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Old 07-09-2012, 11:54 PM   #16
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I had lights, and now I don't


He hasn't actually confirmed it is a countertop receptacle. I just figured it was as its a 20A gfci

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Old 07-10-2012, 03:57 PM   #17
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I had lights, and now I don't


Yes, it is a countertop receptacle. The switch at the main electrical box is 20 amp. When I turn the wall switch off the power ceases to the light sockets. When I turn it on the power is there. Isn’t my first priority to check the amount of current coming to the light sockets? If I understand one of the posters I put one jack on the brass colored part that the bulb screws into, and the other on the tab inside the socket. Does it matter if I put the black or red jack in one or the other?

Actually the kitchen is quite nice, so I would not assume this is a "hack job" as some have said. I am glad to hear it is acceptable to put the lights and GFCI outlet on the same circuit.

Last edited by Cossack; 07-10-2012 at 04:00 PM.
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Old 07-10-2012, 04:02 PM   #18
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I had lights, and now I don't


It is not acceptable, therefore the hack comments.
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Old 07-10-2012, 04:08 PM   #19
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I had lights, and now I don't


Not having the lights work is indeed unacceptable, but I can’t help but think it is one simple thing that is occurring. I just don’t know what. In a prior post it was said that it is okay to have lights and receptacles on the same circuit.

When I return to that property I will attempt to test how much power is going to the lights. I do not understand why the lights worked at first and now do not. I assume the act of testing and resetting with the GFCI cannot cause this problem?

Last edited by Cossack; 07-10-2012 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 07-10-2012, 04:13 PM   #20
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I had lights, and now I don't


You can't have lights on with your kitchen countertop plugs. Just because it looks nice on the surface means nothing. Inside the walls could be a mess and from the sounds of it it probably is. Try replacing your light switch as that seems to be the origin of your problem. In all honesty I would consider a rewire. If you have a housefire insurance will fight you every step of the way if you have a lot of shoddy wiring. Testing power at the actual light socket is very tricky. I just want you to understand that so you can't come back and yell at us about shorting something out or getting shocked
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Old 07-10-2012, 04:30 PM   #21
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I had lights, and now I don't


Okay, so I need to put the overhead lights on one circuit and the COUNTERTOP outlets including the GFCI on another. I may also have to replace the wall switch that controls the overhead lights. Right?

It would still be good to know how to go about testing power to a light. I have a digital volt meter with black and a white jacks. This is a DIY forum. I am not going to come back and yell at anyone for something I do.

Last edited by Cossack; 07-10-2012 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 07-10-2012, 05:14 PM   #22
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I had lights, and now I don't


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cossack;962458[SIZE=3
It would still be good to know how to go about testing power to a light. I have a digital volt meter with black and a white jacks. This is a DIY forum. I am not going to come back and yell at anyone for something I do.[/SIZE]
This was explained back in post #10.
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Old 07-10-2012, 05:33 PM   #23
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I had lights, and now I don't


You actually need two circuits for the countertop. Adjacent receptacles aren't allowed to be on the same circuit but you can "leap frog". Not sure of they sell it in your area but there's a book at home depot written by inspectors in plan English and there's a full layout of a properly wired kitchen in it. It's usually yellow and around 15 bucks. Best money you ever spent if you plan on dabbling a bit more in electrical. I think its call electrical code simplified.
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Old 07-10-2012, 06:20 PM   #24
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I had lights, and now I don't


It is a big kitchen so I was just going to give power to the overhead lights that won’t come on from the other overhead lights in the dining room. I will keep the power to the GFCI and have it feed the outlets downstream on the “load” side. Isn’t that the easiest way? I have seen that in wiring books. Why would I want to use two circuits?
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Old 07-10-2012, 06:27 PM   #25
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I had lights, and now I don't


kitchen counters practically have their own section of code. not sure what the nec states on that but i'm sure someone will chime in.
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Old 07-10-2012, 06:43 PM   #26
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I had lights, and now I don't


Since I am not an electrician what is my responsibility with code? My only concern is to make things safe. Obviously this house was sold to me with the problem I have already described. I am just doing a quick repair as a landlord.
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Old 07-10-2012, 06:46 PM   #27
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I had lights, and now I don't


you really don't have a responsibility to fix it unless you do a reno, it all boils down to the safety factor. You can patch it together for now to make it work but i would save up and plan to fix it in the future as soon as you can. the code doesn't apply to just electricians, it's industry standard used for everyone.

i'm not sure how your responsibility factors into it with the landlord aspect. Legally speaking it could be an unsafe environment for your tenants.
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Last edited by andrew79; 07-10-2012 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 07-10-2012, 07:07 PM   #28
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I had lights, and now I don't


I plan to bring the power to the GFCI, but is it “unsafe” to power the regular outlets downstream on the load side of the GFCI? It would be inconvenient to lose power on that side of the kitchen, but how is it dangerous?
One of my other rental properties has this same configuration when I bought it.
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:30 PM   #29
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I had lights, and now I don't


I think you (or I) am starting to mix up which replies go to which questions.

Is it ok to put lights and outlets on the same circuit? Code says yes except on the designated small appliance branch circuit. Some folks prefer the lights to stay on in a room when you trip a breaker. This is a philosophical argument not a code argument IMO.

Is it ok to power downstream outlets from the load side of the gfci? Yes

Do you have to split up the kitchen counter outlets to 2 circuits? Depends. That is code now. Where you are located will determine what is considered a renovation for the purposes of being up to code. Also the rental aspect of it may play a role. I don't know.

How to test a lamp-holder for power?
Place one probe of a meter on the little button on the center and the other on the threaded outer part - if you short them with the probes - go reset the breaker. OR buy one of those screw in adapters that makes it look like an outlet and then stick the probes in that.

Why don't the lights work now when there's power? Probably a loose neutral somewhere.

Hope I've gotten them all! Good luck!

Last edited by Evstarr; 07-10-2012 at 11:38 PM.
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:26 AM   #30
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I had lights, and now I don't


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cossack View Post
Since I am not an electrician what is my responsibility with code?

The code was not written to make life difficult for electricians. It was written to make things safe and dependable for the end user. your responsibility with codes is to make sure any work you do is acording to the section that applies to the work you are doing that someone else may have to depend on


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cossack View Post
My only concern is to make things safe.

Which is the best reason to familiarize yourself with the codes that apply. The NEC code book was written and is updated every three years to address safety issues that evolve with new technologies and situations that arrise from fire and accident inspections.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cossack View Post
Obviously this house was sold to me with the problem I have already described. I am just doing a quick repair as a landlord.
These problems are exactly why you should familiarize yourself with the codes for the situation you are working on. On the surface it may seem like they don't make sence but, there is a real reason they exist.


This is not meant to be a personal attack on you but rather a bit of a rant on my part. About two wqeeks ago I had to tear into a nicely remodeled kitchen to fix a whole host of dangerous safety issues. These all started to surface when the customer was getting an electrical shock from the kitchen sink. Hideen junction boxes, splices burried in the walls and cieling. Fantom grounds. Etc Etc Etc

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