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Im replacing 4 regular outlets with GFI outlets..some of them

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I'm replacing 4 regular outlets with GFI outlets..some of them have 6 wires. Three black and three white.. How do I determine which two are the "LINE" wires..I bought a Voltage Tester (red and black leads) but not sure what to do next?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Inactive replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for asking your question on graphic
You are corresponding with Joseph - Your personal online "Electrical Consultant"


Let me ask you this - why are you replacing the outlets with gfci outlets? Also - where are these outlets located?


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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
They're all close to sinks three bathroom sinks and one over a counter near but not real close to a kitchen sink
Expert:  Inactive replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for asking your question on graphic
You are corresponding with Joseph - Your personal online "Electrical Consultant"


Are you replacing each outlet with a gfci?


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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
yes I thought I had to Isn't it "Code" standard? the townhouse is 28 years old..only one bathroom sink had a GFI outlet...maybe I should have just left everything the way it was??
Expert:  Inactive replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for asking your question on graphic
You are corresponding with Joseph - Your personal online "Electrical Consultant"


Ok - one more question. Are all the outlets your going to replace with gfci's on the same breaker? Or are they on different breakers?


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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Well, now that you mention it.. It looks like I have two breakers marked "GFI" on my breaker box..I just shut both of them off when I started working I was able to replace the two outlets that only had 4 wires..
Expert:  Inactive replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for asking your question on graphic
You are corresponding with Joseph - Your personal online "Electrical Consultant"


To keep this simplified - this is what you will need to do since you alreay have the outlets. What you need to do is pigtail all the wiring in each box and then terminate the wires to the "line" side of the gfci's.

Here is how you pigtail the wiring:
graphic
graphic

Now when you hook up the wiring - black will go to the "line" gold terminal, and the white will terminate to the "line" silver. Lastly your bare copper ground will terminate to the green terminal.


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Inactive, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4772
Experience: Electrical Contractor
Inactive and 3 other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I Don't understand.. arent Two white and Two black the "Load" wires and One white and one Black the "Line" wires...how do I know I'm not "pigtailing" and load wire with a line wire now I'm really confused Right now I have the power turned off and 6 wires sticking out of the wall I thought I could just switch the breaker only briefly and "find out" with the voltage meter which white and black wire is the 'LINE"
Expert:  Inactive replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for asking your question on graphic
You are corresponding with Joseph - Your personal online "Electrical Consultant"


I was not trying to confuse you - but to put it simply you cannot feed another gfci from the load side of another gfci. So if you terminate all the wiring to the line side, that makes all the wiring "line". That is why I said to pigtail all the wiring. Then all your gfci's will be hooked up correctly.

Do you understand what I mean my pigtialing now from the pictures above?


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  • 100% customer satisfaction is my goal
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

NO.. the first picture has all THREE white wires capped AND only two of the white wires are coming from the box...the SAME for the black wires...Like I said earlier I have Three black and three white ALL coming from inside the box

 

Expert:  Inactive replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for asking your question on graphic
You are corresponding with Joseph - Your personal online "Electrical Consultant"


Right - So you will connect all three black wires together with an extra piece of black wire. You will connect all of these together with a wire nut and terminate the black wire to the gold terminal on the "line" side. Do the same for the whites and connect it to the silver terminal. Same deal for the grounding wire and terminate that to the green.

Now again you will do this at each gfci you install. Dont get yourself concerned with line and load etc. You only need to concern yourself with the "line" side of the outlets.


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  • 100% customer satisfaction is my goal
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I'm really stressed out now. I just wanted to change a few outlets and now it's turned into a nightmare...Now I have to drive a half hour to home depot to get some "xtra black and white" wire..I dont even know what size to get or what type of caps to use
Expert:  Inactive replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for asking your question on graphic
You are corresponding with Joseph - Your personal online "Electrical Consultant"


There is no need to get stressed. This is not as bad as you think. Now if you want to forgo all of this hassle here is what you need to do:

Since two breakers kill power to all the outlets you need to replace, then I suggest returning the gfci's and purchase 2 gfci breakers. Then you dont have to change any outlets. All your work will be in the panel installing two breakers. This will gfci protect all your outlets. You will just need to put the sticker on each outlet that states gfci protected.

Now if you still want to use the gfci's, you will need to buy #12 wire for both the black and white wires. Then you will need a small bag of tan colored wire nuts.

If your still feeling stressed - dont worry, I will stay with you until you get this worked out.


  • If you need further clarification on anything I posted, please dont hesitate to ask
  • 100% customer satisfaction is my goal
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I'm sorry about troubling you...The GFI breaker is a great idea but doesnt that open up a whole other dynamic?. Wouldnt I have to turn the power off to the house somehow before I open that box? sounds complicated... I wish I never started this project
Expert:  Inactive replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for asking your question on graphic
You are corresponding with Joseph - Your personal online "Electrical Consultant"


No you dont have to shut power off to the whole building - just the breakers you want to replace. You just need to use caution when working in there - But like I said - which ever option you choose, I will work this from that perspective.


  • If you need further clarification on anything I posted, please dont hesitate to ask
  • 100% customer satisfaction is my goal

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