gfci's and non gfci receptacles that had backstab provisons were limited to 15 amps by the requirement that only 14 awg copper could be connected in those backstabs.


  32. #32
    Mark S. Connely's Avatar
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    Talking Re: GFI Wiring Question

    ok read the spec sheet you sent me it said only if all downstream devices are rated at 20 amps

    you can use recepticles downstream but not GFCI's it is the code like it or not

    now you understand why i said confusion reigns i was on the code panel that discussed this in 1999 and it was the last panel i sat on because we make codes that dont make since the code is pushed far too much by industry and like it or not we are stuck with it

    i have sean confusion and live with it lol


  33. #33
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    Mark, would you be so kind to post the Code article that this would violate.

    PS, Capitalization and punctuation help greatly to organize your thoughts so others can understand what you wrote.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  34. #34
    Roger Frazee's Avatar
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark S. Connely View Post
    ok read the spec sheet you sent me it said only if all downstream devices are rated at 20 amps

    you can use recepticles downstream but not GFCI's it is the code like it or not

    now you understand why i said confusion reigns i was on the code panel that discussed this in 1999 and it was the last panel i sat on because we make codes that dont make since the code is pushed far too much by industry and like it or not we are stuck with it

    i have sean confusion and live with it lol
    Ok .. hard headed I am ... but I still am not catching your point. Your saying the 'load' terminals are not rated for 20 amps and your saying a 15 amp 5-15 gfci cannot feed another 15 amp 5-15 gfci from its load terminals.

    So here is how I understand the UL standards for both gfci and non gfci receptacles that are rated 125 volt 15 amp with nema 5-15 configurations. These devices have 15 amp ratings at the receptacle 'wipes' (the contacts that your plug prongs are in contact with) however all the terminals are rated for 20 amp feed thru. Which in my world means about 99.9% of them. So if I have a 20 amp 'feed thru' on a 15 amp receptacle gfci or not I can connect the terminals to a 20 amp rated branch circuit.

    Maybe someone can link me to a gfci receptacle specification that says it is not rated for 20 amp feed thru at the load terminals cause I can't find it. If my experience and if memory hasn't failed me I believe that might be true with dead fronts but alas I am not at all positive if that is the case.

    In summary I'm understanding you to say that I cannot use the load terminals of a 15 amp nema 5-15 gfci to feed another nema 5-15 gfci on a 20 amp branch circuit because 5-15 gfci's do not have 20 amp feed thru ratings at the load terminals.


    At any rate glad to have this discussion with you ... before it is over I'm betting others here will clear this up for both of us.....


  35. #35
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    Default Re: GFCI Wiring Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy Roberts View Post
    If those two GFCI receptacles were installed in compliance with 210.52(B)(3), then they would not be affecting one another.
    Jimmy,

    Huh?

    Please explain.

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

  36. #36
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    Default Re: GFCI Wiring Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Frazee View Post
    Checking with ul via email you generally will get a reply like this one ...

    UL 498, the Standard for Attachment Plugs and Receptacles, has requirements regarding receptacle feed-through terminals. For receptacles rated 15 or 20 A, 125 or 250 V, the feed-through construction is evaluated using a test current of 20 A and is considered suitable for use in a 20 A branch circuit. For further clarity, we will consider adding this information to our directory guide information.

    Please contact me if you have any further questions.

    Rich

    Rich Berman
    Sr. Staff Engineer
    Regulatory Services
    Underwriters Laboratories
    333 Pfingsten Road
    Northbrook, IL 60062
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark S. Connely View Post
    ok read the spec sheet you sent me it said only if all downstream devices are rated at 20 amps
    Mark,

    Like it or not (using your language), the above email DOES NOT say what you are saying it says, and your saying it says that only shows your ignorance as you continue to post in the manner you are without knowing what you are talking about when discussing this with two people who do know what they are talking about.

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

  37. #37
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    Sure you "can" load the face of a combination GFCI/Duplex receptacle rated at 15A with 5-15R loaded in excess of 15A. Two devices plugged in and operating at the same time. For example, Madame plugs in heat roller set to warm up as she uses Hair Drier. BTW 1800 Watt Hair Driers are allowed to have "plugs" (cord & cap) which are merely 15A rated (little still unfathomable loophole in the Standard for same).

    The combination GFCI device protecting "load side" of the device on the 20 A circuit can also be wired to "protect" a "load" supplied by a regular 20A receptacle, or a "hard wired" device.

    If you review the catalogs and instructions (past and present) from the manufacturers, and the actual instructions, as well as the various editions of the Standard(s) you will find there have been and are distinctions with a difference.

    There are GFCI combination devices still available in the market place which are rated and limited to providing 15A face and 15A load side, as well as those which are 15A face and 20 A load side, in addition to those which are 20A face, 20A loadside. Combination devices with leads have varied depending on the guage of same, as well. Keep in mind there are other than "simple" combination GFCI/duplex receptacle devices (for example switch/receptacle GFCI devices.

    There was a time when gfci combination devices were, for example, only allowed to replace non-grounding type receptacles in a 2-wire installation when they were parallel - only protecting face - not feed-through or allowed to supply load-side to the remainder of the circuit (i.e. parallel/pigtailed) wired.

