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Mike G.
Mike G., Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 5642
Experience:  Proven Professional 45 years Experience
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I am trying to upgrade our outdoor electrical before the winter.

Resolved Question:

I am trying to upgrade our outdoor electrical before the winter. The previous home owners installed the outlet box right at ground level and it would sit in water when it rained. So we decided to move it up the 4x4 it was attached to. Tought it would make it safer. NOW I have no power. I checked Line and Load. Grounds. Hot vs Neutral.

The circuit goes like this: leaves the house...connects to an interrupter that controls the light above the backdoor. Leaves the interrupter as 14/3 (I know...it isn't MY wiring...we are just trying to work with what was there until we can tear it out next summer).
The 14/3 goes to a box and splits off in a "Y". I have power up until this point.
The left hand side of the "Y" changes to 14/2...and is connected to 2 outdoor carriage lights...first to one...then dead ending at the other.
The other side of the "Y" is 14/3 and runs to two dual outlets and another carriage light where it again dead ends.
It looks like the people that lived here before used the 14/3 as two separate circuits. The black lines control the lights through an interrupter...and the red wires are supposed to supply constant current to the outlets.
Well I replaced the original box...and added a GCFI...so now I have no freakin lights outside. And a box with 2 sets of 14/3 wire and a 14/2...and of course...I didn't pay attention when I disconnected them...so now I can't get them back together!
Could someone lend me some help! Please!
I only have basic electrical skills and this is above my pay grade!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
Hi, I'm Mike and I'll be glad to assist you. Please stand by while I read your question.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
Are you saying that there are 2 GFCI's?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The main box that the arms of the Y branch off has a GCFI...there are two more dual outlets wired one after the other on the same circuit and they are both GCFI's as well. So three. I don't know why. They can be daisy chained as long as the one at the beginning of the circuit has a GCFI right?

Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
If the three GFCI's are not independently wired to a non-gfci hot wire, they are redundant and need to be reset in order, starting with the first one. Bad practice. You only need one GFCI on the lead receptacle. You can't have the GFVI protecting a split circuit lights and receptacles having a protected hot and a non-protected one.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


If I remove the redundant GCFI's...leaving just the one at the base of the branch...will that solve the power issues we are having?


I really wish I had labeled everything before we started this.


 


I have the main GCFI wired with load wires to the proper contacts...line wires to the proper contacts and the 3 black wires marretted together. The there is one white wire left over...not sure where it goes! I was thinking it should be contected with the other white line wire?

Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
I suggest that the GFCI's are only at the receptacles and both the feed and pass thru wires are connected to the line terminals. This isolates the receptacles and having the lights switched, using the same neutral won't affect the operation of all items.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I just want to clarify.


Both the hot wires and the feed wires should be connected to the receptacles using the line connection only?


And this is for the last two GFCI outlets on the circuit...not the main GFCI.


This would include the black wires that feed to the lights? Or do they need to stay separate?


I haven't done this type of wiring before...so I just to make sure I am reading you right!

Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
The switched hot wires to the lights do not connect to the GFCI's. Only the hot to the receptacles and the common neutrals are connected to the line terminals.
Mike G., Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 5642
Experience: Proven Professional 45 years Experience
Mike G. and 3 other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Ahh...OK I see what you mean now!


Sorry for the confusion!


It's about to rain...so I guess I had better get at it!


Thank You!

Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
Very good. Let me know how you do.

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Mike G.
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