I was going to replace my GFCI since it is not working. The GFCI has 2 black wires going into the same screw -- one with the push in connection and the another wired to the screw. Same for the white. My guess is that one black wire is for load and another for line. I will anyways test it before replacing.

Can i wire the new gfci same way as the old one? That is can both line and load go to the same screw if one goes through push in and another by rolling around the screw?

  • 1
    Is there another wire to the gfci? Post a picture because this sounds odd. – Solar Mike Jul 15 '19 at 6:42
  • going to upload a pic tomorrow – Captain Jack sparrow Jul 16 '19 at 8:01

You may be using the terms incorrectly. "Line" and "Load" have special meaning with GFCIs, so I recommend not using the terms anywhere else. (well, smart switches it's OK).

When you're dealing with ordinary receptacles, I recommend using

  • Supply - the cable that is powered
  • Onward - the cable that takes power onward to feed other loads

And do the same with GFCIs - don't call onward "load" or it gets too confusing.

On a GFCI, "LOAD" actually means the GFCI will protect onward outlets if they are attached here. That's a money-saver if you really want to do that, otherwise it just creates a big mess. You get nuisance trips from things that don't need to be on GFCI (lights) or that shouldn't be on GFCI (refrigerators) or people can't find the reset because it never occurs to them it's GFCI.

So if you really want to GFCI-protect onward wiring, attach it to LOAD. Otherwise, leave the warning tape on there and attach the onward wiring to LINE. Please.

Most GFCIs these days support 2 wires on each LINE screw, using screw-to-clamp methods. Screw down quite hard, actually use your torque screwdriver to spec. Or pigtail. Avoid "Back stabs" for reasons often discussed here.

  • 2
    This isn't just for GFCIs. In general, "line" is upstream and "load" is downstream of a device. – Monty Harder Jul 15 '19 at 19:14
  • 1
    @MontyHarder While those terms are not wrong, what has changed is that the GFCI manufacturers have hijacked the terms. So it is now confusing to use those terms outside the GFCI context. Hence my advice to deprecate those terms in general use. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jul 15 '19 at 19:25
  • 4
    The GFCI manufacturers haven't "hijacked" the terms so long as they're using them correctly, and don't see how their use is different from, say, a transformer's "line" and "load" connections, which still convey the same "upstream" (closer to the generator) and "downstream" (closer to the appliance consuming the power) connotations.. – Monty Harder Jul 15 '19 at 19:35
  • 1
    Having your fridge and lights on the same circuit and downstream from the GFCI doesn't sound good to me. If they must be on the same circuit, I'd probably put them on the LINE side (which puts them upstream of the GFCI, and thus not protected by it), so that a failure of the outlet won't cause my food to spoil and ice cream to melt. – Monty Harder Jul 15 '19 at 19:51
  • 1
    @Harper if you want something to be a load on the GFCI (i.e. downstream of it), you connect it to the load wire(s), and if you, not don't. I don't particularly see how its confusing or hijacking unrelated terms. – mbrig Jul 15 '19 at 21:08

Yes you can do that. Make sure they both pairs go in the line side of the GFCI. Take note that this means that the circuit on the load side of the junction box is not GFCI protected.

However using backstabs held by spring tension are not recommended, they tend to fail over time. Instead make a pigtail joining the blacks together and the whites together with a short extra wire that then goes into the GFCI. Some sockets have the backstab clamped with the screw, these are safe to use with 1 wire per designated clamping position.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.