    Changes in both the "code" editions as well as the "Standard(s)" have been numerous over the years. Date of manufacture vs. the effective date of a revision or edition change to the Standard(s) are relevant.
    (Old refs. Art. #s 210, 250, 314, 406, including where in the code the references are placed, and yes, these and many other Articles and sections have been almost entirely re-written, re-organized, and re-runbered, over the years of code edition cycles, as have the descriptions and distinctions in the UL WhiteBook for the category codes reflecting changes in the NEC and the UL Standards, and others.). Aluminum wiring used to be and I believe still is restricted from being used in push in type/backstab, i.e. screwless, terminals. You may not "land" or rather "terminate" more than one conductor under a screw-type terminal.

    To make universal statements, which contradict the restrictions and distinctions with a difference over the years is improper.

    The "submitted" question to which the quoted response was not submitted. Neither, IIRC, was the DATE of the correspondance supplied. Generally, UL responds to such questions within the paramaters of the language of the question itself, and unless otherwise indicated - refers to only the most recent EFFECTIVE Standard revision/modification of same.

    If there isn't enough room in the box, then a larger box should be selected.A reducing ring can be used on the face of the box. A dead front GFCI can also be used line side of the "regular" duplex receptacle to provide the needed or desired GFCI protection on its "load side" when installation of a combination GFCI MCCB for the circuit is neither desired, or possible, and/or the receptacle location itself will not remain readily available (clearance, access, etc.) as is now required for the "test/reset" function of such combination protection devices (such as behind/above case goods/white goods installation, under a tub deck behind a caulked panel for a hydro tub, behind furniture, etc.).

    Lets not confuse the "face" rating of a receptacle type device which is (internal to the device) in (series-) parallel to the load-side terminals or leads in relation to the line side terminals or leads of a combination device; a switch type device, combination or otherwise, with the yoke, the "supplemental protection" system, etc. A mid 80s or mid 90s manufactured device or installation vs. a 2000's or 2011, etc. The standards, category code, and electrical code has changed significantly over the years. The electronics/circuitry and features employed by various manufacturers have also changed, sometimes significantly over the years. Some such as smart-lock, or lockout type circuitry may not reset unless the device is completely de-energized and disconnected before re-setting - thus a different "style", vintage of manufacture, and/or manufacturer's device upstream and in series can further complicate matters creating comflicts, especially when for example a transformer/power supply has been plugged in somewhere load side (downstream).

    NEC is not a design guide. It makes little sense to remove the "convienence" from "convienence receptacle" by employing combination GFCI receptacles espcially of differing manufacturers, vintage of manufacture, etc. in series.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 06-04-2011 at 08:45 AM.

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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    ALL-
    I do believe the confusion here is the term "feed through".
    The load side terminals on the GFCI receptacle are NOT "feed through" as described by UL in the White Book. They are considered line and load .
    I know In a sense they are feed through but that is not what Mark is attempting to debate here. He is using the technical terms as set in place by UL.
    The term "feed through" is for when the device is able to be used in place of pigtailing the wiring in the box. In other words one can attach 2 cables ( 2 hots and 2 neutrals) to the line side of the GFCI receptacle.

    Mark-
    First- The issue is a kitchen not bathrooms - but that's not important.

    Second- The issue does not deal with feed through wiring on a GFCI receptacle. The 2 GFCI receptacles are wired line and load. In other words the first GFCI is providing GFCI protection for the second GFCI receptacle.So this IS NOT a violation or is it wired wrong.
    Please provide documentation that clearly states one can not wire GFCI receptacles this way ??it is an inconvenience not a violation

    Third - If your going to argue about receptacles please learn how to spell receptacle.

    Fourth - If a GFCI receptacle is UL listed it is rated for 20 ampere feed through as long as it has more then one set of terminals for the connection of the line and neutral.

    So you can not make a blanket statement that all GFCI receptacles are not rated for 20 ampere feed through.
    Here is a section taken out of the UL white book under the heading of Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters(KCXS)
    Paragraph 13 reads:
    Receptacle type GFCIs with receptacles rated 15 or 20 A (amp) that are provided with more than one set of terminals for the connection or line and neutral conductors are suitable for through wiring on 20 A branch circuits.

    So according to the NEC we are allowed to use 15 ampere GFCI receptacles on 20 ampere circuits and according to UL that 15 ampere GFCI receptacles can be through wired when on a 20 ampere circuit.That is as long as the GFCI receptacle is designed with more than set of terminals for the line and neutral.


  39. #39
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    HG

    Very informative post as was Kens. You are absolutely correct dates are very important. the email I posted was Dec. 2005.

    The question was about 15 amp 5-15 non gfci receptacles being daisy chained using all four screws of the receptacle in a 'feed thru' manner. The installation was red tagged and a requirement to pigtail was the correction by the inspector. The correction was later overturned by the ahj in charge as the receptacles have 20 amp feed thru.

    This of course is not what we are directly talking about in this thread, However I could not find documentation that said gfci's were any different.

