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Old 04-22-2013, 12:45 PM   #1
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Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you are my only hope


Okay. Light switch and disposal switch in the same box and light is downstream from GFCI in bathroom. I went from two separate Decora switches to a single "over - under" due to inability to get double face plate that was selected by my lovely wife (thanks, honey). Now, nothing works. I have popping GFCI and breaker. I got the $!%& shocked out of me through white wire at outlet, on the leg that should be dead (i.e. going to light from power source) and three hot blacks at switches, where I should have 2 hot and 2 dead.....@#$^%#$%^

I am thinking of installing new breaker, pulling new line into house and getting light and disposal hooked up there separate from the light, and ending things at the outlet.
HELP!

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Old 04-22-2013, 01:13 PM   #2
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Take a pic of the current wiring.
sounds like you hit a white hot from a switch leg.

TURN OFF THE BREAKER!

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Old 04-22-2013, 01:24 PM   #3
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[QUOTE=jbfan;1164929]Take a pic of the current wiring.
sounds like you hit a white hot from a switch leg.[QUOTE]

The wire for the switches were black only. Switch interrupted hot leg. White is only in bathroom outlet area...

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TURN OFF THE BREAKER!
...I got frustrated and grabbed it and forgot all about turning the breaker off. I won't forget to do that again, and I went and got a multimeter so that I can double check because I am a cabinetmaker, not an electrician....wood doesn't shock you.

I already punched hole in garage block wall and ran wire. I just need to fish it into the switch box and connect to panel. I am still curious about hot white wire.....

Last edited by electricchicken; 04-22-2013 at 01:31 PM. Reason: screwed up
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:31 PM   #4
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It was legal to connect the white wire at a switch to the hot feed of the light or receptacle, then feeding the switched leg(black wire) back to the light or receptacle.
This is call a switch loop, and allows you to use a single cable to operate a light.

Depending or your code cycle, this may or may not still be allowed.
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:32 PM   #5
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I just pulled out GFCI outlet and it was hot as hades and the button was popped the entire time....
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:40 PM   #6
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I am in Gulfport, Florida. The house was built in late 40's/early 50's. I installed the disposal. White is continuous and black is interrupted by switch. The wiring for the lights is original, and done the same way....I copied their setup because I usually start fires when wiring (lols). Should I just get the bathroom to work correctly? I found the rest of the stuff behind outlet...dishwasher, disposal and fluro lights in kitchen. Should I just put these on a new circuit and be done?
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Old 04-22-2013, 02:05 PM   #7
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I am in Gulfport, Florida. The house was built in late 40's/early 50's. I installed the disposal. White is continuous and black is interrupted by switch. The wiring for the lights is original, and done the same way....I copied their setup because I usually start fires when wiring (lols). Should I just get the bathroom to work correctly? I found the rest of the stuff behind outlet...dishwasher, disposal and fluro lights in kitchen. Should I just put these on a new circuit and be done?
If you usually start fires when wiring (lols), my advice is get an electrician. Don't play with this, it's not a joke, and it ain't appreciated here.

And as jbfan requested, please post a pic if you're determined to work on it.
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Old 04-22-2013, 02:39 PM   #8
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Sirsparksalot needs to check the wiring connection to his funny-bone......He possibly needs changes in latitude to make changes in attitude. (I am from Albany, GA so I speak redneck and have been known to make a joke or two...)

OK....pulled outlet and wire-nutted w to w and b to b. I have current to the rest of circuit. Should I just put kitchen stuff on a new breaker and should that breaker be a GFCI (if there is such an animal)? Should I run everything through the GFCI so as to get protection on light switch and disposal switch, as they are above kitchen sink?
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Old 04-22-2013, 02:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Sirsparksalot needs to check the wiring connection to his funny-bone......He possibly needs changes in latitude to make changes in attitude. (I am from Albany, GA so I speak redneck and have been known to make a joke or two...)

OK....pulled outlet and wire-nutted w to w and b to b. I have current to the rest of circuit. Should I just put kitchen stuff on a new breaker and should that breaker be a GFCI (if there is such an animal)? Should I run everything through the GFCI so as to get protection on light switch and disposal switch, as they are above kitchen sink?
Don't buy a gfci breaker, might not even find one for an old panel.
Only gfci protect the counter top receptacles and not the switches.

Don't worry about the redneck humor.
I've been known to say LETS SEE IF WE CAN MAKE THIS THING SPARK! when turning on a switch or breaker in front of a customer.
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Old 04-22-2013, 02:48 PM   #10
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funny-bone or not, there is nothing funny about getting electrocuted or starting a fire.

There are GFCI breakers, if you are going to run seperate circuits the lighting doesnt need GFCI in the kitchen afaik. the disposal being on gfci wouldnt hurt. what all is on this same circuit? just stick with GFCI receptacles, imo.
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:36 AM   #11
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It is a new Square D panel. I will run new circuit for kitchen stuff and isolate gfci in bathroom. I certainly did not think it was funny when I got shocked (although my 9 y.o. son certainly did). Thanks for the advice. I will report back when I finish
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:24 PM   #12
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When you put in the "over/under" switch did you break out the tab connecting to 2 hot side screws? Usually the disposal is on its own circuit. You might have tied the 2 hots together.
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:55 AM   #13
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I will check. Thank you!

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