change outlet w/ 3 wires to GFCI

Discussion in 'Electrical and Wiring' started by Dave928, May 5, 2008.

  1. May 5, 2008 #1

    Dave928

    Dave928

    Dave928

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    i'm a house wiring newbie, but i'm slowly figuring it out. figured out a 4-way light switch (that was fun) but this one has me stumped:

    my house was built in '82. i have a regular outlet near the kitchen sink that the home inspector said should be a GFCI. when i removed the outlet i found 3 wires on it, black, white and red. the white and red are on the top screws and the black is on the bottom on the red side.

    how do i wire this for the GFCI? since the red and black are already connected, do i just wire nut them together with a third wire (black) and run that to the "LINE BLACK" screw, then the white wire goes to the "LINE WHITE" screw?

    dave
     
  2. May 5, 2008 #2

    Parrothead

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    Either the black or the red is most likely on a switch somewhere-probably the red. Just put a wirenut on it and tuck it into the back of the box. Then hook the black to the brass and the white to the silver. Make sure you look on the back of the GFCI outlet and hook the wires to the terminals marked "line" and not "load". Is there no ground in the box?? If not, in this case you're still ok. Contrary to popular belief, GFCI receptacles will still work without a ground wire.
     
  3. May 5, 2008 #3

    Dave928

    Dave928

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    ok thanks. i guess i'll find out what the red was later when something doesn't work. :)

    yes there's a ground. it wasn't an issue, so i didn't mention it...
     
  4. May 6, 2008 #4

    JoeD

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    Sounds like a split receptacle. Each half of the receptacle is fed from a different breaker. You need to turn off two breakers to kill the whole receptacle. It could/should be a double pole breaker, but it might be tow separate breakers. This is very common in kitchen receptacles. It is actually code in Canada. The only way to GFCI protect it is with a double pole GFCI breaker. Lots of $$$$.
     
  5. May 6, 2008 #5

    Dave928

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    why would both the red and the black come from the breaker panel if they're connected to each other at the outlet? they are connected, the little tab is not broken out...
     
  6. May 6, 2008 #6

    Parrothead

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    Hmmm then possibly the red is feeding something else in some weird way. If you are positive that they were connected at the outlet, then just wirenut them together with a pigtail, and use the pigtail to hook up the GFCI.
     
  7. May 6, 2008 #7

    Dave928

    Dave928

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    i'll triple check and press on...

    thanks.
     
  8. May 7, 2008 #8

    guyod

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    The gfi should have 2 connections for line that way both wires can go into the gfi. pig tails just add one more place for a short to happen.
     
  9. May 13, 2008 #9

    JoeD

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    They are not connected to each other. The tab between the glod screws is broken and you have two separate circuits on one receptacle yoke.
     
  10. May 13, 2008 #10

    Parrothead

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    He said the tab wasn't broken, hence the confusion:



     
  11. May 15, 2008 #11

    JoeD

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    It could be that the tab should be broken and one of the breakers is tripped. The tripped circuit is being backfed from the untripped one. The only reason for that setup is split receptacle. It is the way we wired kitchen counter receptacles in Canada until the GFCI requirement allowed for 20 amp circuits on the counter.
     

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