    And of course I realize that I could have to eat crow .... but I still do not see where I cannot continue a 20 amp branch circuit via the load terminals of a 15 amp gfci. I understand what Ken has posted but I do not clearly see what Mark is debating.


  40. #40
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    Sorry for the above deletion it was a confusing example that I was'nt happy with the text. I am however starting to see what Mark is describing thanks to Kens post. I do not see any manufacturer or UL or white book documentation that says you cannot continue 20 branch circuit rating from the load terminals of a 15 amp gfci.

    HG would be correct though as to vintage considerations I would suspect.


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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    Just so I have it right...

    The receptacle is rated at 20 amps, feed-through, at the screw terminals.

    Each outlet on that receptacle then is rated at 15 amps, meaning that you could draw, say, 10 amps per outlet, or 15 from one and 5 from the other. But no greater than 20 amps in total.

    Correct?

    Stan


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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    Okay,

    I apologize in advance if I am restating what has gone one before.

    It does not matter whether or not the receptacle is a GFCI receptacle or not when discussing load.

    With respect to load, see 210.21(B)(2) and Table 210.21(B)(2). The maximum allowable load for either a 15 or 20 amp BC, using a 15 amp listed receptacle is 80% (12 amps).

    However, if you are using a 20 OCPD, then you must use 12AWG cable for the entire circuit.

    If you use part of the circuit as a 20 amp circuit and then drop to 15 amp with 14 AWG cable, the entire circuit has to be controlled by a 15 amp OCPD.

    A 20 amp OCPD cannot be used. And according to 210.21, no one receptacle may supply a load greater than 80% (12 amps).


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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    I defy someone to show exactly where in the UL listings it is permitted to have a 15 AMP GFCI receptacle that is not rated for a 20 AMP feed through on ALL the terminals. Just because the AFCI receptacle is a combination device doesn't mean you get to pick and choose which parts of the UL listing you want to, all of the listings for BOTH parts have to apply. ALL 15 AMP receptacles listed by UL HAVE TO BE capable of being feed through rated at 20 AMPs and this is further reiterated by the NEC noting that 15 AMP receptacles may be used on a 20 AMP circuit.

    The "guts" of an AFCI 15 AMP receptacle have to be rated at 20 AMPs because they are allowed to be wired into a 20 AMP circuit and must be rated accordingly. They don't make AFCI receptacles that reduce the 20 AMP feed through rating through the internal contacts to 15 AMPs because they feed 2 receptacles (duplex device) and may very well be expected to carry the loading of the 20 AMP circuit through the built in receptacle, same as a standard receptacle.

    The terminals on an AFCI are marked line and load. This is done to make sure that anything wired downstream of the AFCI is tied to the right set of terminals. However, the receptacle part of the device is wired in AFTER the GFCI part, and the receptacle HAS to be listed for a 20 AMP feed through. Finally, you haven't fed through the receptacle UNLESS you use the load terminals. Looks like we're being told here that the only thing rated for 20 AMPs is the line terminals, which has purely for convenience, been designed for 2 wires

    A glance at a P&S application guide shows the GFCI rated at 20 AMP pass through with either a 15 or 20 AMP receptacle
    face rating. I don't see wording including the second set of terminals in the 15 AMP rating.

    I think if you disassemble a 15 and 20 AMP GFCI from the same manufacturer you'll find 3 differences MAX - the piece of metal stamped out to form the neutral connections (the one on the hot side doesn't change), the plastic face, and the UL listing. There was a time when all it took to "convert" some brands of GFCI receptacle from 15 to 20 AMP was to open the right angle part of the neutral slot with a small saw or file, the insides were the same on both types (this did, of course, lack a UL listing when done) AFAIK this may still be the case with some brands.

    So, the language used in the literature of at least one manufacturer would lead one to conclude that the only part of a GFCI receptacle rated at 15 AMPs is the face. And, everybody has to play by the same set of rules so I can't imagine that another manufacturer can get by with limiting the internal ratings to 15 AMPs.

    Finally, the NEC doesn't get to call the listings on a device and determine which terminals are feed through or not. The manufacturer and UL do that. And right now they don't say a GFCI 15 AMP rated receptacle is listed for 20 AMPs in and 15 AMPs out.







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    Default Re: GFCI Wiring Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Farrell View Post
    Okay,

    I apologize in advance if I am restating what has gone one before.

    It does not matter whether or not the receptacle is a GFCI receptacle or not when discussing load.

    With respect to load, see 210.21(B)(2) and Table 210.21(B)(2). The maximum allowable load for either a 15 or 20 amp BC, using a 15 amp listed receptacle is 80% (12 amps).

    However, if you are using a 20 OCPD, then you must use 12AWG cable for the entire circuit.

    If you use part of the circuit as a 20 amp circuit and then drop to 15 amp with 14 AWG cable, the entire circuit has to be controlled by a 15 amp OCPD.

    A 20 amp OCPD cannot be used. And according to 210.21, no one receptacle may supply a load greater than 80% (12 amps).
    Donald,

    That's not what Table 210.21(B)(2) says.

