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Old 07-06-2013, 07:29 PM   #1
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I wired a few overhead lights in my garage today (I'll call this the "branch circuit".) I did this by swapping three overhead receptacles in place of an existing light fixture. The fixture was switched, now the receptacles are switched (I want this.) I replaced the regular switch with a combo GFCI outlet/switch. After the switch, the circuit (15a) continues into the house for lighting/outlets (11 in all). Describing the way I wired the switch, I have the hot entering the line side of the GFCI receptacle; a 'pigtail' leaves the receptacle hot line terminal to power the rest of the circuit (inside the house.) I made a third hot 'jumper' by wiring the factory switch lead into the back side of the hot line terminal on the GFCI receptacle (to power the switch.) It is easier to understand how I wired it by looking at the pic below. At this point, the switch controls the overhead lights, the receptacle on the combo switch is constant hot, and is GFCI protected; BUT everything after the switch AND the circuit inside the house is not GFCI protected.

What I'm wondering is:

1.) Are there any flagrant code violations?
2.) Why aren't the switched branch circuit and the part of the circuit that is inside the house GFCI protected?
3.) How can I wire it so that everything is GFCI protected?

Thanks in advance - mark



Last edited by adis; 07-06-2013 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:41 PM   #2
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Can't see your location on mobile but I'm fairly sure you cant use a plug as a joint. Pigtails are required, on which wires depends where you are.

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Old 07-06-2013, 07:52 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply, Andrew. That is how the switch was originally wired (1980), so I just mimicked it (sort of.) I know people don't like to use the 'hole type" junction on the back of switches/receptacles, but i didn't realize that it was against code to use it that way. Easily corrected.
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:52 PM   #4
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Why not use 12 AWG wire throughout? You would have to change the cb to a 15 amp in this diagram.. And the black is on the wrong side of the gfci!
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adis View Post
Thanks for the reply, Andrew. That is how the switch was originally wired (1980), so I just mimicked it (sort of.) I know people don't like to use the 'hole type" junction on the back of switches/receptacles, but i didn't realize that it was against code to use it that way. Easily corrected.
That what we do call them " backstabbed " they are leigt on 14 awg but not on 12 awg anymore. You can have them backstabbed but the major qurik is that the connection on backstabber can get loosen up.

I have one customer house not too long ago with our Europan backstabber verison and about 1 out of 4 have very loose connection and one I know for sure it will flare up ( ready to catch on fire )

It is not illegal or against the code to use the backstabbers unless specifed in your local codes but majorty of the area I know they do allow it but just do use the screw and be done in first time than have something come loose over the time.

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Why not use 12 AWG wire throughout? You would have to change the cb to a 15 amp in this diagram.. And the black is on the wrong side of the gfci!
I have look at the diagram as you posted there is only two ways you can get this mixed sized conductor legit A) use the 15 amp breaker to take care the whole circuit ou.,, B) change the 14-3 to 12-3 conductors that will take care the issue and you can run full 20 amp circuit without issue.

BTW to the OP the black aka hot conductor is always on the narrow blade side ( brass colour screw ) while netural use the wide blade opening ( silver screw colour ) ( this is for North Americian 120 volts receptales )

Merci,
Marc
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:28 PM   #6
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Thanks a lot for the replies guys! Just to clarify:

- the circuit is 15a from the breaker
- i was wrong about the 12-2, its actually 14-2, i just thought it was 12-2 because it is older wire and looks bigger...
- the hot black wire is going into the correct side of the switch (black to brass) my drawing is incorrect (i drew it from memory, not looking directly at the switch)

So, any ideas about the GFCI functionality? How is the switch wired internally, anybody know? In my ignorance, I figured that supplying power to the switch and the rest of house circuit from the hot lead of the GFCI receptacle would effectively give them GFCI protection - but I guess not.

EDIT: The switch is a Leviton T7299-W. I think I see part of my confusion. I mistakenly thought that the load side of the combo switch was actually switched, but perhaps the switch and the GFCI load junctions are separate. Does anyone know if this is correct? If I wire the black and white wires which go to the 'rest of circuit' into the junctions marked 'load' on the switch will that give that part of the circuit GFCI protection (and not be switched)? How then to have the switched part GFCI protected?

EDIT EDIT: By splicing the switch lead into the afore mentioned, recently relocated 'rest of circuit' hot wire...n'est ce pas?

Last edited by adis; 07-06-2013 at 10:27 PM. Reason: Add stuff
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrew79
Can't see your location on mobile but I'm fairly sure you cant use a plug as a joint. Pigtails are required, on which wires depends where you are.
Pig tails are not required. The device can be used as the "joint" (junction point). Several code cycles ago UL changed the listing requirements thus eliminating 12awg back stabbing. #14 is still legal to back stab.
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:37 PM   #8
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Pig tails are not required. The device can be used as the "joint" (junction point). Several code cycles ago UL changed the listing requirements thus eliminating 12awg back stabbing. #14 is still legal to back stab.
Not on the neutral of a MWBC...but that isn't what the OP has diagrammed.
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adis View Post
Thanks a lot for the replies guys! Just to clarify:

- the circuit is 15a from the breaker
- i was wrong about the 12-2, its actually 14-2, i just thought it was 12-2 because it is older wire and looks bigger...
- the hot black wire is going into the correct side of the switch (black to brass) my drawing is incorrect (i drew it from memory, not looking directly at the switch)

So, any ideas about the GFCI functionality? How is the switch wired internally, anybody know?

Ok you should be ok on 15 amp breaker as long the rest of the conductors are at 14 AWG.

Now you mention about the combo GFCI / switch unit.

The switch part itself is have two pigtail leads comming out of the GFCI that can be wired seperated due it will not be connected interally.

Now with the combo GFCI switch the issue you will run into is the box size you will need very deep single gang box for this useage but normally I just go with two gang box and run the GFCI seprated and use the conventail switch that will take care of the box size in there.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k_buz

Not on the neutral of a MWBC...but that isn't what the OP has diagrammed.
Agreed. I took it to mean that pigtails are required instead of back stabbing.
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:46 PM   #11
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Ok, how does this wiring look - it gets rid of the backstabbing, and (maybe) gets me GFCI protection...

(try to ignore the printed type)

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Old 07-06-2013, 10:50 PM   #12
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Nope, will not work. The GFI will sense an imbalance between the hot and neutral. You will not be able to use 3 wire on those three recepts if you want to go the GFI receptacle route. You could do what you want to do with a GFI breaker.

edit: and it looks like you have a direct short shown in your picture
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:58 PM   #13
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Yeah, just trying to save $60.00. I'll just go ahead and get the GFCI breaker and be safe.

Help with the short...
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:12 PM   #14
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After further review...no short, but you wouldn't have power back up on the red.
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Old 07-07-2013, 02:52 PM   #15
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I look at the diagram and I know there will be no short but as soon you put the load on red conductor you will trip the GFCI real quick.

I am not sure if the overhead lights are extempt from GFCI protection but if not you will have to go with GFCI breaker route otherwise use the faceless GFIC receptale ( aka no face GFCI only with test / reset button ) after the conventinal breaker. ( check with your local codes reguarding of luminaries on that circuit)

I know over here in France we keep the lights on seprated circuit from general use receptale circuits. ( Unless it is shed then all will be done from single RCD )

Merci,
Marc

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