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GFCI outlets with Equipment Ground support

5356 Views 30 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Ponderling
Years ago I installed a pair of 120v 20 amp single outlet circuits into my garage so I could run Christmas lights without blowing circuits all over the house. At the time GFCI wasn't a requirement for garages and I've never had a problem with moisture or had the breakers pop. I'd like to upgrade these circuits to current code and swap out the original outlets with GFCI outlets. The outlets are positioned in such a way that they don't qualify for the NEC exceptions to GFCI protected circuits. I'm now using one of these two circuits for my Volt's EVSE and have been unable to find a GFCI outlet that provides equipment ground, which the EVSE requires for operation.

Does anyone know who makes GFCI outlets that provide equipment grounding?
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The OP here is doing something wrong, and is incorrect. All GFCI's pass the equipment ground through if the ground is wired correctly. This is easy to verify with a 3 prong outlet tester or a multimeter. There will be continuity between the ground screw and the ground prong, I guarantee it. Look at page 15 of the following document for a clear circuit diagram of a GFCI outlet:

Where it does get confusing is that it is legal per NEC code to install a GFCI on an ungrounded (2 wire) circuit. The outlet is required to be labeled "no equipment ground". When you open up a new GFCI package you will notice a few stickers, one of which will be that one.

I have charged my Volt plugged into a GFCI outlet and it worked fine. If it's not working for you, it is likely the outlet is wired incorrectly and the protection circuits in the charge cable are working as designed and protecting against an unsafe condition.
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Reading back to what the OP just posted, I can see it is the sticker that was confusing. The sticker is intended to be used if and *only* if you do not have a ground wire attached. And the "GFCI protected" stickers are intended to be used if and *only* you install regular outlets downstream of the GFCI outlet.

If you are doing your own electrical work, a certain level of industry knowledge is assumed by the manufacturers.
Turns out this is an invalid assumption. Inside the GFCI box was a label insert (not a sticker) that very clearly stated:


in multiple languages. This, on a GFCI rated for outdoor usage.
Please post the brand and model of this GFCI outlet.

On the flip side I verified that I used the wrap method for the wires when I installed the outlet in the first place. I've never liked the push in concept for wiring as I can't see inside the outlet to verify good and solid mechanical connections. 10 gauge wire is hard to wrap around the screws but I wrapped so I could visually verify a good mechanical connection to the outlet. The two circuit lengths are 10 ft and 40 ft and I'm using the shorter one for my EVSE.
The majority of 120V outlets are not designed to accept wire thicker than 12 gauge, and using 10 gauge wire creates a potential unsafe condition and would not pass inspection. A safe workaround is to use a 12 gauge pigtail with a wirenut.

While working yesterday I opened my breaker panel to double-check that I had originally wired the circuits properly, verifying the hot, neutral, and ground wires at the breaker box to verify I had wired the circuit correctly in the first place (the insulators on this cable are Black, Red, and none - go figure) and I had indeed secured Black to the hot leg and Red to the Neutral leg with none obviously going to Ground. The original installation was done prior to the 1997 NEC update requiring GFCIs in garages and everything is still in good shape and cobweb free.
The cable you describe is intended for 240V only with two hot legs. Using a red wire for neutral is a code violation and sets up a potential unsafe condition for anyone else who works on the house and doesn't know what you did. But since you've gone and done it and used 10 gauge to boot, why not just make the circuit 240V, install a 240v 30 amp outlet and skip the GFCI.

be hiring an electrician to install my 240V circuit. I'll be using 6 gauge for this but only putting a 20 amp breaker and receptacle at this time. It'll parallel the 10 ft circuit currently installed.
Hiring an electrician seems like a wise move. Using a higher gauge wire than the breakers and outlets are designed to accept is not. If you install 6 gauge wire, there is no downside and many upsides to using breakers and outlets designed for it... I.e 50 amp.
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