    Read Table 201.21(B)(2) like this:
    - first line: CIRCUIT rating = 15 or 20 amps / RECEPTACLE rating = 15 amps / Maximum load ON THAT RECEPTACLE = 12 amps
    - second line: CIRCUIT rating = 20 amps / RECEPTACLE rating = 20 amps / Maximum load ON THAT RECEPTACLE = 16 amps
    - third line: CIRCUIT rating = 30 amps / RECEPTACLE rating = 30 amps / Maximum load ON THAT RECEPTACLE = 24 amps

    As stated in the first line, you ARE ALLOWED TO HAVE a 20 amp CIRCUIT rating (read the heading for that first column) for a 15 amp rated RECEPTACLE.

    If you proceed down to Table 210.21(B)(3) you will see that the CIRCUIT rating is always equal to OR GREATER THAN the RECEPTACLE rating.

    That is because they do not want (exaggerated example here) a 50 amp receptacle on a 15 am circuit, that would allow one to plug in 50 amp equipment on a circuit only rated for 15 amps - and that would not be a good thing.

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

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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    Roger,

    You have said the "quoted" email was regarding "regular receptacles" and was authored sometime in 2005. Hmmm. Not picking up what your putting down. Rather upset you're using/quoting an email "out of context" and without the ACTUAL referenced "question" and date of same; not "buying" it, nor its relevance to the OP.

    23rd paragraph, (7th under sub-heading "Terminals") clickable link to UL Guide Info, RTRT: RTRT.GuideInfo - Receptacles for Plugs and Attachment Plugs

    which has been unchanged since prior to 2002 edition of NEC:

    "Single and duplex receptacles rated 15 and 20 A that are provided with more than one set of terminals for the connection of line and neutral conductors have not been investigated to feed branch-circuit conductors connected to other outlets on a multi-outlet branch circuit, as follows:
    - Side wire (binding screw) terminal with its associated back wire (screw actuated clamp type) terminal
    - Multiple conductors under a single binding screw
    - Multipe conductors in a single back-wire hole. "

    Quote above from UL Guide-Info Category Code: RTRT (also found in your UL 'White Book'. UL 498, Standard, Chapter 12, further addresses. For those "listed" with terminal binding screws suitable for use with Aluminum wire, additional limitations regarding terminals are addressed by UL 1567.

    Terminate means to END. That means a physical end to a conductor not a loop or "rabbit ear", and not an illegal intermittant stripping & hooking around a terminal screw - which is not and has not been allowed for 20 yrs.). Hooked not allowing the "terminal end" to create a loop, not allowed, and hasn't been allowed either.

    15A and 20A Receptacles are NOT investigated to feed-through to supply other "outlets" load side, and that is NOT limited to receptacles, on a multi-outlet branch circuit, PERIOD!!!

    It becomes abundantly obvious and further frustrating that some contributors "use" the code with no knowledge or access to what it refers, including the most basic "white book", nor access or understanding of the Standards which relate to the listing of devices, appliances, etc.

    Throwing out a snippet of an undated supposed piece of correspondance out of context - and I have never known UL to respond to same without a copy of the original attached thereto and/or in the "email chain", is not only misleading, irrelevant, and...frankly dirty pool. That the subject matter was supposedly about UL 406 devices, is questioned, since the language of RTRT and the Standard in that regard has gone unchanged since at least 1999-2002, so a supposed author date of 2005 is further doubted - as UL replies based upon its 'at the time' current Standard edition and refers to the most recently published NEC edition at the time of reply.

    Still lacking the supposed "question" to wit the presented and represented "answer" was responding to.

    I will NOT get into a "Clinton-esque" debate about what "terminate" or "terminal end" is. ('Depends on what your defination of IS is.').
    The Summary from the "Guide Info" is clear enough. I will NOT quote Chapter 12 of the Standard - you can PAY to review or access it yourself.

    Neither are switches 15-20A UL 20. NEC even now "requires" a neutral conductor be fed to same.

    You may NOT "feed through" a 20 A circuit to supply another outlet via a 15 A receptacle - not investigated or listed to serve that purpose, YOU MUST pigtail splice it - not 'feed through' to ANOTHER device/outlet.

    There ARE 15A face, 15A feed-through combination devices readily available on the marketplace. Leviton and P.S. ring a bell. Check their catalog.


    NEC speaks to the issue regarding not allowing a device - to interrupt a neutral - hence pigtailing even "regular" UL 498 receptacles. Has been that way for a few code cycles.

    Again justifying never "allowed" practices but cannot with code language which ignores the changes in same AND that in the standards.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 06-04-2011 at 09:31 PM.

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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    Quote Originally Posted by ken horak View Post
    ALL-
    I do believe the confusion here is the term "feed through".

    Fourth - If a GFCI receptacle is UL listed it is rated for 20 ampere feed through as long as it has more then one set of terminals for the connection of the line and neutral.

    So you can not make a blanket statement that all GFCI receptacles are not rated for 20 ampere feed through.
    Here is a section taken out of the UL white book under the heading of Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters(KCXS)
    Paragraph 13 reads:
    Receptacle type GFCIs with receptacles rated 15 or 20 A (amp) that are provided with more than one set of terminals for the connection or line and neutral conductors are suitable for through wiring on 20 A branch circuits.

