Series wired GFI

Originally Posted By: tgardner
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I have a question for you sparkies.


I inspected a lake house with a dock last Friday. The GFI breaker for the dock circuits was wired in series with another house circuit that powered receptacles in a wet bar area and a dishwasher.

The grounded conductor ( white wire) from the dock circuit was connected to the black conductor of the wet bar/dishwasher circuit whose grounded conductor then was connected to the GFI breaker.

The GFI breaker did not function properly with a tester on either circuit, but did trip when its' built in test button was depressed.

I called out for evaluation as the GFI breaker did not function. My question is if the GFI breaker HAD functioned, is this something ( the series wiring ) that is appropriate?

The picture below does mot clearly show what is there but FYI:
http://www.nachi.org/bbsystem/usrimages/seriesGFI.JPG

Thanks for the help.

Regards, TG


Originally Posted By: kpapp
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I would say that if you cannot get the GFI breaker to trip other than by pushing the button there is a problem, I would of made the call that you did by saying it was not operating properly and needs to be serviced by a licenced electrican



_______________________________________


If you dont have time to do it right the first time, When will you have the time to go back and fix it?

Originally Posted By: jpeck
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tgardner wrote:
My question is if the GFI breaker HAD functioned, is this something ( the series wiring ) that is appropriate?


No, but my guess it is was not in "series", but was "reversed polarity". And possibly there was no ground to the receptacle at the dock.


--
Jerry Peck
South Florida

Originally Posted By: tgardner
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There was reversed polarity at the dock, but not in all the branch circuits from the dock sub-panel only one receptacle.


However, I traced enough of the wires to determine that the grounded conductor from the Dock circuit was wire nutted to the Hot wire of the wet-bar and dishwasher, and the grounded connector from that circuit was attached to the grounded conductor pole of the GFI CB. So I have to conclude the circuits are wired in series.

Thanks tg


Originally Posted By: jfarsetta
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I cant see how they would have ever been wired in series. Are you sure you didnt mean “parallel”?


Wet bar receptacles should have been paralleled off the load side of the GFI. Anything in parallel with the line side of the GFI is not GFI protected. Once it doesnt trip, call for evaluation and repair of the defficiencies. Sounds like there were a few...


--
Joe Farsetta

Illigitimi Non Carborundum
"Dont let the bastards grind you down..."

Originally Posted By: rbracklow
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Hi Timothy,


I agree with Joe, that it was series/parallel wired. You definitely had a reverse polarity situation, as you correctly called out by the hot (black) being wired to the white (neutral).

Your on the right track, keep up the good work.

Ron.


Originally Posted By: jpeck
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Tim,


Wire in series would be this.

Grounded conductor from house to either conductor at receptacle at dock. Then, the other conductor from the receptacle to the other equipment at the dock. This puts the receptacle in series with everything else, i.e., nothing else works until something is plugged into the receptacle to serve as a circuit conductor (through whatever equipment is plugged in, but only if 'on'). Voltage would then be reduced to about half or somewhere around there, burning everything up.

As stated by others, you had reversed polarity, which is exactly as you described - white to black and black to white - they are reversed.


--
Jerry Peck
South Florida

Originally Posted By: tgardner
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Jerry,


I took the time to draw it out in the cold light of day and you're right. They definitely would have a reverse polarity problem at the wet bar if the wet bar was wired conventionally ie. black wires to the black wire (hot side of the receptacles and DWasher. However , the receptacles did not show reverse polarity on my Suretest. So somewhere the polarity was corrected in the dw/wet bar circuit.

I agree that this is screwed up, hence the call for evaluation.

To all: Thanks for responding. If I get to talk to the Sparky that fixes it, I'll let you know what he found.

Regards, Tim Gardner