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  1. #1
    Robert Alexander's Avatar
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    Exclamation GFCI (kitchen/bath) - Max # of branch

    Fellow HI comrades:

    What is the maximum number of branch outlets you can have connected downstream from a single GFCI outlet? Can someone please send a brief code excerpt that would support this? Many thanks!

    Situation:
    New construction (finished). There is one GFCI in the master bathroom. This one GFCI outlet serves 3 branch outlets in master bath, 2 in a upstairs hall bath and one in a downstairs hall bath. This seems to me to be an excessive number of branch outlets served off of a single GFCI. Not to mention very inconvenient when tripped for folks having to hoof it to the master bath to reset it.

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  2. #2
    Brandon Chew's Avatar
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    Default Re: GFCI (kitchen/bath) - Max # of branch

    A properly wired GFCI receptacle will provide ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection on all downstream outlets on the circuit. The code does not put a limit on the number of 15A or 20A receptacles that can be installed on the circuit.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: GFCI (kitchen/bath) - Max # of branch

    Not everything is about code. If common sense came in a bottle, everyone would have some.
    The builder saved a couple of bucks by not running copper and investing in a couple more GFCI outlets.
    What he did though, was cause the homeowner headaches.
    Not to mention that if the "one" GFCI goes bad, as they do, everything downstream will be left unprotected.
    IMO each room should have its own dedicated circuit.

    I have run across a single GFCI outlet in a living room that "controlled" every other location in and out of the house that required protection.

    Were the downstream outlets protected? yes.
    was this right?.... not in my opinion and I let the buyer know it.

    The least they could have done, and I mean the least, was to have installed a GFCI breaker in the panel.

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    Default Re: GFCI (kitchen/bath) - Max # of branch

    Common practice in this area is to have one GFCI for all the bathrooms in the whole house, usually placed in the master bath or the 1/2 bath downstairs. That is assuming a 3-4 bath house.

    Then there are two in the kitchen, one for each 20 amp circuit. And there is a third in the garage for the garage, exterior, and crawlspace outlets. Sometimes I see one more in the laundry room.

    A rule of thumb, not code, is about 8-10 outlets per 15/20 amp circuit. The circuit is only going to allow 1500 amps before the breaker trips. One hairdryer or 15 lamps can be used at the same time. Usually not all outlets on a circuit are in use at the same time so it is not a problem.

    Code does not put a maximum number of outlets on a branch circuit. It is controlled by the wire and breaker size. Too many appliances plugged and running, the breaker trips. There is a minimum of two 20 amp for a kitchen and I believe 1 lighting circuit and 1 outlet circuit for an entire house. The other rule that comes into play is you must have outlets on any wall greater than 2 feet in a room, one every 12 running feet in a room, and one in a hallway. Kitchens, bathrooms, closets and other non-habitable rooms are excluded.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

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    Default Re: GFCI (kitchen/bath) - Max # of branch

    Sounds like some areas of the country are a lot more liberal. If I find a GFI that controls anything not located within that room, I call it out as a BS install. Builders/Realtors of course call me a 'you know what'. Once I explain to the client the hassle involved, ask them if they will possibly remember that the one GFI here controls those receps upstairs and if they will enjoy paying an electrician for a stupid service call, the seller usually ends up doing some separating.
    By the way I saw a kitchen recently, every recep was a GFI (8 or 9, I forget). Talk about Joe DIY not really knowing what he was doing.

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    Default Re: GFCI (kitchen/bath) - Max # of branch

    I always advised my clients that code does not address "convenience", but the builder should, unless they were buying a "minimum house". My clients were not buying "minimum houses" and I doubt any of yours are too (when is the last time - first time even - that you inspected a Habitat for Humanity minimum house?).

    My clients would brow beat the builders into installing GFCI's at every location, until eventually the builders started doing that themselves.

    The best way for a builder to reduce warranty customer service work is not to nit pick their buyers, give them the small things without complaining, the other things mostly seem to disappear - unless it is a really big thing, in which case the builder should have caught it themselves.

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    Default Re: GFCI (kitchen/bath) - Max # of branch

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Keller View Post
    By the way I saw a kitchen recently, every recep was a GFI (8 or 9, I forget). Talk about Joe DIY not really knowing what he was doing.
    "Talk about Joe DIY not really knowing what he was doing."