    So according to the NEC we are allowed to use 15 ampere GFCI receptacles on 20 ampere circuits and according to UL that 15 ampere GFCI receptacles can be through wired when on a 20 ampere circuit.That is as long as the GFCI receptacle is designed with more than set of terminals for the line and neutral.
    This seems to contradict UL 498. (Category Code RTRT), Strange, but true.

    However the 12th paragraph reads thusly:

    "Receptacle-type GFCIs that have additionally been found to meet appropriate receptacle requirements are marked "Hospital Grade" and/or "CO/ALR."

    I believe you have relied upon and quoted the 13th paragraph (clickable link):

    KCXS.GuideInfo - Ground-fault Circuit Interrupters

    "Receptacle-type GFCIs with receptacles rated 15 or 20 A that are provided with more than one set of terminals for the connection of line and neutral conductors are suitable for through wiring on 20 A branch circuits."


    Note same refers you to RTRT at Paragraph 15.


  47. #47
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    Sorry HG you will have to find someone else to play dirty pool with. The exact date of the question was 10-26-2005, the question was presented in the October EC&M magazine issue. It was then discussed on the Mike Holt forum until mid December 2005 with the email being recieved (on request to the original question) during that discussion on 12-13-2005. It frankly is quite relevant wouldn't you think as to the current used to test receptacle feed thru ratings???

    What else can I do for you as far as that email is concerned ? Would you like me to lie about the date as it just doesn't seem to fit into your time period selection....

    Now on a scale of one to ten which of us provided the more relevant information?

    That UL link to the guidelines for gfci's had what to do with the rating of load terminals of gfci's?? It was just clutter and dancing about the original question. You redundantly repeated what Ken said while trying to discredit him. Then you post the other ul link and what the heck did that one have to do with determining the actual current rating of a gfci load terminal . The email is telling you what the current used to test a 125 volt 15 amp receptacle feed thru actually is ... 20 amps. How that is dirty pool is beyond me.

    No sir I tried to keep the discussion within reason and stuck to the question at hand looking for documentation on how UL tests the gfci's and receptacles to determine terminal ratings on feed thru. How providing a email from an authority at UL to that effect becomes a personal attack on my character is way inappropriate but consistent with your profile here. None the less I will continue to contribute here as I do not answer to you and frankly your the only person that is taking things out of context because it apparently suits your needs to feed your ego.

    Now so you will know .. you will be on my ignore list (again) as I have tired of all your attacks on members here ... so please do not respond and waste your precious knowledge responding to my posts as I will not see what you have to say.

    BTW you might look up the word wrong ... As in 'I was wrong' you seem to have difficulty with that concept.

    Last edited by Roger Frazee; 06-04-2011 at 11:28 PM.

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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    Can't say the way this turned out is a surprise.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    Seems the concept of maintaining continuity of the neutral even when the device is removed has been lost or not grapsed.

    Tapping off to feed a parallel device.

    Second, the OP is regarding GFCI combination receptacles, not "regular" receptacles.

    Third, the standards for Canada for both "regular" receptacles and combination GFCI receptacles are entirely different. Neither allow the "feed through" concept as is being discussed here.

    Daisy chain - series wiring combination devices is not allowed. The internal self-test functions now present including "end of life" indications, reverse wiring, lockout, etc. are blown by monthly manual testing and reset in series.

    Earliest GFCI receptacles were further limited back in the late 70s and early 80s from being allowed to protect load side also in 2-wire retrofits.

    The vintage of the equipment, the LISTING (DATE, edition) the LISTED INSTRUCTIONS (including wiring diagram) which are part of the LISTING, and the edition of the NEC at the TIME the device was listed (also a part of the Listing Standard) and the installation type is relevant. Referencing the correct STANDARD for the item is also relevant.

    One also has to keep in context that as the language of the Standards change, including the tests, construction materials, design of the device, etc. it does so with the entirety of the language of the most recent edition of the NEC, unammended, in same. Date of manufacture of the LISTED device is ALWAYS a consideration.

    Furthermore, this "fun" article from "UL Question Corner" Nov/Dec 2008 issue from IAEI Magazine is "fun reading". Keep in mind that it is not referring to receptacles listed for use with AL conductors.

    Are receptacles that are provided with more than one set of terminals Listed for tapping off more than one circuit, utilizing both the side and back wiring terminals? | IAEI Blog

    Are receptacles and switches Listed for use with stranded conductors? | IAEI Blog

    Using forum discussions at the forum on Mike Holt's site (where HE neither contributes, nor moderates) doesn't impress me in the least. Several of their regular contributors have gone on and on about wiring to general use snap switches with stranded wire (not allowed) and use of spade terminals to attach stranded wire to receptacles (reason why I referenced second article). Recent so-called "debates" include proper bonding and grounding, completely ignoring both 2008 (albiet incomplete) and 2011 corrections, and UL staff advisory bulletins/articles regarding same. Oftentimes that group will also completely ignore or fail to reference the correct white book edition relative to a particular code edition discussion - and mix references between editions of other sub-articles. The forum discussions are neither authoritative, nor do they reflect the opinions of M.H.

