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GFCI - Total Receptacles


monte
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How many receptacles can one GFCI serve? I always thought that it was three + the GFCI.

I have found a kitchen (Home built May 2005) with one GFCI serving 5 other receptacles. The garage GFCI was serving 8 receptacles and the two exterior receptacles. The building dept has released the home to the owner in June 2005. The electrican claims that it is to code.

I do not mine eating dirt if I am wrong.

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Hi,

I've never heard of a prohibition based on number of receptacles. Here's a tip. Unless common sense tells you it's patently unsafe, don't make calls based on things you aren't certain about. You'll only look a little foolish trying to backpedal later.

You're better off, saying something like, "Hmmmm, you know that seems like it's a lot of receptacles for one GFCI, but I don't know for certain that it's not allowed. For all I know, the number allowed could be unlimited. I'll check it out and then we'll both know. If I find out it's not allowed, I'll note it in your report and give you a call to let you know. So, if I don't call you about this by X o'clock tomorrow don't worry about it. It's a non-issue."

That said, load calcs say you're supposed to allow 3,000 watts for two small appliance circuits in the kitchen. If one circuit is alloted 1500 watts, then I guess you can't exceed 12.5 amps total load, which is weird since they're supposed to be 20 amp circuits. See, that's why I don't worry about this kind of stuff, just thinking about it with my math-disabled brain makes my hair hurt.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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The last time I read the spec's in the mfg's. box, it said the device was approved for the GFCI & up to 6 additional devices downstream. The mfg. was Leviton, & it was a couple years ago.

That's not exactly a reference, but it's what I've been working w/for the last couple years.

And Mike, that's not hair; I thought it was exposed nerve ends. [:-eyebrow

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From Pass & Seymour

http://www.passandseymour.com/knowhowfa ... ory=GFCI's

Q: How many receptacles can be wired downstream from a GFCI?

A: There is no set limit. However, thought should be given to the length of the wire run. The farther the distance is from the GFCI to the load the greater the chance is for nuisance tripping to occur.

Jeff Euriech

Peoria Arizona

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Mike

I did not make the call on the number that the GFCI protects, but a electrician happen to be doing some extra wiring for my friend and I ask him the question.. Like I said before back in my brain I have always used GFCI + 3. This is the first time that I ran across that many on a circuit (GFCI + 10 & GFCI + 6)

This was not any type of a Inspection, just one friend to another showing off different tools of the trade. Mike, also the new Tramex Survey Encounter Moisture Meter

Bill

There was not any boxes or instructions laying around for me to check, but I will check different manufacture sites to see if I can get that info.

Kurt

Thanks for your responce

Jeff

Thanks for the link

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  • 3 weeks later...

Dear Monte,

I just had to respond to you post on GFCI's.....

How many times have you found one inoperable in the kitchen or Bathroom? If you have more than one "daisy chained" or "downstream" to just that one and it's circuit does not interrupt, what is the percentage of increase that someone will get shocked or electrocuted?

With a heavy electrical background in Commercial/Industrial I say the more GFCI's, the better. I do not enjoy being shocked by any voltage at any frequency, not to mention the damn amp's that kill you.

Furthermore, If we look in our IRC2003 (International Residential Code) books, we will see on page 472 and page 473 (respectively)Figure E3801.4 Which shows all outlets are GFCI with the exception of the refridgerator and the Island.

Under Kitchen Receptacles E 3802.6 it states "all 125 volt, single phase, 15 and 20 ampere receptacles that serve counter top surfaces shall have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel".

The word "all" to me means all! Not every 3 outlets or 6,10, but all of them that serve a countertop.

I don't mind eating dirt either.....Thanks.

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Originally posted by Bradd Judd

Dear Monte,

I just had to respond to you post on GFCI's.....

How many times have you found one inoperable in the kitchen or Bathroom? If you have more than one "daisy chained" or "downstream" to just that one and it's circuit does not interrupt, what is the percentage of increase that someone will get shocked or electrocuted?

I'd have to say that the increased risk is low. In many cases, the GFCI is wired backwards with the line and load terminals reversed. In that case, the downstream receptacles are protected but the GFCI device itself isn't. To apply your logic, it'd be safer to have one miswired GFCI protecting as many outlets as possible rather than have a miswired GFCI at each location.

Now, if the GFCI were just plain fried, I can see some merit to your argument.

Of course, modern GFCIs are (mostly) failsafe, making this argument (mostly) moot.

With a heavy electrical background in Commercial/Industrial I say the more GFCI's, the better. I do not enjoy being shocked by any voltage at any frequency, not to mention the damn amp's that kill you.

No duh?

Furthermore, If we look in our IRC2003 (International Residential Code) books, we will see on page 472 and page 473 (respectively)Figure E3801.4 Which shows all outlets are GFCI with the exception of the refridgerator and the Island.

Under Kitchen Receptacles E 3802.6 it states "all 125 volt, single phase, 15 and 20 ampere receptacles that serve counter top surfaces shall have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel".

The word "all" to me means all! Not every 3 outlets or 6,10, but all of them that serve a countertop.

I don't mind eating dirt either.....Thanks.

That section does *not* mean that you need a GFCI device at each receptacle. It means you need GFCI *protection* at each of the indicated receptacles. This protection can come from a GFCI device right there, or can come from one upstream - either a GFCI receptacle or circuit breaker.

The practice of feeding through GFCIs has been well accepted for 30 years. And with modern ones, the risk of failure in the “onâ€

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Back in the day when I was wiring houses we always had a rule of thumb that allowed 8 general lighting circuit openings on a 15 amp(14 guage wire) circuit and 10 openings on a 20 amp( 12 guage wire) general lighting circuit. Kitchen circuits were limited to 4 openings on the 20 amps circuits.

I don't remember the reasoning but it was the accepted practice. This included laying out the GFCI circuits.

Buster

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It would appear that Figure 3801.4 is incomplete in that GFI protection is required for the island counter top by:

E3802.6 Kitchen receptacles.

All 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles that serve countertop surfaces shall have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel.

Jim, what's your take?

Tom Corrigan

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Originally posted by Tom Corrigan

It would appear that Figure 3801.4 is incomplete in that GFI protection is required for the island counter top by:

E3802.6 Kitchen receptacles.

All 125-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere receptacles that serve countertop surfaces shall have ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel.

Jim, what's your take?

Tom Corrigan

If the receptacle is mounted within 12" of the top of the countertop, it should be GFCI protected.

If it's lower than that, then it's just a convenience outlet and it doesn't need the GFCI protection.

I think that, in the context of that particular drawing, you're right. They just forgot to write "GFCI" next to it.

Interestingly, I've never met an electrician who's ever read the IRC. They just tend to go by the NEC. Looking at that drawing, I can see why.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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