I am planning to run a few needed 20amp outdoor receptacles (and therefore want GFCI). My plan was to run 12/3 wire from 2 separate circuits in the panel to a double gang weatherproof box with 2 gfci outlets using a hot for each and a shared neutral that was pigtailed before the first outlet -see poorly drawn diagram :) [red and black (hot), white (neutral) and green (ground), triangle (Marrette)].
I have been reading/getting different advice as to whether the pigtailed neutral will work with GFCI outlets (some say no, some say yes but only if you pigtail before the first gfci and don't use the load to carry it to the second receptacle, some say it's OK but the circuit must be 2 pole connected). Can anybody clarify please? Thanks in advanceenter image description here

2 Answers 2


This will work as long as the breakers are not GFCI. As long as the GFCIs are after the shared neutral, you are fine.

BTW, this arrangement is called a multi wire branch circuit and you are required to use either a double (240 volt) breaker or two breakers with the handles tied together.

  • Thanks DoxyLover-- yeah- i tagged MWBC but I had also heard it called an Edison circuit (no school like the old school). I wasn't planning on putting in the GFCI breaker (mainly for cost reasons). I had heard the 2 pole breaker/ or tied breakers were necessary when sharing the wire. I appreciate the response! Jul 30, 2020 at 20:03

This will work.

Whether it's legal I don't know. Lot's of licensed experts here can chime in.

You can even continue with the protected circuit after (through) the receptacle, up to the GF rating and your wiring/breaker, as it has protected output "load" terminals for L and N. Then use that L & N to continue, not the spliced N or the L in your drawing. The GF protection works by comparing the L current with the N current on the protected side.

When you write "pigtail", you are not confusing receptacle with breaker, are you?

See also Can I share the neutral in 12/3 cable between two GFI circuits with different current ratings?

  • Thanks P2000, I hadn't planned on continuing the circuit after these. I have another outdoor outlet close, but it was wired by the builder on the same circuit as the living room (so TV, X-mas lights, elec. piano etc). I have a plug and play hot tub that needs it's own and now a pool pump. hopefully this covers it- (and i still have a slot left in the panel!). I was using 'pigtail' for putting multiple wires in a Mar connector together, and receptacle as the outlet? Jul 30, 2020 at 20:11

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