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#84740 - 04/30/03 10:08 PM Number of GFI's on ckt  
spkjpr  Offline
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 218
Sedalia,MO, USA
Help, please. I have another of those is it Code or what. I seem to remember there is a maximum number of receptacles that can be downstream fed by a single GFI. Just can't remember if it was in the installation paperwork or the NEC. I have gone blind looking for it in the NEC. Thanks.

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#84741 - 05/01/03 07:09 AM Re: Number of GFI's on ckt  
Electricmanscott  Offline
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,457
Holden, MA USA
No code issue. Check manufacturers info. I have never done more than a few downstream receptacles so I have never given it much thought. (Or read the instructions!)

#84742 - 05/01/03 08:27 AM Re: Number of GFI's on ckt  
Redsy  Offline
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,056
Bucks County PA
I think this is an old wives tale.
The only reference to problems associated with multiple downstream GFCIs I've ever seen was in the sales literature for a high-end circuit analyzer.

#84743 - 05/01/03 09:49 AM Re: Number of GFI's on ckt  
BPHgravity  Offline
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 139
Port Charlotte, Florida
Even though it is not a code requirement, I feel multiple receptacles off of one GFCI is a bad design. Especially when fed to different rooms or locations at an occupancy. There is nothing worse than loosing power at several locations from one nuisance trip. I only feed additional receptacles off of a single GFCI device that are in the immediate vicinity and limit it to two additional receptacles at most. Just my opinion.

Bryan P. Holland, ECO.
Secretary - IAEI Florida Chapter

#84744 - 05/01/03 09:59 AM Re: Number of GFI's on ckt  
nesparky  Offline
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 642
Some GFI manufacturer's installation instruction have a listed number of receptacles that can be feed from one GFI. I remember 6 on a 15A ckt. It been a while since I read thru those instructions.
Except for bathrooms, any feed thru recepticles, that I install, are in sight of the GFI. JMHO.


#84745 - 05/01/03 11:31 AM Re: Number of GFI's on ckt  
Electricmanscott  Offline
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,457
Holden, MA USA
You guys are the best. [Linked Image] JMHO

#84746 - 05/01/03 11:50 AM Re: Number of GFI's on ckt  
C-H  Offline
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,497
Stockholm, Sweden
There is in fact a limit on the number of appliances you can connect. Unfortunately, it varies from time to time. The background is that a GFCI is extremely sensitive, tripping at a unbalance of just 5mA. Each appliance, or at least those with a equipment ground, "leak" from hot to ground. For example, computers leak about a milliamp on 240V. (I don't know how much it leaks on 120V.) I would not be surprised if some GFCI manufacturers for this reason cite a maximum number of receptacles to bed fed from a single GFCI.

#84747 - 05/01/03 09:25 PM Re: Number of GFI's on ckt  
HotLine1  Offline

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,853
Brick, NJ USA
For what it's worth...
Spoke to a few "engineers" at a mfg about a similar situation.
First comment was "180 va each"
Second comment was "6 on a 15"; "8 on a 20".
Third was "read the enclosed literature".

I wasn't thrilled at any of the above answers and handed the instructions to the guy who asked the question.
Personally, we keep it "in sight" and no more than two downstream duplexes.


#84748 - 05/01/03 10:11 PM Re: Number of GFI's on ckt  
spkjpr  Offline
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 218
Sedalia,MO, USA
Thanks guys. I am half blind from looking for it in the NEC and now I guess suffering from half-timers, not old enough for old-timers. Thinking it was in manufacturers info, thanks again.

#84749 - 05/01/03 11:38 PM Re: Number of GFI's on ckt  
amp-man  Offline
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 141
Sacto, California US of A
Another thought--

I've seen tract houses where a single GFI was installed and used to protect receptacles in the bathrooms and the front and back exterior outlets! With maybe 80 feet of cable on the load side of the GFI, with some over-driven plain steel cable staples, the GFI started to nuisance trip as it aged. Even with nothing plugged into any of the protected receptacles.

I think the too-tight staples caused some capacitive coupling from hot to neutral, enough to trip the GFI.

My solution was to install a GFI at each outlet. Wish I'd had a megger then, it would've been interesting to see the extent to which the insulation was compromised.


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