How to wire a GFCI outlet with multiple outlets | Step-by-Step Guide

In this article, we’ll discuss how you can wire a single GFCI outlet with multiple outlets.


One can wire a single GFCI outlet with multiple GFCI outlets located in different areas of our homes like in multiple rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms. We can do this by installing a single GFCI and then wiring together the added standard outlets to the load with the help of that GFCI. This thing will give us the same protection as if we have installed multiple GFCIs at each location.

 However, there is one disadvantage that you’ll have to face with it. When we are using a single GFCI with multiple outlets, then all of the outlets become out of power with the tripping of one GFCI. In other words, having a fault in one outlet would result in a power breakdown in the rest of the outlets connected with it.  

There are high possibilities of GFCI tripping due to overloading when we are using a single GFCI for multiple outlets. So, bear that in mind, if you are going to connect multiple outlets with a single GFCI unit. So we prefer to place multiple GFCI units at different locations inside the home. Thus, in case there is a ground fault in any appliance, only that particular GFCI would trip.

You can wire a single GFCI with multiple outlets using the 2 wires cables, multiple outlets, and GFCI. You’ll have to use that single GFCI as the source and then connecting the rest of the outlets using the same load and line terminals.

Below mentioned wiring diagram shows a single GFCI outlet connected with the multiple outlets.


Wiring GFCI outlets on one circuit

When we are installing the GFCI at the start of the line and the rest of the outlets are taken as load then we install only one GFCI outlet per circuit.

In this case, a separate dedicated circuit is not needed to install the GFCI as a separate breaker is not required and it runs on the same breaker installed in our homes.

So it is supposed to be in some existing circuit installed in our homes for the detection and prevention of any ground faults in our outlets. One GFCI per circuit is enough whose wiring method with multiple wires is already explained.


How to install GFCI outlet without ground

One can install a GFCI outlet without having the ground wire. It can still perform its operation without its presence and cuts off the power supply when required. It instantly trips when after detecting the fault on the neutral wire.

Any measurement unit like our tester will not trip on an ungrounded outlet. When this happens, we should press down on the GFCI test button to ensure that it is in good order.

To install the GFCI outlet without ground, follow the below mentioned steps:

  1. Turn off the electric supply of your home from the main breaker.
  2. Identify the white “neutral “wire in the breaker box and the black “hot “wire.
  3. Simply connect the line side black and white wires of the breaker to the line side wires of GFCI and load side black and white wires of the breaker with the load side wires of the GFCI.
  4. We don’t have a ground connection option here with GFCI. That won’t be a problem. However, make sure that our breaker box is itself grounded with the help of a multimeter.

Difference between GFCI outlet and a regular outlet

There is no significant difference between a GFCI outlet and a regular outlet.  GFCI stands for “Ground fault circuit interrupters” are the same type of device if we are comparing it with GFI which stands for “Ground fault interrupters” only their names are different. They both have the same functionality as they both protect us from ground faults and protect people from electric shocks.


How to add ground wire to old house?

Old wirings in some old house can create a lot of problems. There can be some outlets that are not properly grounded. These can give us a shock if not grounded at the time. It’s difficult to filter out those few outlets. That makes it a complex and time-consuming process in comparison with if the whole house wiring.

However, for both cases, you’ll have to follow the below-mentioned steps to add a ground wire to your old house properly:

  1. Locate the known areas and rooms in your old house which you think aren’t grounded.
  2. After locating them, turn off the breaker if the power is still coming into the house.
  3. When the breaker is shut-down, dismount the assemblies of electrical outlets, circuit boards, and other electronic components inside your home.
  4. Now, ground everything by connecting the ground wire from the panel to that particular spot. If you don’t know how this works, consider hiring an electrician as one wrong connection can disrupt the whole house wiring.  
  5. For time being, ground only those wires which would be frequently used. Avoid those connections about which you aren’t sure whether they are ground or not.

Still, if the whole house isn’t ground then the best decision would be to rewire your whole house for your safety.  Hiring an electrician during the process would be a sane decision.


Connecting wiring outlets in parallel

In order to connect the wiring outlets in parallel, simply follow these two steps:

  • Identify the black or hot wire entering from the circuit into the electrical box. Make the connection of this wire to the “wire nut” or twist on the connector.
  • After doing this, take the black or hot wire which is leaving the electrical box to the next electrical box. It can be any other device or outlet you want to connect in parallel with the first one. Make sure to connect it with the same twist-on connector.

Diagram below shows how can you connect the wiring outlet in parallel.


FAQs:

Can GFCI outlets be wired in series?

It’s always preferable to wire the GFCI in parallel to get the best operation of protection from ground faults. But we can also wire them in series. However, when there is some type of load exists then there is a possibility that we may not be unable to get correct values of voltages at the other outlets of our application, having a series connection of GFCI. So always try to connect GFCI outlets in parallel.

Can GFCI replace underground outlets?

Yes, ungrounded GFCI outlets are replaced by a GFCI. A ground wire is not required for a GFCI to trip properly. It can still perform its operation without the presence of ground wire. When a fault is detected on the neutral wire, a GFCI simply trips. Any measurement unit like our tester will not trip on an ungrounded outlet. When this happens, we should press down on the GFCI test button to ensure that it is in good order.


Final Thoughts!

This is how you can wire a GFCI outlet with multiple outlets. Thus, one GFCI can control multiple outlets at one time. The connection may seem simple but require great attention. Even a single wrong wire can cause serious problems. So, if you don’t have any know-how of how to make such wiring connections, go and hire an electrician.


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