    ???

    Sounds like you did not know what you were doing.

    See, I have the same reference for knowing what you were thinking as you had for knowing what that DIY Joe was thinking.

    *I* always recommended to my clients that they have the builder do that EXACT THING.

    And, IN FACT, this Joe DIY did that very same thing in his kitchen.

    Guess this Joe DIY did not really know what he was doing, did he?

    EVERY receptacle in our house which is required to have GFCI protection *IS* a GFCI receptacle. Including ALL the ones in the kitchen, ALL the ones on the porch, ALL the ones in the garage, etc.

    When a GFCI trips, I want to be able to reach right there at the plug and reset it.

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    Default Re: GFCI (kitchen/bath) - Max # of branch

    I'm sure it's a lot bigger deal for us at the inspection than it is for the homeowner. I think I've had one GFCI trip in my house in 15 years. I've got 50 year old ungrounded wiring and a lot lightning and outages. Honestly, if you're tripping a GFCI over and over, there is something wrong. Maybe it's better if they have to walk all of the way down stairs to reset it. That way they may think about what is causing the device to trip.

    It is a pain during the inspection, however.

    Jim Robinson
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    Default Re: GFCI (kitchen/bath) - Max # of branch

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Robinson View Post
    Maybe it's better if they have to walk all of the way down stairs to reset it.

    Why not just make them all walk out to the panel, use GFCI breakers?

    "Convenience" of having the GFCI reset right at the receptacle has nothing to do with "tripping a GFCI over and over", it only has to do with tripping it that one time when you are using it.

    And testing it properly - every 6 months.

    Which is more likely (admittedly, neither is likely to happen):

    - Testing a GFCI when the GFCI is in the panel.

    - Testing a GFCI when the test button and reset button are right there at each receptacle.

    I think the latter ... ummm ... wonder what that button does ... Oh! Hey, it trips that GFCI! How about that! ... (presses reset button)

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    Default Re: GFCI (kitchen/bath) - Max # of branch

    "EVERY receptacle in our house which is required to have GFCI protection *IS* a GFCI receptacle. Including ALL the ones in the kitchen, ALL the ones on the porch, ALL the ones in the garage, etc.

    When a GFCI trips, I want to be able to reach right there at the plug and reset it."

    I don't think the last part is entirely correct. If more than 1 GFCI outlet is on the same circuit, it possible the GFCI 'upstream' will trip before the one that actually has the fault will.

    Darren www.aboutthehouseinspections.com
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    Default Re: GFCI (kitchen/bath) - Max # of branch

    I wouldn't think so. Because if you wired them so that each GFCI was wired so that the rest of the GFCI's were independent of each other then the plug that faulted would be the one that tripped. In other words don't wire the others down the line to be part of "that" GFCI. Every plug would come off the main wire and not the protected side of the plug. Does that make any sense????

    Am I wrong on thinking this way?

    Last edited by Wayne Carlisle; 09-21-2008 at 09:48 AM. Reason: Typo

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    Default Re: GFCI (kitchen/bath) - Max # of branch

    Come on Jerry, we clearly differ on this. I see little good reason to have every recep along a countertop wall be a GFI. It's a waste of money. One GFI per wall length controlling the rest of the receps along that countertop wall works just fine. If you want an actual GFI at every location go ahead. As long as the regular receps are properly GFI protected, I'm not complaining.
    I have to agree with others, that if the GFI is repeatedly tripping there are probably other issues. I can't remember any of ours tripping in any recent years.

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    Default Re: GFCI (kitchen/bath) - Max # of branch

    Quote Originally Posted by Darren Miller View Post
    "EVERY receptacle in our house which is required to have GFCI protection *IS* a GFCI receptacle. Including ALL the ones in the kitchen, ALL the ones on the porch, ALL the ones in the garage, etc.

    When a GFCI trips, I want to be able to reach right there at the plug and reset it."

    I don't think the last part is entirely correct. If more than 1 GFCI outlet is on the same circuit, it possible the GFCI 'upstream' will trip before the one that actually has the fault will.
    Not when each is wired as by-pass, not feed-through.

    *ONLY ONE* GFCI will trip ... the one right there at the receptacle.