    Further confusing the OP is there is NO indication as to the "circuit" in question having a dedicated neutral, neither was the "vintage" of the installation, nor its devices.

    The "question" supposedly being responded to in the supposed correspondence (incomplete) you've snipped has not been supplied. As I already indicated - UL responsive communications ALWAYS reference and contain the original question - and the limiting parameters the response is given, including indications as to the "audience" being addressed - been policy at UL for DECADES. ALL such correspondence is further veiled with limitation language as to its application, appropriateness to duplicate, share, or cite, even if same is contained upon a cover sheet (also UL policy/SOP for decades).

    We're off on a completely different tack than the OP which is an entirely different area of discussion - that being KCXS, and not RTRT.

    See the various editions of the White Book for either - RTRT has not changed in the area "indicated" it would be by the supposed quoted incomplete correspondance.







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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    Re: GFI Wiring Question
    Seems the concept of maintaining continuity of the neutral even when the device is removed has been lost or not grapsed.
    This only applies to multiwire branch circuits. A two wire circuit does not need to have the neutral pigtailed. The device screws or backstabs can make the connections.

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

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    Default Re: GFCI Wiring Question

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post

    "Single and duplex receptacles rated 15 and 20 A that are provided with more than one set of terminals for the connection of line and neutral conductors have not been investigated to feed branch-circuit conductors connected to other outlets on a multi-outlet branch circuit, as follows:
    - (1)Side wire (binding screw) terminal with its associated back wire (screw actuated clamp type) terminal
    - (2)Multiple conductors under a single binding screw
    - (3) Multiple conductors in a single back-wire hole. "
    OK - exactly what point are you pushing here? (red numbers are mine)

    The above "situations" describe one of 3 conditions: (1) A back wire type terminal with a wire both wrapped around the screw and one entering from the back on the same terminal, (2) more than one wire under a screw, (3) more than one wire in a "push-in" hole.

    You will please notice that the device in question is not listed to have the wire attached in the above described situations under any conditions.

    You should also notice the language ABOVE this paragraph in RTRT says:

    Single and duplex receptacles rated 15 and 20 A that are provided with more than one set of terminals for the connection of line and neutral conductors have been investigated to feed branch-circuit conductors connected to other outlets on a multi-outlet branch circuit, as follows:
    • Back-wire (screw-actuated clamp type) terminations with multiple wire-access holes used concurrently to terminate more than one conductor
    • Side-wire (binding screw) terminals used concurrently with their respective push-in (screw-less) terminations to terminate more than one conductor
    The above paragraph describes a multi-outlet circuit with correct terminations where the one quoted by H.G. describes a multi outlet circuit with incorrect terminations. Just so I'm clear, which one did you intend to copy and comment on?

    I will add, however, the second condition above does limit the pass through to 15 Amps as you can't use #12 wire in the "push-in" holes

    As to 15 AMP GFCI receptacles, the discussion here is limited to those having a second set of terminals to feed downstream devices. P&S, at least, does have a series of GFCI devices that aren't rated for 20 AMP feed through - - - because they have a plug-in pigtail that doesn't have provisions for feed through at all, that is, there is no second set of terminals to accomplish the feed through. I believe Cooper and/or Leviton have a similar product. They are all, however, not part of this discussion. They are also the only GFCI receptacles I see in the catalogs that don't have a 20 AMP feed through (or 15, for that matter)

    Last edited by Bill Kriegh; 06-05-2011 at 10:39 AM.

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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Ostrowski View Post
    I've run into this problem a few times in the past and saw it again yesterday. Two GFI outlets in the kitchen, each with the test and rest buttons. The outlet to the right of the kitchen sink trips when tested but will not reset unless the outlet on left-hand side of sink is reset first.

    What wiring configuration would cause this and does it need to be corrected?
    MWBC. Not properly divided A & B dedicated neutral taps - failure to pigtail devices.

    Was my point way back, got lost somewhere. Possibly in the re-formating when first post had lost formatting and had to fix with edit. References that followed and discussion should have been obvious. Ah well.



    B.K. - you're l not grasping you MAY NOT use BOTH terminal types of such a device at the same time for continuation to another outlet - you may use both at the same device, only at the END (last or only outlet). Otherwise you are restricted to EITHER the terminal binding screws, OR the pressure plates, OR the leads on the OP's devices.

    MWBC (Multi-Wire Branch Circuit) improperly installed GFCI receptacles and failure to separate the Neural A & B circuit taps.

    Wiring devices in a manner inconsistant with their Listing and labeling.

    Wiring "smart lock" or similar newer and newest additional self-test features and indicating style GFCI combination devices in series.

    Wiring older style combination devices one in reverse polarity (thus opened neutral).

    Failed combination device which may self-test correctly but not trip correctly (end of life, exposed to too many overcurrent conditons, etc.) or "reset" correctly/completely.

    Presence of a previously recalled combination device.

    Vintage of the devices is important. Vintage and circuit type is also important. Vintage of the installation of the devices vs. original circuit path is also important.

