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View Full Version : OT Re: "separate" a GFI outlet??



uute
05-04-2013, 06:10 PM
On a standard wall outlet, you can break off the little clip if you want each outlet on a separate circuit, ie: one "hot" outlet & one switched outlet for lamp.

Can you do this on any of the GFI outlets available?

TIA
uute

Stern
05-04-2013, 06:51 PM
None that I have found, and I have hunted all over. Had to put GFI plugs to replace the two at the counter in the rental house (both were within 10 ft of a water source, therefore required), and BOTH plugs had split supply (two circuits for each plug). Had to abandon one on each for the GFI to work.

ironmonger
05-04-2013, 06:51 PM
Unless you put them on a separate circuit breaker, both the individual outlets would still be protected as they are on the same circuit.
If you are dumping the GFI you have a problem. I think you should address the safety issue rather than trying to isolate the problem tool or appliance. If you need to split them for lighting control you might consider a GFI breaker and a conventional outlet.

stay safe

paul

darryl
05-04-2013, 07:32 PM
I've never seen a GFI outlet with more than one sense coil, so the module is only capable of one 'sensing'. If you could break the tab between individual sockets, which I'm not sure you can on a GFI socket, you'd have to add protection elsewhere for that second socket. I'm not aware of any device that will do this, and where would it be put anyway-

chriskat
05-04-2013, 08:43 PM
I'm with ironmonger, replace the breaker(s) in the panel with GFI breaker(s) and use standard outlets. I don't have any GFI outlets in my house, all are at the panel.

Jeff

firbikrhd1
05-04-2013, 08:45 PM
I'm not suggesting dumping the GFI, but if for some reason you have a special need for a non GFI outlet I believe the following will work: You put a second duplex receptacle in the same box as the GFI receptacle (provided the box is large enough and you don't exceed the box cubic inch requirements of the code) wired separately from the GFI receptacle. By attaching your Line to the non GFI receptacle and pigtailing to the GFI receptacle the receptacles downstream of the GFI will still have GFI protection while the new non GFI receptacle will be unprotected. Neutrals and grounds, respectively, will also be pigtailed together.
To be clear (I hope), you end up with two duplex receptacles in the same box, wired to the same line from the same breaker, but wired separately. The new receptacle will be non GFI protected and the original receptacle and all receptacles downstream wire to it's circuit will be GFI protected.

Don Young
05-04-2013, 09:13 PM
GFI and non-GFI outlets in the same box would certainly work but I can't think of any case where they would be code compliant. GFI outlets are generally required because of the location and both would be in the same location.

danlb
05-04-2013, 09:29 PM
GFI and non-GFI outlets in the same box would certainly work but I can't think of any case where they would be code compliant. GFI outlets are generally required because of the location and both would be in the same location.


What firbikrhd1 suggests would be against code (too close to the water source for non-gfi) but you could make a slight change and tie the second outlet (and it's switch) to the "load" side of the GFI. Then both are protected and the outlet can be switched.

Dan

kf2qd
05-04-2013, 09:36 PM
This doesn't sound like it would meet code. If the ground fault outlet in in the same box with other outlets then those outlets would also be in a location where they should also be ground fault protected.

In the past, Ground Fault receps have been less expensive than ground fault breakers, but the receps have been more reliable that the breakers.

If wired properly, gound fault outlets will protect the downstream receps also.

Fasttrack
05-04-2013, 09:47 PM
This doesn't sound like it would meet code. If the ground fault outlet in in the same box with other outlets then those outlets would also be in a location where they should also be ground fault protected.

In the past, Ground Fault receps have been less expensive than ground fault breakers, but the receps have been more reliable that the breakers.

If wired properly, gound fault outlets will protect the downstream receps also.


