GFCI outlet, am I an idiot?

isaac-1November 7, 2010

I was at my elderly mother's house the other day while she had a couple of handy men fixing a few electrical things around the house. Mostly replacing old outdoor light fixtures, but also installing some GFCI outlets around her new deck. These GFCI outlets were daisy chained off of an existing older outdoor non-GFCI outlet like this:

breaker ---- non-GFCI outlet ----- new GFCI outlet ----- new GFCI outlet

After seeing this done I told one of the handymen that they should have replaced the old non-GFCI outlet with a GFCI outlet and let it do ground fault protection for the downstream outlets. The guy then became very upset with me, one of those how dare I tell him how to do his job, I thought he was going to attack me for a moment, he insisted that a GFCI outlet anywhere on the chain would protect all outlets on the chain, has been doing this for 30 years, etc. This does not pass my common sense knowledge of electrical circuits, but given he had such a strong reaction, I thought I would ask here, was he right, am I an idiot?

thanks Ike

p.s. its not like I am "so no-nothing kid" telling him he did something wrong, I am in my 40's only a few years younger than he is.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
smithy123

well, i know how handymen are. they used these blue crimp connector things in my grandparents's uc lights and told them it was perfectly legal. he also used 5-15 recs, but my grandparents told him, on my reccomendaiton, to replace them.
YOU ARE RIGHT!

Here is a link that might be useful: connectors

    Bookmark   November 7, 2010 at 7:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
joed

A GFCI receptacle will only protect other devices connected its LOAD terminals. If you want to protect other devices the GFCI must be at the beginning of the circuit. From your description I think you were correct.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2010 at 7:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
wayne440

A GFCI outlet can be installed to protect wiring that is beyond it, but it will do nothing for outlets that are between the GFCI and the source. BTW, don't let those "handymen" anywhere near your genset.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2010 at 7:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
smithy123

''BTW, don't let those "handymen" anywhere near your genset.''
WHY? WHAT DID THEY DO WRONG, AGAIN?
LET ME REPHRASE THAT, WHAT DIDNT THEY DO WRONG?

    Bookmark   November 7, 2010 at 7:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
isaac-1

thanks for confirming what I thought. It is sad there are people out there like this with years and years of experience doing things wrong.

Ike

    Bookmark   November 7, 2010 at 7:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mike_kaiser_gw

he insisted that a GFCI outlet anywhere on the chain would protect all outlets on the chain, has been doing this for 30 years, etc.

Oh, he's wrong. It's only the downstream outlets that are protected. But what's more interesting is if he actually believed that...

breaker ---- non-GFCI outlet ----- new GFCI outlet ----- new GFCI outlet

Why spend money on a second GFCI receptacle on the same circuit?

    Bookmark   November 8, 2010 at 4:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bus_driver

30 years might mean one week's experience 1560 times.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2010 at 7:03AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
smithy123

EVEN I know hou to wire a gfi, and it is pretty sad that the instructions are in the box. i wired how many by now?

    Bookmark   November 8, 2010 at 4:05PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Too much load for circuit?
I have 200 amp service to the main panel (which has...
zver11
Need help Replacing old dimmer that used only 2 wires in a three way
I need advice as to which wire to connect to which...
txmat
Reuse electrical panel
I replaced a 24 circuit Square D panel with a new 40...
zver11
Spa Capacitor question
My spa is wired for 220v. The pump motor is rated for...
pugmark
Multiple Fluorescent Ballasts in one light fixture
Hello GardenWeb. I'm not new here, but couldn't log...
MikeM21
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™