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Old 03-22-2013, 07:04 PM   #1
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controlling a gfci outlet with a switch


Hello:

This is my first post and I'm confused.

I am trying to control a gfci outlet using a switch. I have connected the switch on the power side of the outlet. The panel breaker (non-afci) on that line keeps tripping when I activate the switch.

I have interrupted the black wire as expected at the switch and then sent it onto the "line" side (brass screw) of the gfci. The neutral (white) then runs back from the "line" side (silver screw) and past the switch to the panel.

All grounds are connected.

Why is breaker sensing an overload?

Thanks so much for the help.

libby

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Old 03-22-2013, 07:10 PM   #2
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controlling a gfci outlet with a switch


It's not sensing an overload, it's sensing a short circuit. Something is wired wrong, or a hot is touching a ground (or neutral) somewhere.

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Old 03-22-2013, 07:10 PM   #3
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controlling a gfci outlet with a switch


What room is this that you need a GFI?
GFI's do not since over loads, they since an unbalanced load.
Circut breakers since an overload.
http://home.howstuffworks.com/question117.htm
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:12 PM   #4
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controlling a gfci outlet with a switch


Joe. From the OP:
Quote:
Originally Posted by libbysorcum View Post
The panel breaker (non-afci) on that line keeps tripping when I activate the switch.
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:13 PM   #5
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controlling a gfci outlet with a switch


Opps my bad.
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:18 PM   #6
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controlling a gfci outlet with a switch


Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
It's not sensing an overload, it's sensing a short circuit. Something is wired wrong, or a hot is touching a ground (or neutral) somewhere.
OK thanks a lot. I have checked everything and it seems OK. Just to be clear if I wasn't, the gfci is NOT tripping, it's the breaker in the panel. I'll check the grounds.
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:22 PM   #7
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controlling a gfci outlet with a switch


Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
What room is this that you need a GFI?
GFI's do not since over loads, they since an unbalanced load.
Circut breakers since an overload.
http://home.howstuffworks.com/question117.htm
It is for a sump pump which would run all the time if I just plugged it in. The GFCI is not tripping but the breaker at the panel is. Unless, as Speedy Petey said, there is a ground line touching neutral or hot (really don't think so) it doesn't make sense.

Appreciate you replying
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:25 PM   #8
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controlling a gfci outlet with a switch


Why would you want a sump pump on a switch!!
No float?
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:29 PM   #9
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controlling a gfci outlet with a switch


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Why would you want a sump pump on a switch!!
No float?
Good question. It's a bad design because near the top of the pump is the water table. Due to this when it pumps water the hole immediately fills up. I use it to flush out water if it gets too high but normally just leave it if the water level in the hole is stable.
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:34 PM   #10
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controlling a gfci outlet with a switch


Another site suggested sending the hot line from the switch to the "load" side (brass) of the gfci and then the neutral from the line side through the switch unconnected and back to the panel. This doesn't seem right and is not what I did, as I only used the line side of the gfci.
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:56 PM   #11
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controlling a gfci outlet with a switch


Hope this helps, switch the black LINE wire. Is there anything connected to the load terminals?
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Last edited by TTW; 03-22-2013 at 08:41 PM. Reason: dislexic thinking
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:57 PM   #12
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controlling a gfci outlet with a switch


Quote:
Originally Posted by libbysorcum View Post
Another site suggested sending the hot line from the switch to the "load" side (brass) of the gfci and then the neutral from the line side through the switch unconnected and back to the panel. This doesn't seem right and is not what I did, as I only used the line side of the gfci.
Nope, this makes no sense.
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:20 PM   #13
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controlling a gfci outlet with a switch


Quote:
Originally Posted by libbysorcum

Good question. It's a bad design because near the top of the pump is the water table. Due to this when it pumps water the hole immediately fills up. I use it to flush out water if it gets too high but normally just leave it if the water level in the hole is stable.
Maybe I'm crazy, but wouldn't it be easier to just elevate the pump in the pit a little? Maybe put a couple bricks under it or something.
I'm no plumber, so maybe that's a stupid idea, but a sump pump is really meant to be automatic. What happens in you are away on vacation and a major storm hits?
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:40 PM   #14
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controlling a gfci outlet with a switch


Edited my post due to wrong info.

switch the black LINE wire
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:44 PM   #15
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controlling a gfci outlet with a switch


Quote:
Originally Posted by TTW View Post
Hope this helps, switch the black LINE wire. Is there anything connected to the load terminals?
Thanks TTW. No it's dedicated. Intrigued by the switch loop and its neatness. Think my set up is not wrong but I like yours a lot splitting up neutral and hot. Perhaps that is what the gfci is hoping for.

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