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GFCI outlets with Equipment Ground support

5353 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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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?
Were those ORIGINAL pair of outlets done with ungrounded wire???
Because if they were and you just put a GFCI outlet without a ground wire running back to the panel, you should have marked the receptacles with the words “GFCI Protected” and “No Equipment Ground”
Were those ORIGINAL pair of outlets done with ungrounded wire???
Because if they were and you just put a GFCI outlet without a ground wire running back to the panel, you should have marked the receptacles with the words “GFCI Protected” and “No Equipment Ground”
Three strand 10 gauge wire cable, Black - Hot, Red - Neutral, and bare ground. (I couldn't find Black/White/Green in 10 gauge at the time.) As I posted my sprinkler system controller requires a ground wire as well since it's designed to be installed outdoor with a direct tie to the circuit. It works. My EVSE works on the original non-GFCI outlet as well.
If you really have a no ground outlet, then it seems your problem would be solved by returning it and buying almost anything else.
That's the plan, which is why I've asked this question. I have Hot/Neutral/Ground going to the outlet, I just need to know a brand that will do the job. Since these outlets are close to the front of the garage I'd prefer weather resistant outlets so if I have the garage open during a blizzard they're less likely to be damaged or trip as a result of snow melting on them.
I just need to know a brand that will do the job.
I think almost anything else you would pick up off the shelf should work. You can open the box in the store to look for a label. You can also bring a multi-meter and check continuity from the ground socket on the face of the outlet to the grounding screw terminal on the side or back of the outlet.
Turns out this is an invalid assumption. Inside the GFCI box was a label insert (not a sticker) that very clearly stated:

NO EQUIPMENT GROUND

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.
Please post the brand and model of this GFCI outlet.



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.

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.

Hiring an electrician seems like a wise move.
OP please read this repeatedly until it sinks in. Your handyman wiring did not meet code in 1997 (or before). A house I had built in 1987 required GFCI in ALL outlets below 8 ft in the garage. A work-around was to put an outlet in the ceiling.

VIN # B0985
Once I opened the box there was a sticker clearly stating No Equipment Ground even though the GFCI has the standard ground prong for 120v plugs. I checked the outside of the box very closely at that point and nowhere on the outside does it say no equipment ground. When I started researching last night I discovered there's nothing in the GFCI design that precludes equipment grounding - in fact I found the opposite at NEC's web-site - a diagram explicitly showing equipment grounding through a GFCI outlet. So now I'm looking for a pair of GFCI outlets that provide equipment grounding.

The Volt's EVSE puts up a steady red light for "no ground continuity" when you plug into an outlet without equipment ground.
THAT STICKER is what you place on your GFCI plug when you are installing it into a two wire circuit that has NO GROUND WIRE...the sticker is mandated by the National Electric Code

If you install the GFCI in a circuit that has a ground wire, then you throw the sticker away...:)
For those who think I don't have a ground line, my sprinkler system controller is "load" tied to the outlet and it also requires a ground to operate as it's an outdoor controller mounted inside the garage. It worked properly with the GFCI as it connects to the load and ground screws on the back of the outlet.
Are you saying you have multiple wires on the ground screw? Because that is not allowed.

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.
Back stab connections only accept 14 ga wire anyway.

Three strand 10 gauge wire cable, Black - Hot, Red - Neutral, and bare ground. (I couldn't find Black/White/Green in 10 gauge at the time.) As I posted my sprinkler system controller requires a ground wire as well since it's designed to be installed outdoor with a direct tie to the circuit. It works. My EVSE works on the original non-GFCI outlet as well.
#1: Why are you using #10? 20A circuit only requires 12 ga.
#2: I'm assuming you ran these in conduit? If so, your coloring is a code violation. And I think your ground has to be insulated in conduit.


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.
Not true. All 20A outlets are rated for #10 wire. They have to be in case you have to upsize the wire for extra length.


You seem like you are in way over your head here... Call an electrician.
I have a GFCI question / problem.
I have a 220vac, 20 amp GFCI beaker installed in my main household breaker box. It feeds a 20 amp outlet in the garage. I charge the 2013 Volt from that.
My problem is I am experiencing a large number of GFCI breaker trips. I would say a couple a week. Sometimes a couple in a day.
My son charged his 2012 Volt and got a trip recently on the same outlet. I have never had a GFCI trip on 120vac charging the Volt.
Is it possible I have a bad 220v GFCI breaker....too sensitive?
Thinking of putting in a standard breaker with no GFCI function.
John
G
a lot of 220v gfci breakers were meant for hot tun blowers, etc. IE water and people in the water and electricity. So often they are very trip sensitive. Plus a long lead downstream from a panel mounted gfci can cause more capacitance to be present due to longer insulated load conductors. A combination of both of these factors is likely causing your 220v tripping grief.
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