DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Electrical and Wiring > GFI Outlet / Seperate Light Switch - Light won't turn off!?




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Old 02-05-2013, 10:54 AM  
cheri28
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Default GFI Outlet / Seperate Light Switch - Light won't turn off!?

My husband is wiring a GFI and separate light switch into the bathroom. The GFI also controls an outlet across the room – these components are working. He capped all of the whites together and we had 120v’s to both the main light (which we tested and it turned on) and the light over the vanity (which we tested with power meter). However, with the whites all capped together the lights could not be turned off. He tried a few different ways, but can’t seem to wire it so that the GFI and outlet will stay on and the lights will turn on and off. Do you have any suggestions or diagrams that you can share to how to wire the light switch properly so it will turn on and off? I have attached some pictures with the hope that they'll help. THANK YOU!!

Edit: I have attached a picture of how it is hooked up right now (with this hook up, the lights do not work at all). <--- That is incorrect. With this hookup the lights DO work, just will not turn off.

Also - here is what my husband said:
The GFCI is independently wired to the source. All's well with the GFCI and bridged outlet...power to both. Do the neutral wires for both light fixtures need to be connected to the source neutral? The source load wire is split with one leg to the GFCI and one to the switch. The light fixture loads are bridged to a common single wire hooked to the top screw of the switch with the source load connected to the bottom screw. The two fixture neutrals are wire-nutted to each other. Why are the lights constantly on, regardless of the switch's position?



1.jpg   2.jpg   3.jpg   4.jpg   5.jpg  

7.jpg  
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:45 AM  
Wuzzat?
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Originally Posted by cheri28 View Post
He tried a few different ways
With just three wires wired or not wired to just three terminals there are about 30 wrong ways and only one right way to do it so the odds are not in your favor, and this is assuming all the components work correctly.
Knowing the meaning of the wire colors will reduce the uncertainty but sometimes the colors will mislead you.
I guess there is an off chance that the switch contacts are welded closed.

An electrician will be along presently but in the meantime you could bone up on the colors.

Welcome, Ms. Cheri number 28.


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Old 02-05-2013, 11:50 AM  
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Thank you!

Oh gosh - it feels like there are even more than 30 different ways to get it wrong (because I think we've tried that many!). I believe there are just black and whites, plus the grounds. He's a busy guy - so I'm trying to do some research for him, so please forgive my extreme lack of knowledge.

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Old 02-05-2013, 02:36 PM  
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You do not have a neutral white or blue in your picture coming from the lights back tot he other 2 white neutrals. Only neutral I see is between the 2 lights is between themselves.

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Old 02-05-2013, 02:59 PM  
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Any step by step process would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 02-05-2013, 03:11 PM  
Housedoctor57
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Cheri,
This is a simple approach.
Find the wires going to the actual light fixtures. You should have a black, white, and possible green or bare copper to each fixture. Obtain a sacrificial 2 wire extension cord, like to use on a table lamp. With the extension cord UNPLUGGED, cut off the end where you connect the lamp. Now, connect the white wire to one of the 2 extension cord leads. Connect a single way light switch to the other wire on the extension cord. Connect the black wire going to the light fixtures in the bath to the other screw on the switch. Plug the extension cord into a working wall outlet and test the circuit, the lights should switch off and on.
If that works, remove the 2 wires from the extension cord connection.
Connect the white wire to the other white wires in the wall box. Connect the black wire from the light fixtures to the LINE side of the GFIC. Turn the breaker that controls the GFIC on and have a drink!

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Old 02-05-2013, 03:55 PM  
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There is no neutral or ground going to the lights. The lack of neutral to the lights will prevent them from coming on not off. Disconnect the hot wire from the output side of the light switch, the lights should go out but, I don't understand how they are ON to begin with.
I don't think your drawing is totally accurate to what has been wired up.

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Old 02-05-2013, 04:00 PM  
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Yes, the lights are in parallel as they should be but why does the switch have three wires to it? It's not a ground.

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Old 02-05-2013, 04:44 PM  
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The lights do turn on, they just won't turn off. (edit)

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Old 02-05-2013, 06:04 PM  
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Pigtail short wires from the load side of the gfi and attach the light and the extra plug to those pig tails. the source wires go the line side of the gfi.



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