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    Default Re: GFCI (kitchen/bath) - Max # of branch

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Keller View Post
    Come on Jerry, we clearly differ on this.
    Clearly, we do thing of it differently.

    I see little good reason
    Clearly, you do not see it, that, however, only means *YOU* do not see it, it does not mean that there is no good reason for it.

    Clearly, you should learn to open your mind and see more clearly.

    I have to agree with others, that if the GFI is repeatedly tripping there are probably other issues.
    CLEARLY (your word) you cannot see the advantage of using multiple GFCIs.

    CLEARLY *I* did not say anything about frequent or multiple tripping of GFCI, *I* only mentioned the convenience factor for when one does trip.

    CLEARLY you and some of the other need to open your minds and think that not everyone is, or wants to be, as limited as you are.

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    Default Re: GFCI (kitchen/bath) - Max # of branch

    Not open minded, limited in thinking, now you are just being rude.
    Let's take the kitchen I saw. Approximately 12' of wall/countertop on one leg of 'L' shape, approx. 7' on the other leg of the 'L'. Every single recep was a GFI. (8-9)
    As far as I am concerned if each wall length has one GFI protecting the rest of the receps along that wall length, all is good.
    Please explain how you think this is wrong, inadequate or whatever term you'd like to use. Every recep a GFI, you have any idea how much money that adds up to? Please tell me why a someone should spend another $12 per opening.
    I am more than open minded enough to listen to your reasons.

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    Default Re: GFCI (kitchen/bath) - Max # of branch

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Keller View Post
    Not open minded, limited in thinking, now you are just being rude.

    Marcus,

    No, being rude and limiting is when you stated:

    Come on Jerry, we clearly differ on this. I see little good reason to have every recep along a countertop wall be a GFI
    Clearly indicating that if anyone thinks different from you, they certainly cannot be using "good reason".

    Open you mind, step outside your box, there CLEARLY ARE many good reasons to have EVERY RECEPTACLE a GFCI receptacle.

    *YOU* may not think so, but what *YOU* think does not cover what we all think.

    CLEARLY so.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: GFCI (kitchen/bath) - Max # of branch

    Markus I totally agree with one GFCI peotecting a row of outlets along a countertop!

    You have a 12 to 14 ft wall with several outlets along the backsplash area of the countertop. One GFCI would fit the needs and if one outlet made the GFCI trip then it is easily fixed with a two or three steps to the GFCI and reset it.

    Why have a GFCI on every outlet when one will provide all the protection that you need! Wasted money and totally overkill! And guess what...it meets code and it's also easy to see which outlet is the GFCI and needs resetting in case of a ground fault!!

    I think installing a GFCI in a situation like this is *WAY OUTSIDE THE BOX*! Probably out in left field somewhere!

    I have to agree though having a GFCI in the master bathroom protecting all bathrooms is a little pain in the wazzuu area when it comes to figuring out where the GFCI is that feeds the 1/2 bath on an upstairs bedroom is located. It's to code but that is a situation where I think an extra GFCI would benefit the homeowner.


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    Default Re: GFCI (kitchen/bath) - Max # of branch

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Carlisle View Post
    I think installing a GFCI in a situation like this is *WAY OUTSIDE THE BOX*! Probably out in left field somewhere!

    That's where the winning home run is hit ... way out over left field ... Grand Slam, wins the game by 1!

    That's where you are supposed to be thinking " *WAY OUTSIDE THE BOX* ".

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  19. #19
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    Default Re: GFCI (kitchen/bath) - Max # of branch

    Come on guys lets get back to reality. Did it meet code when the house was built? Is it the responsibly of inspectors to verify for their cleint that the house and property that they are concidering on purchasing still meets the building standards (code) when it was built?

    It does not make a difference if the builder or previous owner added any extras (over kill) as long it meets the building standards. If as an inspector you can get a homeowner into adding something more than what is required, just because you as an inspector thinks it would be more convenience for the buyer, more power to you.


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    Default Re: GFCI (kitchen/bath) - Max # of branch

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Carlisle View Post
    Why have a GFCI on every outlet when one will provide all the protection that you need! Wasted money and totally overkill! And guess what...it meets code and it's also easy to see which outlet is the GFCI and needs resetting in case of a ground fault!!
    Take a trip down to your local big box store and write down the prices for GFCI receptacles and 20A receptacles. At my local store with the big orange sign the 20A receptacles were $7.21 and the GFCI receptacles $8.47. Not exactly budget-busting.

