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Install & Replace

Switch and outlets next to each other. Need the outlet to have constant power

I recently purchased a GFI power outlet w/ LED night light. I want to have a switch and the outlet next to each other on the wall, but keep them indepentent of one another. In other words, I don't want the switch to turn off the outlet. I wired the setup exactly as it was before, but the GFI keeps tripping. Or, another issue I had was that it would all work fine until I plugged something into the outlet. Then, the LED light would only come on if something was plugged into the outlet. Do I have to splice the main black wire so that both the outlet and switch are powered together, but not in sequence?

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Posted 2011-06-24T23:28:04+0000  by BodieDesign BodieDesign
 

Hello BodieDesign,

 

Thanks for your question, and welcome to the community!

 

I work in the electrical department at my store, and I'd thought I would chime in on your wiring situation.

 

First off, your GFCI should look something like this....

GFCI w NL.JPG

 

GFCI's are a rather peculiar sort. These devices are very sensitive, but for a good reason, and I am glad you want to split the power, as they are meant to be separated. The extra hot wire on your GFCI is what is causing your tripping, but you are absolutely right about splitting the black hot lead wire coming in from your source. By splicing them independently, you will have more wirenuts in the junction box, but you will have the outlet with constant power and a switch that has no control over it. Additionally, the white neutral wire coming in as well will need to be independent as well. Neutrals carry excessive AC current back to the panel, even though your switch will not be connected to it, it may be going through other receptacles or devices causing your GFCI to trip. With that said, be aware of other devices on your circuit line that could be interfering with the line as well.

 

So as you said, split is you can the wiring before it reaches the switch or GFCI outlet to allow for independent working.

 

Hope this helps you out,

aboveaveragejoe

Posted 2011-06-25T13:22:19+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL
 
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