Another GFCI Question

Hello all!
We recently closed on a house build in the late 1940s. We started renovations by tearing out the kitchen cabinets and walls. We're down to studs basically.
I'm doing some rewiring work, and decided to replace one outlet in the kitchen with a GFCI. I have the hot and neutral from the circuit breaker hooked up to "LINE", along with the ground hooked up to its appropriate spot. When I flip the breaker back on to activate the line, the outlet is active with no problems. The "LOAD" of the GFCI is hooked up to four items:
1) another outlet 2) kitchen light/vent hood 3) kitchen ceiling fan/light fixture 4) dining room ceiling fan/light fixture
I think the wiring scheme is something like this:
GFCI--------->Outlet------->Kitchen light/vent hood | | \\|/ Kitchen light fixture/fan-------->Den light fixture/fan
The circuit in the breaker panel to which it is hooked up to is 20A, while I believe the GFCI is 15A.
So here's the problem: When I wire everything up and flip the breaker on the GFCI becomes active. If, however, I flip on the kitchen light fixture/fan or the den light fixture/fan the GFCI trips off immediately. If I don't turn on the kitchen light/fan fixture or den light/fan fixture the GFCI works just fine, and the downstream outlet functions without a problem along with the vent/hood.
So why is this tripping occuring when I turn on either fan?
My guesses: 1) The wiring in the house is as old as dirt. The electrical wires are the cloth-like sheathed wires, and the sheathing is essentially crumbling apart as I work with it. Perhaps there is a ground-fault occuring where the wire is either worn or crumbling. Replace the wires on the load end leading to the fans and problem is solved.
2) I need a 20A GFCI
The ceiling fixtures were wired right in with the outlet before replacing it with a GFCI, so they worked without a problem before replacing the outlet with a GFCI.
My concern is that if there is a ground fault, I need to remedy the situation immediately, and not hook it right up to the active line again.
Any guesses? Should ceiling fans not be hooked up to the load end of a GFCI? Are they drawing too many amps? Is the wiring likely the cause?
Thanks for your help!
--BQS
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

<SNIP>
If you are gutting the kitchen, NOW is the time to completely re-wire it. 2 20A circuits solely for the countertop recepts (GFI). Separate lighting ckts, fridge, range hood, etc,
Even if you don't have space in the 1940 panel for all these ckts, do the runs now; you won't get another opportunity.
Jim
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Got to agree with Jim. If you're gutting the area, replace all that bad old wiring. If insulation is crumbling, it's telling you something. Might want to check out rest of house, too- I know- as if you don't have enough to do already.
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Sev wrote:

Also consider what other areas you can get at with the kitchen walls open, like drilling up into the walls above the kitchen if 2 story. Or if you want to get wires into the attic, drill up and drill down from the attic.
bud--
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Speedy Jim wrote:

I agree if the wiring is in as bad shape as the OP says it is, then now is the time to replace it. As for the GFCI tripping, has the light/fan been pulled down to see how it's connected. Possible they wired the neutral and ground together or similar. Or the fan could be bad. If it's wired correctly, I'd try hooking it to the GFCI direct with a new wire run and see what happens.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

GFCI operates (trips) when there are unequal currents flowing through the correctly wired live and neutral. So there MAY be a fault further down the line or as someone menioned a neutral may be connected (incorrectly) to something grounded. And it could have worked that way for years! Certainly admonish to replace all faulty wiring, now that youv'e started, which would be obvious to any insurance inspector and not the least for family safety!!!! Drilling extra holes and even leaving extra new but dead wires terminated into proper boxes could be very wise to avoid later 'cutting-up' of newly renovated walls etc. Keep notes of where the extra wires are could be very useful!
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terry wrote:

Yeah 2 SEPOERATE 20 Amp 12 gauge wire runs to the kitchen, seperate line for now or futuree dishwasher, fridge, dont forget disposal power. Frequently bathrooms are above kitchen, seperate 20 amp GFCI line to bathroom.
Do it right and do it once:) while the walls are open
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

No, 15A GFCI outlets are normally rated for 20A pass through service. This should be marked on the GFCI outlet somewhere.
As for the rest, you have a ground fault somewhere in the fan circuits. As others have said, if you have the walls ripped out, tear out *all* the old electrical and redo it properly to today's standards. All the materials to wire a normal sized kitchen to today's standards should not cost more than about $200, GFCI outlets, boxes, wire, switches, etc.
Don't skimp, you'll regret it later when your mixer trips the breaker and you're left in the dark because you don't have a proper separate appliance circuit.
Pete C.

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Awesome. Thanks for all of the input everyone. Yes, I just installed two 20A breakers dedicated to the kitchen. One line is for the dishwasher + disposal (to be installed later), the other is for a few sets of outlets.
The house is in NOLA, and it will be nearly impossible to get an electrician for the next few months, so that means I'm going to be doing this myself. I'm pretty comfortable around electricity. I guess the most difficult part will be getting those wires up into the attic from the garage.
I tell people that I'm doing this myself and they're shocked (no pun intended). They warn me about burning my house down, but at this point I feel much more comfortable doing it myself than risking it with this crumbling wire.
I guess my main concern is the house passing inspection when we sell it a few years from now. Can somebody recommend a book or website that will give me the info I need to keep my house up to code? Little bits of info like "secure cable to the stud a distance of 8" from the junction box" and other stuff that isn't common knowledge. The guys at Home Depot recommend the 1-2-3 Wiring book, which looks good, and has a ton of information (I'm going to pick that up this weekend). Any other suggestions?
Again, thanks for the help!
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Contrary to what some union types would have you believe, residential wiring is not brain surgery. Sometimes it feels like you need to be a brain surgeon to find what you're looking for in the NEC code book, but you'll find it with a little study.
One thing that gets some people is they're looking in the NEC book for something that is not part of the NEC code like heights for wall switches. The DIY type books can be good because they cover things that are in the "standard accepted practice" category or are in other codes like the International Residential Code and not in the NEC code.
The key thing is to take your time and do the work neatly and carefully. Since local codes may have differences from the NEC to cover specific local conditions I'd suggest contacting the local inspector if you haven't already and asking about any such differences.

I don't have any suggestions on specific books, I just keep a copy of the NEC code book myself. The best DIY wiring book is the one that you can readily understand. Just flip through the books in the store and see which one seems clearest to you. The Taunton Press books tend to be pretty good generally, I have a couple of their books though no electrical ones.
Pete C.

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

<SNIP>
NO! 2 20A circuits dedicated to the countertop recepts. Everything else (appliances, lighting, etc.) needs separate ckts.
Do get the 1,2,3 book. It should get you past the biggest hurdles at least, but don't expect it to be a Code compliance list.
What's NOLA? N'Orleans? Will you need a permit/inspection?
This is one of the best Code documents: http://www.codecheck.com / and not outrageously priced.
Jim
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Residential Wiring To The 2005 NEC (Paperback) by Jeff Markell
20 bucks at amazon
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Your local library should have some good books about residential wiring, read as many as you can.
Here's a good book: http://www.nfpa.org/catalog/product.asp?category%5Fname=&pid=GDRWIRE03&target%5Fpid=GDRWIRE03&src%5Fpid=&link%5Ftype=search
Here's a good website: http://www.selfhelpandmore.com/homewiringusa/index.htm
I strongly recommend that you verify any advice that you get. The above website can help you do that.
Keep in mind that your house is a candidate for a complete re-wire. Expect the worst and hope for the best. While helpful, Code books are not intended as instruction manuals. You have a lot to learn, good luck.
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