    I have to agree though having a GFCI in the master bathroom protecting all bathrooms is a little pain in the wazzuu area when it comes to figuring out where the GFCI is that feeds the 1/2 bath on an upstairs bedroom is located. It's to code but that is a situation where I think an extra GFCI would benefit the homeowner.
    Just did a bathroom for my father-in-law and the local AHJ won't allow any outfeeding from the bathroom receptacle, including to a half-bath. Seemed prudent to me - although he didn't really look at anything else, just wanted to make sure I wasn't feeding anything off that receptacle.


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    Default Re: GFCI (kitchen/bath) - Max # of branch

    $7.21 for a receptacle???? You need to start shopping elsewhere!


    Orange sign place....

    Leviton®
    Prograde® 20A Duplex Outlet
    Model 0CR20R44000 SKU 615228
    Price: $2.49


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    Default Re: GFCI (kitchen/bath) - Max # of branch

    Should have mentioned these were Decora which according to the orange website are now be $5.99. It was about a year ago that I got my pricing - good to see they've come down some. Couldn't find any GFCI receptacles on the website though...


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    Default Re: GFCI (kitchen/bath) - Max # of branch

    You're Fired!


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    Default Re: GFCI (kitchen/bath) - Max # of branch

    Thanks! I hope that means I can sleep in tomorrow.

    I don't go to the store with the big orange sign much (only when I need something on a Sunday) and I don't buy my electrical stuff there - although since my local electrical supplier was purchased by USESI I'm not sure what the difference is. Oh wait, I know the difference:

    Local shop: competent counter personnel who can't give you advice because of insurance/licensing regulations
    Big box store: incompetent personnel all too happy to give you advice

    Not to rag on the big box stores too much - some of the guys there are competent but more often than not you'll find someone with an "I Help in All Departments" badge on that generally indicates general incompetence rather than specific.


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    Default Re: GFCI (kitchen/bath) - Max # of branch

    I know I should just let this go, but those numbers were much different than my own experience. I just checked on some web sites, and 15 amp GFCI is about $11.50, a 20 amp is about $15. 15 amp receptacles are about $1.59, and the 20 amps are about $3.00 each. I haven't seen a GFCI at $8 for a long time.

    It's quite a difference in cost. Over $9 per receptacle at the 15 amp range. Sure, for one house it's no big deal, but you could use that logic to justify almost anything. When you are looking nationwide, unnecessary use of GFCI devices could cost a significant amount that does not provide any more protection at all. All it does is provide the home owner with less exercise to go and reset his GFCI which doesn't trip any how.

    Jim Robinson
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  26. #26
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: GFCI (kitchen/bath) - Max # of branch

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    "Talk about Joe DIY not really knowing what he was doing."

    ???

    Sounds like you did not know what you were doing.

    See, I have the same reference for knowing what you were thinking as you had for knowing what that DIY Joe was thinking.

    *I* always recommended to my clients that they have the builder do that EXACT THING.

    And, IN FACT, this Joe DIY did that very same thing in his kitchen.

    Guess this Joe DIY did not really know what he was doing, did he?

    EVERY receptacle in our house which is required to have GFCI protection *IS* a GFCI receptacle. Including ALL the ones in the kitchen, ALL the ones on the porch, ALL the ones in the garage, etc.

    When a GFCI trips, I want to be able to reach right there at the plug and reset it.

    Sooooo Are you saying every outlet is its own circuit or just each room that they are in cause hooking one up to every outlet (its own gfci outlet) does not work if they are on all the same circuit.


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    Default Re: GFCI (kitchen/bath) - Max # of branch

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Robinson View Post
    I know I should just let this go, but those numbers were much different than my own experience. I just checked on some web sites, and 15 amp GFCI is about $11.50, a 20 amp is about $15. 15 amp receptacles are about $1.59, and the 20 amps are about $3.00 each. I haven't seen a GFCI at $8 for a long time.

