I want to replace the standard outlet in my bathroom with a GFCI...
My question is... does it need to be placed in a particular place
relative to the breaker? like, first device... closest to the breaker,
or last device (farthest from breaker)? does it matter?
Clarification: "any outlets that come after it will also be protected"
if and only if the downstream outlets are attached to the "load"
terminals and not the "line" terminals. Either way is acceptable,
depending on what you want the GFCI to protect.
Not just old boxes...
I installed a GFCI in an exterior box under my deck - a box that came
with a faceplate cut to fit a GFCI. I went inside and turned the
breaker on, only to see a brief wisp of smoke coming from the box when
I came back outside. The GFCI seemed to work, but obviously the smoke
bothered me, so off went the breaker and out came the tools.
As it turned out, the box wasn't deep enough and one of the ridges had
punctured the insulation on the hot wire just enough to cause an arc
and a bit of smoke. So it was back to the store for a box extender.
You would think that a box designed to house a GFCI receptacle would
be big enough to actually do the job it was designed to do!
It depends what your application is.
For example. If you wanted to put in several kitchen counter outlets,
ideally you would put 1 GFI closest to the breaker, then the rest of
the outlets could be non-GFCI since it is already being protected by
the first one.
In your situation, you are just replacing an outlet with a GFI. It's
pretty straight foward. But if that outlet is feeding other outlets
nearby ( like a fridge or something else) you might get nuiscance
tripping. In that case you have to wire the outlet in a way so that
the incoming feed continues out to the other outlets, and just have
the GFI on its own ( nothing connected to the load side).
As someone mentioned - be sure you know what you might be 'protecting' down
stream. Freezer, Refrig, and other appliances with motors don't do well on
GFCI, and if you don't realize the thing has tripped, you could end up with
a freezer or frig full of rotten food!
Thanks to everyone who responded... I understand now!
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