I have a simplex 20 a electrical outlet that powers my washing machine.
I would like to remove the simplex and add a two receptacle 20 a GFI so
I may add my wifes &*$@&%$ electric catbox to the laundry room. Only 1
14/2 romex is run inside the wall for the circuit. Is it safe to use
the single black from the circuit and jumper the hot sides of the
Hang on- are you talking about a 20 amp circuit? Is the breaker a
20A? Isn't 14/2 rated for 15A? Only an amateur here, but I'm hoping
someone more knowledgable can clear this up. Better I make a fool of
myself than you set up a potential house fire.
You are correct.. 14 is rated for 15 amps, and 12 is rated for 20 amps.
If you have 14/2 wiring, the breaker feeding it must be 15 amps.
If you are using #12 for that circuit (and it must be the entire circuit),
you can use a 20 amp breaker.
As a rule, you can always use a breaker rated for less than the capacity
of the smallest wire in the circuit, but you should never do the opposite.
You can use either a 15 amp or 20 amp receptacle on either a 15 or 20 amp
circuit, except when using a single receptacle on a 20 amp circuit, in which
case it must be a 20 amp receptacle. (I think in this case, 'single' refers
to the number of locations, and a duplex receptacle would be be considered
a 'single' receptacle.)
-- Welcome My Son, Welcome To The Machine --
Bob Vaughan | techie @ tantivy.net |
Laundry circuits for a long time have be 20A. The Romex high probablilty
More than one receptacle on a circuit (including duplex):
15A ckt - 15A outlets (a 20A outlet could power a 20A device)
20A ckt - 15 or 20A outlets (a 15A duplex outlet can supply a total
of 20A but 15A max for each outlet)
Single receptacle on a circuit: the outlet has to be rated higher
amperage than the circuit - 15A circuit - 20A outlet, or 30A or 50A...
This is a bizare provision which may make sense for odd receptacles like
twist lock, but any competent person on a residential circuit would use:
15A circuit - 15A outlet
20A circuit - 20A outlet (15A not permitted)
Yes it's a 20 amp breaker. I'm pretty sure it's 14/2. It has a white
jacket, I think 12/2 is a different color. A wash machine has been the
only thing on the circuit for the last few years so I'm thinking its
ok. I asked the question because when I installed the GFI recept. the
GFI tripped. Not sure if you can jumper across the 2 hot sides of the
recept. with the black wire, white on neutral etc.
You should not jumper the two Hots on the GFI Recept. You wire up the GFI
Recept differently then a normal Recept. The Hot is Already connected
internally though the GFI Circuitry, as it the Neutral.
So if you just want to use the 2 Outlets that are on the GFI, just hook up
the top outer screws on the GFI, You don't need to hook up the bottom set
unless you are going to feed another outlet.
If you are going to feed another outlet, then you hook up the other outlets
to the LOAD side (inner bottom) of the GFI.
the Different Color for 12/x romex is not that old. I still have lots of
White 12/2. You would normally have 12/2 with a 20a breaker and 14/2 with a
On GFCIs that I've worked with (Leviaton, Cooper) one set of (2) brass
(y'know black-brass-burn your -ss) and chrome (usually) screws are
marked "Line". The other two are marked "Load" . Connect to the load to
connect other outlets that you want protected. Sounds like you
connected the in and out together. The GFCI won't like that.
All washers and dryers in the laundry room should be grounded to a
metallic cold water pipe. Use crimp screw connectors and #12 stranded
green wire. Find the grounding points on the back of the appliances.
As far as the grounded outlet is concerned, with the GFCI you'll be
closer to code.
The wire gauge would be written on the side of the cable and #14 is
rated at 15 A. The new NEC allows only #12 for any circuit that has an
outlet on it.
RE:"The new NEC allows only #12 for any circuit that has an outlet on it."
Whoa... So you mean all of the Lighting Circuit outlets I just put in the
Garage for the Plug in Shop lights the Inspector is going to complain about?
I put in 3 outlets per circuit all branched from a Junction box..
I'm IBEW. We've been using #14 for years for 15 A circuits. Lately
we're seeing as noted here:
"minimum 12AWG copper wire for 20 amp circuits
minimum 14AWG wire, copper or 12 awg aluminum for 15 amp circuits (some
local codes require a minimum of 12 gauge for 15 amp circuits, except
for switch legs - that is, circuit portions that are strictly between a
light switch and the light that it serves."
Early in the year we had to pull out a bunch of #14 and replace it with
#12. Talk about a pain.
