Kitchen GFCI Help

zxttfanDecember 10, 2009

I'm a newbie at this so please bear with me.

I'm finishing up a kitchen remodel and planned on changing the original 2 prong outlets with GFCI's. Two of the changeovers went fine but I'm having problems with the last two.

I have a box over the sink that has a switch for the disposal and an GFCI- I believe this is the start of the circuit. Then I have another 2 outlets (old 2 prongs)on the same circuit. I've changed out everything but can't get the new downstream GFCI and 3 prong to work. During the test and reset phase, the downstream GFCI green light lights up, but has no power.

There are 4 lines coming into this "main" box, 3 with a hot and neutral wire and one with a 2 hots (1 black, 1 red) and a neutral wire. From what I can tell, it's a shared neutral setup as all the neutrals are tied into one cap. The hot from one line goes directly into the GFCI, the other hot comes off a cap from a hot & neutral line and the 2 hot and neutral line (the black wire). The last hot runs directly to the switch. The red hot is capped with another black hot and runs to the switch, making the switch have 2 hots, which I find strange.

It worked fine before with a single GFCI and 2 two-pronged outlets. From what I can tell, the GFCI at the start of the circuit is wired correctly but something is wrong from the switch or next GFCI. Is there something I'm missing?

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Ron Natalie

I'm not clear just exactly how things are wired from your description, the switch however does effectively get "two hots" one from the source and one feeding the load. Neutral usually doesn't get connected to the switch.

I highly suspect the problem is "all neutrals are tied into one cap."

You can NOT connect the neutral that comes from a GFCI to any other neutral other than the load it is serving. You can't do "shared neutral" after a 120 GFCI nor can you connect the neutral from the load side of the GFCI to the line side.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2009 at 6:19AM
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spencer_electrician

If it is a "remodel" All the wiring needs to be upgraded anyway. Especially when the receptacles do not even have grounding. The red hot is probably a circuit for the disposal, the black capped with it is the feed to a dishwasher. The neutral for the black off the switch (disposal) and the neutral with the black (capped to the red) need to be direct to the white of the 3 wire cable. A pigtail from the whites goes to the GFCI (line) and the black from the 3 wire cable goes to the (line). Any black connected to the load needs to have its neutral connected to the (load). Again if the wall has been re-done for a new backsplash, cabinets, counter tops, etc... It is shoddy to leave the old wiring in place and not pull the new circuits the kitchen needs.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2009 at 12:22PM
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