Replace Single 20A Outlet with Duplex?

Discussion in 'Electrical and Wiring' started by SavvyCat, Sep 18, 2019.

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  1. Sep 18, 2019 #1

    SavvyCat

    SavvyCat

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    This is hopefully an easy answer. I have one 15A GFCI duplex outlet (two sockets) in my garage on one wall, and a lonely single 20A outlet (one socket) on another wall with my little chest freezer plugged into it. That's it for garage power unless I climb up to plug into the door opener. Is there anything preventing me from changing the single to a duplex? They're on the same breaker.
     
  2. Sep 18, 2019 #2

    Snoonyb

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    Nope, unless the conductors feeding that recep. are not 12ga.
     
  3. Sep 18, 2019 #3

    SavvyCat

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    To the point. I like it! :) Here's one... can I move the GFCI?
     
  4. Sep 18, 2019 #4

    nealtw

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    The same breaker is a 15 or 20? Why move the gfci if the first one is wired right the next is covered.
     
  5. Sep 18, 2019 #5

    SavvyCat

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    It's 20. I'd actually like to move it because I want to put a surge protector on it that had a tap screw in the middle, and you can't do that with a GFCI. :) I play with all my toys over there and the one I have without a tap screw is hard to pull a plug from without yanking the whole thing off. Makes more sense to have it at the front/house side of the garage. Not a big deal.
     
  6. Sep 18, 2019 #6

    nealtw

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    The gfci is usually on the first outlet so if you move it you might be plugging into one without that protection. If you test the gfci does the other one stop working. It might be easier to just add anther outlet next to the gfci.
     
  7. Sep 18, 2019 #7

    JoeD

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    All receptacles in the garage must be GFCI protected.
     
  8. Sep 18, 2019 #8

    Sparky617

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    I believe in the not too distant past a single outlet for a refrigerator or freezer in a garage didn't need to be GFCI protected. That may have changed in a recent update to the code, my 20-year-old house has a single outlet (not a duplex) dedicated outlet for a freezer in my garage. It was built to the code at the time and it is not GFCI protected. So the OPs house could have been built to code and not have this particular outlet GFCI protected.

    I lost some food in a previous house when the GFCI on my garage outlet tripped and my freezer was plugged into the outlet. I didn't have a dedicated freezer outlet in that house, that was built in the mid-1980s. My current house was built in 1998-99.
     
  9. Sep 19, 2019 #9

    kok328

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    That's my take on the situation also. As long as the non-GFCI is single use and used for a fridge then it's OK.
    Therefore, it would not be Ok to replace the outlet with a single duplex.
    You don't want your fridge on a GFCI outlet and need to determine if the single use outlet is first on the circuit or on the LOAD side of the GFCI.
    If it is a 20amp breaker then your going to want to verify your wire gauge 12AWG through the whole circuit and replace the 15amp GFIC with a 20amp.
     
  10. Sep 19, 2019 #10

    JoeD

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    Current code, unless you have a local amendment, requires all receptacles, including in the ceiling, to be GFCI protected.
     
  11. Sep 19, 2019 #11

    68bucks

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    I just built a barn and the inspector told me all the outlets had to be GFI protected and all outlets less than 5' off the floor had to be tamper resistant. It's not attached to the house but he said that's the way it was for a garage too.
     
  12. Sep 19, 2019 #12

    Sparky617

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    But you don't have to go back and keep updating your house if it was built to the code when it was built. That said, I would probably replace the single outlet with a GFCI outlet.
     
  13. Sep 20, 2019 #13

    JoeD

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    You don't have keep updating but if you make changes you have to meet current code.
     
  14. Sep 20, 2019 #14

    cdestuck

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    If it’s within your comfort zone, I’d look into tapping into those outlets and doing some race track wiring and adding additional outlets in your space
     

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