The paraphrase of the actual section as applies here, also noted by bud
"Section 220-3b of the code requires two special circuits to serve only
appliance outlets in kitchen, laundry, pantry, family-room, dining
room, and breakfast room. Both circuits must be extended to the
kitchen; the other rooms may be served by either one or both of these
circuits. No lighting outlets may be connected to these circuits, and
they must be wired with No. 12 wire and protected by a 20-ampere
But then it still depends on the inspector.
and Scott I don't think an inspector will be checking out your garage.
You're probably in compliance with all local codes.
as far as grounding is concerned, from;
"If it is considered existing construction it may either be installed
with a 2 prong receptacle, replaced with an ungrounded GFCI or the code
makes provision to run a separate equipment ground wire(green #12 min.)
to bond the metal of the appliance to a well grounded cold water
Talking about frame grounding here.The OP has only #14/2 no ground at
all. He's one step up with the GFCI and if it's 6 feet from a sink it's
code. I think "Hmm water and possible electricity even if it's not near
a sink" There might be the possibility of false trips of the GFCI but I
haven't seen one yet.
I just pulled a motor out of a neighbors dishwasher. It was a GE the
fan on the pump motor had broken lose from the shaft and worn the
insulation on the front side of most of the field coils. Finally
wearing completely through them. Since the motor was mounted to the
frame of the washer the frame and the door was electrically hot when
the pump was running. Luckly none of their kids touched that when it
was running. I think a ground bonding wire should have been installed
Scott Townsend wrote:
14/2 refers to the current carrying conductors.
They NEVER made white plastic Romex without a ground. The only Romex
made without a ground was the asphalt impregnated fiber covered stuff
shortly after WWII. That was replaced with a reduced sized ground in
the 50s and by the 60s when the plastic cover came the ground was
upped to full sized. You may still see reduced size ground in some
transitional plastic Romex but there will be a ground.
On Mon, 02 Jan 2006 22:09:00 GMT, email@example.com (Doug Miller)
It used to be that they should. Is the change because of the possible
use of plastic pipe, or something else?
The 120V receptacle for my washer is grounded at the electrical panel.
The 240V receptacle for the dryer is not.
Another reason for no electrical grounding to pipes is
plumber safety. A plumber must disconnect pipes and not worry
about things electrical - things that are not part of his
trade. Any electrical connection for safety must be unique to
that electrical purpose. Code also calls for jumpers from
cold water to hot water pipes at hot water heater, and jumper
across water meter.
Mark Lloyd wrote:
Yellow jackets on 12/2 (and blue ones on AFCI-protected 14/2) are a
newish convention that the cable makes have brought forth; I don't
think it's code (here at least) and at any rate it's only come out
within the past couple of years. So don't presume that your cable is 14
ga just because it's white; I have much white 12 ga in my house. Look
for the printing on the cable, or examine the conductors with a wire
If it really is 14 ga, replace the breaker with a 15A one. If only your
washer is using the circuit, it shouldn't trip it. (If it does,
something's wrong and needs to be fixed; your 14 ga has been
overloaded. If the washer has a normal parallel-blade plug it should be
ok on a 15 A circuit.)
Your code may require a "dedicated" circuit for a washing machine, and
would prohibit two outlets on the circuit. However, I'm pretty sure
even a "dedicated" circuit can be a duplex outlet, so you could replace
the simplex outlet with a duplex and run the washer and the 'lectric
litterbox at the same time. I see no advantage to adding a second
receptacle; surely the litterbox would be happy on a good extension
cord if distance is the issue.
And you could certainly try making it a GFCI receptacle. Nuisance trips
from the washer are a possibility but wouldn't be the end of the world;
it's not like it's a freezer or a sump pump. If they're too frequent
then you'd probably want to revert it to a normal receptacle.
(Actually, I have my sump pump on a GFCI and I've had no nuisance trips
(Were you trying to jumper across two hot terminal screws on a GFCI
receptacle? No, no, no. Those are the "in" and "out" connectors; the
former gets the power feed from upstream, and the latter are for
feeding downstream outlets that you want to provide GFCI protection to.
It is not at all the same as a normal duplex outlet in which each
outlet can be fed from its own terminals.)
The NEC simply says you need a 20a circuit serving the laundry
receptacles. That could be the washer, iron and blower for a gas
Mark says his dryer isn't grounded, that is the WWII exception that
allows dryer and ranges to be grounded by way of the neutral.
CMP 5 decided in 1996 that the war was finally over and they now
require 4 wires to a range and dryer.
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