    It's quite a difference in cost. Over $9 per receptacle at the 15 amp range. Sure, for one house it's no big deal, but you could use that logic to justify almost anything. When you are looking nationwide, unnecessary use of GFCI devices could cost a significant amount that does not provide any more protection at all. All it does is provide the home owner with less exercise to go and reset his GFCI which doesn't trip any how.
    Jim,

    You made the same type of post on the other treads, it deserves the same response here.

    I had no idea that so many home inspectors were so cheap ... yet they probably expect to get 'top dollar' for their inspections, and complain with they lose work to a cheaper inspector.

    You can only blame it on yourselves, by your promoting cheapness all over.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    So, ...

    you can buy $10 sq yard carpet or $50 sq yard carpet, that's *500%*, not a measly old 46%.

    Guess the entire country needs to *buy cheap carpet*????

    Somebody needs to quite watching everyone else's money and get real.

    The cost for wiring a house is #12 copper instead of #14 copper is like spitting into the ocean when considered with all the other "upgrades" which have less meaningful long term affect on the house ... wait, there I go ... doing what I was accusing you of doing ... putting *my* valuation on someone else's valuation ... so what if they want to pay $50 per gallon of interior paint when they could have bought interior paint for $15 per gallon ... or that they want to spend $20,000 to have Venetian plaster in a *dining room* ... or that they want Ludowici roof tiles instead Monier roof tiles ...

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    Default Re: GFCI (kitchen/bath) - Max # of branch

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Sooooo Are you saying every outlet is its own circuit or just each room that they are in cause hooking one up to every outlet (its own gfci outlet) does not work if they are on all the same circuit.
    Huh?

    I think you are referring to this, so I will start here: "cause hooking one up to every outlet (its own gfci outlet) does not work if they are on all the same circuit"

    Huh?

    You can hook up each GFCI, one daisy chained off another, FEED THROUGH wired, and THEY WILL ALL WORK.

    You just will not know which one tripped, which defeats the purpose of having a GFCI at each receptacle.

    HOWEVER, ...

    If you wire the GFCIs NOT FEED THROUGH, wait, I already addressed that in a post above, "Not when each is wired as by-pass, not feed-through."

    See, wiring each one *not feed through* means that *only that one GFCI* will be tripped by something plugged into that GFCI receptacle. NOTHING ELSE on the circuit will trip it.

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    Default Re: GFCI (kitchen/bath) - Max # of branch

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    Sooooo Are you saying every outlet is its own circuit or just each room that they are in cause hooking one up to every outlet (its own gfci outlet) does not work if they are on all the same circuit.
    Depends on how you wire the GFCI. If you feed the other receptacles from the "load" side of the GFCI then yes, you only need one GFCI and the others would be superfluous. If, on the other hand, you tie them all together on the "line" side of the GFCI receptacles then each one could trip independently of the other.


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    Default Re: GFCI (kitchen/bath) - Max # of branch

    I guess Jim is saying that if we live in anything larger than a 500 sq ft plain jane box of a house, we wasted money, nationally speaking, of course.

    And, Jim, would like to inspect those 500 sq ft boxes that *everyone* would be living in?

    How would you carry a ladder on your bicycle to the inspection?

    Yes, that sounds a bit foolish, but so do you ranting about saving a little bit of money ... yes a LITTLE BIT OF MONEY ... as compared to what would be saved by everyone living in a 500 sq ft box of a house.

    Sheesh! What a concept - tight wad home inspectors.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  31. #31
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    Default Re: GFCI (kitchen/bath) - Max # of branch

    Yep, you are right/ I was thinking of protecting the rest down stream. Never thought of hoking them up else wise. Hmm. New train of thought.

    Shows how one can get in a tunnel some times


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    Default Re: GFCI (kitchen/bath) - Max # of branch

    Once again this has turned out to be another pissing match about how 'absolutely' right Jerry has to be.
    You want to put GFI's everywhere, go ahead. I continue to think it's a waste of money. It sounds like something coming out of the 'let's protect everyone from everything camp'. 8-9 GFI's in a normal kitchen, go ahead piss away an extra $80
    As far as Jerry's money rant (here I go stirring the pot) that post clearly shows a lack of experience in having to bring a job to completion on budget and on time. The difference between 12 and 14 is about $25.00 a roll here. You think that doesn't add up when bidding and wiring a house or 3 flat? Stay in consulting because you won't make money as a contractor.
    No contractor is making money on a job saving big dollars on one material set. It's all the little savings from each material category that add up to a decent amount at the end that allows one to make money on the job.

