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Old 12-07-2012, 04:50 PM   #1
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Default GFCI circuit, is one outlet enough?

Hello everyone,

I am putting together a heatstick to help my boil times. I am on my patio and the only outlet I have here is the same circuit as my two bathroom sockets, and there is a GFCI outlet on one.

I was told by my father in law who is no expert but has a good bit of experience working withe electricians, etc, that only one GFCI outlet is necessary to protect the entire circuit on GFCI.

My heatstick is just a 1500 watt element on this 15 amp circuit.

Any thoughts?

Thanks folks



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Old 12-07-2012, 07:09 PM   #2
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As to you GFCI question. A GFCI outlet will, protect everything downstream of it. That means that if the GFCI is inline ahead of the other outlets (meaning it comes from your circuit breaker box to your GFCI and then out to the other outlets) all will be protected. Though it you didn't wire the house or are not 100% positive about the wiring of the house, I would buy a GFCI tester. After all the non-bathroom outlet could be first in line, and then go to the GFCI in the bathroom (I believe code requires GFCI in the bathroom) and you would not be protected. There are a simple plug in device that will indicate if an outlet is wired correctly, and with the press of a button will trip the GFCI. Its a simple way to be sure you are GFCI protected. Just search GFCI tester on amazon or ask at your local hardware store.

As for you element, I assume that a 1500 watt element and 15 amp circuit means 120 volt. watts/volts gives amps, so you would be pulling 12.5 amps. That will not trip the breaker, but as you mention the two bathroom outlets are on the circuit you might run into some issues. If anyone wants to use the outlets in the bathroom they are left with 2.5*120 watts (300) to play with before the breaker will trip. That isn't enough for a hair dryer or an electric heater. If there are any lights on the circuit that is going to be draw as well, you'll only get a few lights at that level; take it from me Satan has nothing on a woman who just had all the lights go out in a dark bathroom in the middle of a shower.



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Old 12-08-2012, 01:52 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToV View Post
take it from me Satan has nothing on a woman who just had all the lights go out in a dark bathroom in the middle of a shower.

Hehehe....truer words never spoken.
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Old 12-08-2012, 03:05 AM   #4
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Thanks for the info ill run down to hd to get a tester but I am pretty sure I am downstream from the gfci. Also I don't plan on using my stick when the misses is in the b room. That would end any heat stick aspirations quick.

To remedy any potential down stream problems could I just switch my outlets? Or add another gfci outside?

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Old 12-08-2012, 05:36 AM   #5
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you have plenty of options. It is easy to buy a gfci adapter that plugs into a non gfci and converts it to a gfci. they are sold at HD

As a side could you plug a light into the downstream plug and then hit the test button and see if the light goes out. If it does that would indicate downstream and protected. The problem though is if 1500W element is pulling 12.5A on a 15A circuit you would not want to run anything on that whole circuit including anything downstream as that will all be coming from the 15A wire

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Old 12-08-2012, 11:19 AM   #6
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Using the light and pressing the GFI test button is a good idea. I use a radio that runs off AC with the volume set high enough to hear it when confirming live/dead, but same basic principle.

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Old 12-08-2012, 02:33 PM   #7
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Ok, I've done this light trick before and it is indeed downstream. My mini fridge kegerator is also plugged into the circuit, so I will make sure to unplug it during heatstick time. I don't have any lights or other appliances on it though and I'll make sure the misses doesn't use hair dryer during brew time! (You all know the truth is I won't brew during hair dryer time)

Cheers all and thanks!



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