Keep in mind there are other reasons for installing GFIs than just the location. For instance, my house was built in 1959 so it doesn't have a safety ground. To update the outlets, I put a GFI at the first outlet on a given circuit and then replace all the other outlets down-stream on that circuit with standard receptacles. This is in 100% compliance with the NEC; GFIs may be used as a substitute for safety ground as long as each outlet down stream of the GFI is marked with "GFI Protected, No Equipment Ground". In my case, I still ran a couple of true grounds for special outlets - e.g. the office where a surge protector is plugged in for the computer/modem/etc.

firbikrhd1
05-04-2013, 10:05 PM
I didn't see any reference to being close to water in the OP's post (maybe I missed it?), but I agree if it's close to water it would be against code and not as safe. I'm not condoning it, but as a point of reference there are a great many homes built before GFI receptacles existed with receptacles close to water sources (sinks in baths, kitchens, etc.) and we don't commonly see problems. If we did electrocutions would be rampant. Better to be safe though and not do as I suggested if water is nearby.

On the other hand, GFI receptacles have been installed in areas without water issues, some garages for instance, depending upon local codes. Were it me in my own home and I had no other option in the case of a garage or shop with no water issues I would take the chance, being certain to label the non GFI receptacle as such, perhaps even using a single appliance type receptacle such as is used for a refrigerator as the non GFI receptacle. That would limit the ability to plug more than one item into the unprotected receptacle. If the item being supplied is stationary, such as a machine tool I might wire it directly, without a plug, so no unprotected receptacle would ever be available to plug into.

The real question is why does the OP want to replace half of the receptacle? Why is he having problems with the GFI receptacle in the first place? If he has faulty equipment that he is plugging in it would be far better and proper to repair or replace it than to defeat the purpose of the GFI system. In that case the GFI may already be saving the OP's life or at the very least from a severe shock.

uute
05-04-2013, 10:45 PM
Wow, this got hot! :D :D

Ok, looks like more info is needed. ;D

1. I was just mostly curious if such GFI outlets existed.

2. My particular application, both outlets would be GFI protected, one would just be switched. More below.

3. A GFI outlet + a standard outlet in 2-gang box is obvious solution, and will work for me.

4. What brought up the question: I have an outside light controlled by photocell. Wanted to add an outlet there for plug-in string lights, also on photocell. While there, might as well add a "hot" outlet as well.

5. So would wire: Line > GFI > photocell > light & swd outlet. Light & swd outlet are now downstream & GFI protected. Correct?

Thanks for the discussion, and the answer ("separate-able" GFI outlets not likely available).

uute

RussZHC
05-04-2013, 11:07 PM
In the past, Ground Fault receps have been less expensive than ground fault breakers, but the receps have been more reliable that the breakers.


Can you clarify please? Are ground fault receps now in the same price range as breakers? I was not aware one was more reliable than the other...to me it was always claimed as a cost difference.


uute: your # 4 may not be "allowed" by local code...I am not an electrician and am not up-to-date on our local code but I believe, based on what the guy did at parent's place, any outdoor plug needs to be GFI

J Tiers
05-04-2013, 11:14 PM
GFI breakers are a pain......

Outlets don't work.... all of them on circuit, plus lights that were wired with the outlets.... so go down three stories to the breaker box, flip breaker.

Come up three stories to location, plug in device.... lights go out.... unplug, go down three stories, flip breaker. Come up 3 stories and set device aside for a look-see.

Otherwise..... device quits....GFI popped, reach down, push button.... device still not working, GFI popped, unplug, reach down , press button, check outlet with light, OK, set device aside to look at.

I know which is easier.



but I believe, based on what the guy did at parent's place, any outdoor plug needs to be GFI

AND be covered by a cover that closes with the plug in place. Yes.

Paul Alciatore
05-05-2013, 01:32 AM
Your best bet may be to change the box to a double wide and add a second duplex outlet on the switched circuit. Feed the switch from the GFI outlet if that protection is required by code.

If you want the switch at or near the outlet, you can get a combination switch/single outlet which would fit where a duplex outlet would. And that would make it fairly obvious that that outlet is controlled by the switch.

Of course, changing to GF breakers would also work.