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  33. #33
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    Default Re: GFCI (kitchen/bath) - Max # of branch

    I'm not really interested in the "saving money" aspect of the discussion but I did want to clarify some pricing info, seeing as I had to make a trip to the big orange store to return a toilet seat.

    GFCI duplex receptacles were $29.97 in packs of 3, $12.48 single. 20A duplex Decora receptacles were $5.99 single, no multi-packs visible.

    I have six circuits in my kitchen - three for counter tops, one for the DW, one for the refrigerator, one for the range and vent hood, and one for the lighting. This means I needed at minimum five GFCI receptacles. Let's say I opt to install GFCI at all receptacle locations. There are only three locations that don't "need" GFCI receptacles. The price difference for using GFCI instead of 20A duplex Decora, given the big box prices I found (at 8:14am EDT on 9/23/2008), would have totaled $12.

    I submit that if the contractor is trying to make budget through materials then they are barking up the wrong tree. Except for high-end materials (which is irrelevant for this discussion) the labor costs almost always dwarf the material costs. All it takes is one callback to fix an improperly wired counter receptacle (say... tied to line instead of load on the GFCI) to completely negate the $12 saved.

    As for wire we have the combination of consumers wanting more power (so they can watch their 72" plasma TV with the AC on) and local jurisdictions starting to mandate 12awg minimums. My safety instinct says it's better in the long run to just wire with 12awg and not worry about whether or not the homeowner has swapped out the breaker with a 20A. If the electrician is performing load calculations and derating like they should be I suspect that there would be few places indeed (lighting circuits?) that would require only 14awg.


  34. #34
    Frank Mauck's Avatar
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    Default Re: GFCI (kitchen/bath) - Max # of branch

    Hey Corn Walker,
    When a contractor bids a project they bid it with a profit in mind. taking the prices from your quote, if a contractor was wiring an apartment complex with 6 counter receptacles in the kitchen end 3 receptacles in the bathrooms. That would be 9 receptacles, which is $29.97 per 3 would be $89.91 for the 9 GFCI receptacles. If the contractor would use 2 GFCI receptacles in the kitchen and one in the bathroom what would be $29.97, and use 6 Decor receptacles at $5.99 each that would be $35.94. Using 9 GFCI receptacles would be $89.91 and 3 GFCI with 6 Decor is $65.91 which is only a $24.00 difference, which is not much I will admit, but if the project had 24 buildings with 48 units in each building which is 1152 units. With a savings of $24.00 for each unit, the contractor is saving $27,648.00. That might not be much for some people but when it comes to making a profit on a project or going belly-up it does make a difference. We only see one unit at a time, but we need to see the whole picture and realize where the contractor's are coming from. I don't think it is an inspectors place to require more than the building standards (codes) when the building was Built.

































    Quote Originally Posted by Corn Walker View Post
    I'm not really interested in the "saving money" aspect of the discussion but I did want to clarify some pricing info, seeing as I had to make a trip to the big orange store to return a toilet seat.

    GFCI duplex receptacles were $29.97 in packs of 3, $12.48 single. 20A duplex Decora receptacles were $5.99 single, no multi-packs visible.

    I have six circuits in my kitchen - three for counter tops, one for the DW, one for the refrigerator, one for the range and vent hood, and one for the lighting. This means I needed at minimum five GFCI receptacles. Let's say I opt to install GFCI at all receptacle locations. There are only three locations that don't "need" GFCI receptacles. The price difference for using GFCI instead of 20A duplex Decora, given the big box prices I found (at 8:14am EDT on 9/23/2008), would have totaled $12.

    I submit that if the contractor is trying to make budget through materials then they are barking up the wrong tree. Except for high-end materials (which is irrelevant for this discussion) the labor costs almost always dwarf the material costs. All it takes is one callback to fix an improperly wired counter receptacle (say... tied to line instead of load on the GFCI) to completely negate the $12 saved.