    Error elsewhere in multi-outlet circuit and/or issue another device plugged into same contributing to problem unable to reset/reverse polarity, such as an old toaster plugged in to receptacle elsewhere in circuit.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 06-05-2011 at 11:00 AM.

  53. #53
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    Default Re: GFCI Wiring Question

    I would join the fray here in pointing out where Watson is wrong and will not (again) admit that he is wrong.

    About as close as one can get Watson to admit the he is wrong is 3) below:

    Close only counts in:
    1) horse shoes
    2) hand grenades
    3) atom bombs

    Close in horse shoes is at least measurably close.

    Close in hand grenades is about its throwing distance. (That's why you throw it and then take cover.)

    Close in atom bombs is ... well, not very close at all, you can miss your target by 1-1/2 miles and still claim you were right ...

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

  54. #54
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    Nope not wrong. Can't use both at the same time/location when another outlet downstream.Nope not wrong, first answer to what condition - MWBC devices not tapped/pigtailed neutral. Unseparated Neutrals for A & B branches off same.

    Do not confuse a Multi-Wire-Branch Circuit with a Multi-Outlet Branch Circuit. Although a MWBC may indeed also be a multi-outlet circuit.


  55. #55
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    OK Watson. Have it your way. Your post I commented on and asked about doesn't say anything about multi-outlet circuits and concerns multi-wire circuits. Your post does not describe prohibited wiring methods. All of this is somehow related to feed through/pass through ratings on a GFCI receptacle installed on a multi-outlet circuit. Pigtailing is required on multi outlet circuits because a GFCI receptacle interrupts the neutral and that's not OK. You didn't drag in info in multiple posts to comment on a question I had about YOUR inclusion of a paragraph on a miswired device. You assume that the OP has a multi-wire circuit with no evidence for same.

    Is THAT what you said?

    Sorry for the confusion.

    I think the major malfunction we have here is the total lack of a "WATSON to the REST OF THE WORLD, AFTER THE FACT" translation guide.


  56. #56
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    How did anyone determine that a MWBC was involved?

    I may not be Einstein but if the receptacle is the end of the run how would this condition exist? If it is the end of the circuit there would only be one set of conductors.

    B.K. - you're l not grasping you MAY NOT use BOTH terminal types of such a device at the same time for continuation to another outlet - you may use both at the same device, only at the END ch(last or only outlet). Otherwise you are restricted to EITHER the terminal binding screws, OR the pressure plates, OR the leads on the OP's devices.


    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  57. #57
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Nope not wrong. Can't use both at the same time/location when another outlet downstream.Nope not wrong, first answer to what condition - MWBC devices not tapped/pigtailed neutral. Unseparated Neutrals for A & B branches off same.

    Do not confuse a Multi-Wire-Branch Circuit with a Multi-Outlet Branch Circuit. Although a MWBC may indeed also be a multi-outlet circuit.
    Seems to contradict what UL says in the link provided by the same poster.

    Question: Receptacles with more than one set of terminal

    It is common to see three runs of 14/2 NM cable run into a receptacle box with two conductors on the side terminals and the third tapped into a back terminal. This is used to avoid a larger box size because of the splice. Are receptacles that are provided with more than one set of terminals Listed for tapping off more than one circuit, utilizing both the side and back wiring terminals?

    Answer

    The short answer is yes for receptacles Listed for the U.S. market and no to receptacles Listed for the Canadian market. This is due to the difference in certification requirements between the two countries. Receptacles evaluated to UL 498, The Standard for Receptacles for Plugs and Attachment Plugs requires receptacles to be tested using the side terminal and rear terminals on the receptacles concurrently, where the Canadian Standard, CSA C22.2 No. 42-M1984, General Use Receptacles, Attachment Plugs and Similar Devices does not address testing for this application. Receptacles for the U.S. market are Listed under the product category Receptacles for Plugs and Attachment Plugs (RTRT) located on page 295 in the 2008 UL White Book.
    The Guide Information for (RTRT) states single and duplex receptacles rated 15 and 20 A that are provided with more than one set of terminals for the connection of line and neutral conductors have been investigated to feed branch-circuit conductors connected to other outlets on a multi-outlet branch circuit, as follows:

    Back wire (screw actuated clamp type) terminations Receptacles and Stranded Conductors with multiple wire access holes used concurrently to terminate more than one conductor
    Side wire (binding screw) terminals used concurrently with their respective push-in (screwless) terminations to terminate more than one conductor
    ...............

    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  58. #58
    James Duffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    This has been a good thread to follow....I learned a lot! Thanks for the time the knowledgeable guys took to post...


  59. #59
    Roger Frazee's Avatar
    Roger Frazee Guest

    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    I've put together a simple diagram to address both NIcks and Marks concerns. I'm pretty sure this is how Nicks gfci's were wired and this was explained by James in post #2. I would agree with Jerry and James posts that the better way would be to move the cable connections at the load terminals of gfci A to the line terminals. This will place both gfci's on the power circuit from the line side of the gfci's. The load terminals on both gfci A and B will be unused. This will prevent gfci A from sensing current leakage at gfci B causing both to trip. It will be better in the sense that a trip at gfci B be can be reset at gfci B. Both will not trip since gfci A can no longer sense current leakage at gfci B ... they will operate independent of each other as they should. It is not unusual at all to see kitchens wired this way and many electricians prefer this method. Slightly more cost due to number of gfci's but the convenience has merit.

