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In a recent column on ground-fault circuit interrupters, we wrote that "if you were to install a GFCI receptacle at the first outlet downstream from the distribution panel, this will protect all receptacles downstream."
This is true, as far as it goes. But, as reader Mike Martin e-mailed us, you need to make certain of one more thing.
"You failed to outline the procedure that needs to be followed for downstream receptacles to be protected. There is a 'Line Side' and a 'Load Side' connection point on the GFCI receptacle. The wiring from the distribution panel needs to go to the 'Line Side' connection points of the GFCI receptacle and the other wiring going downstream needs to be isolated from the wiring from the distribution panel and placed on the 'Load Side' connection points of the GFCI receptacle.
"If this is done incorrectly, you may not have GFCI protection on all receptacles. If done correctly, pushing the 'test' button on the GFCI receptacle will kill power to all receptacles."
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