GFCI also known as Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter is a kind of circuit breaker which is designed in a way that it gives instant protection to electrical shocks. GFCI outlet cuts the power supply when it detects any leakage current or ground faults. You can also connect multiple outlets to a GFCI outlet.
To connect multiple outlets to a GFCI outlet you need to point out the terminals, then connect the input terminals to the power supply and load terminals to the other outlets in parallel form.
It is not a difficult task. But there is quite a number of terminals in an outlet. So, it is better to break it down into pieces so that you can understand it easily. This article is going to be a real handy one for you if you want to learn about it. Let’s go.
What is a GFCI outlet?
As I already told GFCI outlet is a kind of circuit breaker that is very sensitive to leakage currents and ground faults. As soon as it detects such errors it will instantly turn off the connection and trip off the circuit. Here is a picture of a GFCI circuit below. Before I go to the wiring section it is important to know what do the terminals mean.
Here, the Line In and Neutral In terminals will be connected to the main power supply, while the Line Load and Neutral Load terminals will be connected to the other outlets.
Where can you use GFCI outlets?
GFCI outlets should be used in moist or wet locations of the home so that it can protect people from being shocked during any leakage of current or ground error. You can use it in bathrooms, kitchens, laundry, Wet bars, Spa, swimming poll areas, unfinished basements & so on.
How to wire a GFCI outlet with multiple outlets?
The outlets should be connected to the GFCI outlet in parallel using properly rated wires. It is not so hard after all.
Since you have already seen the terminals of a GFCI outlet, it will be easy now on. Let’s see the circuit diagram below.
Here in figure 2, you can see that the source line and neutral are connected to the input terminals of the GFCI circuit. And the output terminals are connected to the corresponding terminals of the other outlets.
Then the other outlets are connected in parallel to each other. This is how you can wire GFCI outlet to multiple outlets.
Wiring a GFCI to a light switch is kind of a similar thing, just swap the outlets with a light switch and light.
What is the benefit of using multiple outlets with a GFCI outlet?
The benefit is that you will get protection to the other outlets as well. It serves as a protection scheme to all the outlets.
Thus, all the appliances you are connecting to the GFCI will be under observation whether they face any kind of ground fault or current leakage.
As a result, the users remain safe especially in risky zones of the house like moist places or counter top positions. These are the places which are recommended to be guided by a GFCI outlet.
Can GFCI outlets be wired in series ?
You can wire GFCI outlets in series, but it will not be the right decision. Simply speaking you should not wire GFCI outlets in series. If you wire two GFCI outlet in series connection you will not get the proper voltage in the other outlet when there is any type of load present.
You only need one GFCI outlet per circuit , but if there is more then one circuit present, you need to wire others GFCI outlets in parallel connection. Just the way I have demonstrated in figure 2.
Can you put two GFCI outlets on the same circuit ?
The answer is yes, you can put two or multipleGFCIs on the same circuit. You can wire a GFCI outlet with multiple outlets located in different areas of our homes like in multiple rooms,kitchens and bathrooms.
At first you need to install one single GFCI outlet and then wiring together the other GFCi outlets to the load with the help of that GFCI.
You will have to use the single GFCI as the source & then connecting the other outlets using the same load and line terminals. It will help you to protect all the electrical equipment used in different location of your home.
What are the disadvantages of using multiple GFCI outlets on the same circuit ?
There is one drawback that you will have to face if you wire two or more GFCI outlet in one circuit, that is, the outlets become out of power with the tripping of one GFCI.
There is high possibility of GFCI tripping due to overloading when you are using multiple outletsin a same circuit. And it will cause a power breakdown in all the outlets if any fault have found in one outlet which is connected to others.
Can you wire a GFCI outlet with three or four wires?
Yes, you can wire in both ways. You can learn how to install a GFCI outlet with three wires from the above descriptions as well. It is the simplest way of wiring a GFCI.
On the other hand, learning how to install a GFCI outlet with four wires is a slightly different thing from this one.
What do the lights on GFCI Mean ?
The lights on your GFCI outlet actually indicate the state of outlets power. If the outlet has a red light, that means that something is not good and you need to find out it.
Green indicates that everything is good and it is working properly. If it has no light at all means that the circuit probably tripped.
How long should you keep you GFCI outlet ?
GFCI outlet can stop working anywhere near 5 to 25 years depending on their location. You need to replace your GFCI outlet if it stops working or you need to reset it continuesly.
Does every outlet in kitchen orbathroom needs to be GFCI ?
The answer is yes, Every outlets in kitchen or bathroom need to GFCI if it is within six feet of wet plumbing appliance. There is always a high chance of electrical hazards in wet areas.
You can easily get shocked anytime as current can easily pass through you to the ground. So, why not use a GFCI to protect yourself!
This article is a very handful one for anyone who is interested in learning about GFCI wiring. It does not only shows you how to wire a GFCI outlet to multiple oultets. But it also gives you the basics of GFCI. Anyone who does not know anything about it, will also be able to learn a lot about it.
I have not forgot to add the questions that come to your mind everytime you are puzzled with a situation. So, I hope you have found the article helpful and now you are capable to wiring outlets to your GFCI by your own. Good luck with your experience buddy!