    Now to address Marks point. I've drawn gfci A showing a set of contacts between line and load terminals. I believe Marks point is that these contacts are not rated for 20 amps feed thru and technically the screw terminals on the load side of the gfci are therefore not rated to continue to the next device at 20 amp rating.

    Now assuming that is true IMO you would still be fine as long as the next connected device (receptacle)is also a 15 amp configuration on the face. So NIcks gfcis would be fine on a 20 amp branch circuit. Now again IMO .. if Mark is correct.. then a 20 amp device (receptacle or gfci with 5-20r configuration) could not be wired off the load terminals of gfci A in my drawing.

    That's how I am understanding Mark to be describing the issue at hand. I don't agree with it as the NEC makes no exception to those regards. But maybe that is what Mark is saying that the NEC is wrong. Having sat on the cmp for this section of the NEC would provide him with the respect he deserves right or wrong. So would be nice if Mark returned to continue his point.

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  60. #60
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    Roger, the way I read this section from the link HG posted makes me think that they are describing two conductors or more teminated at the GFI. One is properly under the back wired clamp. The other is improperly terminated under the screw that clamps the plate. This may not allow the proper torque to be applied to one or both conductors. I see this as a similar technique as two conductors under one screw terminal on a regular device. We know that that is not allowed and is an unacceptable method according to the listing method.

    Here is the section of that article.

    Single and duplex receptacles rated 15 and 20 A that are provided with more than one set of terminals for the connection of line and neutral conductors have not been investigated to feed branch-circuit conductors connected to other outlets on a multi-outlet branch circuit, as follows:
    • Side wire (binding screw) terminal with its associated back wire (screw actuated clamp type) terminal
    • Multiple conductors under a single binding screw
    • Multiple conductors in a single back wire hole


    All answers based on unamended National Electrical codes.

  61. #61
    Roger Frazee's Avatar
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Roger, the way I read this section from the link HG posted makes me think that they are describing two conductors or more teminated at the GFI. One is properly under the back wired clamp. The other is improperly terminated under the screw that clamps the plate. This may not allow the proper torque to be applied to one or both conductors. I see this as a similar technique as two conductors under one screw terminal on a regular device. We know that that is not allowed and is an unacceptable method according to the listing method.

    Here is the section of that article.

    Single and duplex receptacles rated 15 and 20 A that are provided with more than one set of terminals for the connection of line and neutral conductors have not been investigated to feed branch-circuit conductors connected to other outlets on a multi-outlet branch circuit, as follows:
    • Side wire (binding screw) terminal with its associated back wire (screw actuated clamp type) terminal
    • Multiple conductors under a single binding screw
    • Multiple conductors in a single back wire hole
    Jim

    I read that the same as you have explained. It is addressing multiple conductors terminated to the receptacle by means violating the listing of the device.


  62. #62
    Lou Romano's Avatar
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    Default Re: GFCI Wiring Question

    [QUOTE=John Kogel;169479]Or this:
    The upstream GFCI should be pigtailed, so that the downstream GFCI operates independently. /QUOTE]

    Ideally this is the best solution because if an appliance like a blow dryer trips a gfci it only trips locally but an electrician needs to make that decision.

    If you are going to pigtail the first outlet so the gfci does not feed through to the second outlet you need to first make sure that there are no other outlets that need to be protected downstream of either of these outlets. Where the first gfci is located there may be a splice going in multiple directions on the load side and if you change the splice so that the gfci is now tapped the other locations could go unprotected. Additional outlets that need protection could be located in other bathrooms, garage and outside.

    I would recommend that all the outlets on that circuit that need gfci protection be located and the circuit reconnected so that a gfci receptacle is tapped at each location instead of one feeding through to all the others. This is not expensive, it cures the problem and it makes it more convenient for the homeowner by tripping only at the location where a problem arises leaving the rest of the circuit on and intact and still protected.


  63. #63
    Mark S. Connely's Avatar
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    I Am sorry i have been unable to reply to this post i was run into by a car while i was getting out of my truck (probably an angry contractor) and have been in the hospital i will try to go over the postings and see what i have missed but they gave me some really good pain pills


  64. #64
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark S. Connely View Post
    I Am sorry i have been unable to reply to this post i was run into by a car while i was getting out of my truck (probably an angry contractor) and have been in the hospital i will try to go over the postings and see what i have missed but they gave me some really good pain pills
    I hope everything turns out alright

    You just have to watch out for those other pesky cars on the road


  65. #65
    Roger Frazee's Avatar
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    Default Re: GFI Wiring Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark S. Connely View Post
    I Am sorry i have been unable to reply to this post i was run into by a car while i was getting out of my truck (probably an angry contractor) and have been in the hospital i will try to go over the postings and see what i have missed but they gave me some really good pain pills
    Dang that would ruin your day. Yeah we have been having a good discussion about your input earlier in the thread,

    Glad you are ok and will be reviewing the thread. Let us know what you think we may be overlooking.


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