    As for wire we have the combination of consumers wanting more power (so they can watch their 72" plasma TV with the AC on) and local jurisdictions starting to mandate 12awg minimums. My safety instinct says it's better in the long run to just wire with 12awg and not worry about whether or not the homeowner has swapped out the breaker with a 20A. If the electrician is performing load calculations and derating like they should be I suspect that there would be few places indeed (lighting circuits?) that would require only 14awg.



  35. #35
    Join Date
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    Default Re: GFCI (kitchen/bath) - Max # of branch

    Quote Originally Posted by Corn Walker View Post
    GFCI duplex receptacles were $29.97 in packs of 3, $12.48 single. 20A duplex Decora receptacles were $5.99 single, no multi-packs visible.

    I have six circuits in my kitchen - three for counter tops, one for the DW, one for the refrigerator, one for the range and vent hood, and one for the lighting. This means I needed at minimum five GFCI receptacles. Let's say I opt to install GFCI at all receptacle locations. There are only three locations that don't "need" GFCI receptacles. The price difference for using GFCI instead of 20A duplex Decora, given the big box prices I found (at 8:14am EDT on 9/23/2008), would have totaled $12.

    .

    Corn,

    The price difference is greater given that most would have installed standard 15 amp duplexes which run around 50 cents.

    Why are you looking at 20 amp Decoras instead of the standard 15 amp? Even the 15 amp are rated for 20 amp circuits as long as there are 2 places to insert a plug and are rated for the 20 amp pass-thru.

    Could you also clarify why you would need at least 5 GFI receptacles when you only have 3 circuits serving the countertop?


  36. #36
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    Default Re: GFCI (kitchen/bath) - Max # of branch

    Help me out here and let me know what you think. Townhome had the required 2-20 amp circuits for the kitchen. Both GFCI's where on the counter. One of them protected all the outlets along the counter except for the last one which was the other GFCI recpetacle on the other 20 amp circuit. It protected that single outlet and all the ones in the dining room.

    Should the counter outlets be split up between the two? I thought the 2 circuits where for small appliances loads on counters?

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
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  37. #37
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    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: GFCI (kitchen/bath) - Max # of branch

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Schulz View Post
    Townhome had the required 2-20 amp circuits for the kitchen. Both GFCI's where on the counter. One of them protected all the outlets along the counter except for the last one which was the other GFCI recpetacle on the other 20 amp circuit. It protected that single outlet and all the ones in the dining room.
    While not meeting the "intent" of the code (in my opinion, any way), it absolutely does meet the "wording" of the code. One can say (I could even say it) that the wording *may* indicate the "intent" of the code when the code is specifically worded as it is - thus, it that really the "intent" of the code? Could be, but I would hope not.

    From the 2006 IRC.

    - E3603.2 Kitchen and dining area receptacles. A minimum of two 20-ampere-rated branch circuits shall be provided to serve all wall and floor receptacle outlets located in the kitchen, pantry, breakfast area, dining area or similar area of a dwelling. The kitchen countertop receptacles shall be served by a minimum of two 20-ampere-rated branch circuits, either or both of which shall also be permitted to supply other receptacle outlets in the kitchen, pantry, breakfast and dining area including receptacle outlets for refrigeration appliances.
    - - Exception: The receptacle outlet for refrigeration appliances shall be permitted to be supplied from an individual branch circuit rated 15 amperes or greater.

    To break the code down:
    - A minimum of two 20-ampere-rated branch circuits shall be provided to serve all wall and floor receptacle outlets located in the kitchen, pantry, breakfast area, dining area or similar area of a dwelling. (Jerry's note: That is exactly what it says, and is exactly what was done. That one branch circuit was split up between the kitchen and the dining room. Sounds stupid, but that is what it says.)
    - The kitchen countertop receptacles shall be served by a minimum of two 20-ampere-rated branch circuits, (Jerry's note: There were two serving the kitchen countertop receptacles.)
    - either or both of which shall also be permitted to supply other receptacle outlets in the kitchen, pantry, breakfast and dining area including receptacle outlets for refrigeration appliances. (Jerry's note: And that is what that does.)


    Should the counter outlets be split up between the two?
    Logic would say so, but the code says it differently.

    I thought the 2 circuits where for small appliances loads on counters?
    That would certainly have been a good idea.

    Sad but true, but then, as we say frequently, code does not, cannot, regulate "common sense".


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

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