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Thread: Trying to add a GFI. Having a couple of problems

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    DIY Member shluffer's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
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    Default Trying to add a GFI. Having a couple of problems

    I would like to add a couple of GFI outlets in my basement. I have two unused (or at least I think unused) electrical lines running to the area in question. Both dead end there (the wires were just left hanging in the open air, a discovery I'm not happy about).

    The first line is the old electtric water heater line (based on the inscription in the panel). It is 220. I was expecting to find three wires (2 hot and a neutral) given that it is a 220 line. I found two. Using a tik tester, both wires respond as hot. My questions:
    1) is this likely stray voltage, and one of the wires is neutral? If so, how do I check?
    2) shouldn't there be two hot wires if it is 220?
    3) Is there something I can do to wire a 110 to this without opening up the panel?

    The second line has three wires (two black and one white) Two of the wires are registering as hot, and for once, the white is neutral. The issue is that I have to shut two breakers down at the panel in order for the wires to stop setting off the tik tester. Additionaly, neither of the breakers in the panel is labeled as 220. My questions:
    1) once again, is this sray voltage? If so, how do I figure out which of the breakers is the correct one?
    2) given that I have two hot, is this 220? I Haven't hooked up my multimeter to check yet, but thats my next step.
    3) If I want to use this as 110, can I just use one of the Hots and leave the other capped inside the electrical box, or do I need to trace it back to the panel and disconnect it? I'm not excited about opening up the panel .....

    Lastly, either way I would like the new outlets to be GFIs since they will be used for a fish tank. The wiring in question is BX. My understanding is that the ground for this wire is the sheath on the cable. I s this correct? If so, to install the ground on the GFI, do I just run a wire from the green recepticle on the GFI to the box?

    Thanks in advance for the help.
    Last edited by shluffer; 08-16-2010 at 05:52 AM. Reason: Confusing wording

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