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Old 11-28-2010, 08:35 PM   #1
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Problems installing GFCI Outlet/Switch! Please help!


Hey all. I am replacing my code failing kitchen outlets with GFCI outlets.

One outlet has a regular receptacle, and a switch for the garbage disposal in the sink.

I have hooked up the incoming and outgoing wires correctly (e.g. the outlet receives power, and the outlets down the line also get power.)

HOWEVER, when I toggle the switch, I get NO reaction from the garbage disposal.

I have photos here showing the disposal wires, and the wires from the switch.

My fridge is off as well because it is on the same circuit.

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:53 PM   #2
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Problems installing GFCI Outlet/Switch! Please help!


A small correction here the standard household electrical system we do not say postive or negtive what we actually say hot or netural or line or netural or load or netural depending on how it conferated.


Now to slove your issue do you have any other ground wire in the box ? and they are tied together ??

That is one of key item to get it work properly.

Now however there is one issue it did come up did the garabge disposal have it own circuit or it was wired to that circuit ??

Normally the codes do not allow that fashon at all for obvous reason.

Before I can answer more how did the old switch set up like that ??

Merci.
Marc

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Old 11-29-2010, 10:21 AM   #3
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Problems installing GFCI Outlet/Switch! Please help!


The ground wire for the incoming and outgoing wires are 'merged' together with one of those red screw thingies (<--- obvious terminology correction needed) - and one ground wire comes out of that merge (intended for the receptacle). There is also the ground wire from the lead to the disposal, which I can also fit into the receptacle.

So long story short - all the grounds appear to be tied together.

Also - to reinterate, I am getting power to the plug part on this - AND to power on other receptacles further down the line, so power is flowing into AND out-of this unit.

I tried hooking up the two switch wires in a few random ways, to no avail. And I prefer not to try too many 'random' things with electricity.

PS - the old receptacle looked like a wiring nightmare when I took it out. (It didn't have its own dedicated switch wires like this new plug has, and therefor the wiring was completely different).
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Old 11-29-2010, 11:10 AM   #4
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Problems installing GFCI Outlet/Switch! Please help!


The ground is not required for the GFCI or the switch to work. But they are required for safety and it sounds like they are connected correctly.
The reason the switch is not working is you need to jump the hot feeding the receptacle or the hot leaving the receptacle to one side of the switch. It sounds like you have power for the receptacle and are just missing a jumper to one side of the switch.

This is assuming you have one hot wire in this box? If you have two hots, one is for the receptacles and one is for the disposal.

The pictures do little to help. The black should be the switch leg and the white should be hot on the switch.

Ps......Those look like 14/2 NM cables. Kitchen small appliance circuits are supposed to be 20 amp on 12/2 NM (Romex).

Last edited by J. V.; 11-29-2010 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 11-29-2010, 02:03 PM   #5
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Problems installing GFCI Outlet/Switch! Please help!


The wires feeding the receptacle are 12 Guage.

The 14guage wire is the one that goes to the disposal.

I do not know exactly what you mean about jumping etc.

I have a total of EIGHT wires (excluding grounds) in this box.

Input - Hot/White (which plugs into the bottom screws - as per the directions)

Output - Hot/White (which goes to feed other receptacles in the room - and is plugged into the top two screws).

Switch Wires - Both black - which are un-connected (as pictured). - THESE WIRES ARE PHYSICALLY ATTACHED TO THE RECEPTACLE.

Disposal wires - hot/white - both un-connected as pictured.

The unit itself has 2 hole to enter wire into on each screw, so bridging two of the connections should be a breeze with a small piece of wire if I have to.

If someone knows what must be connected to what, it would be great.

I dont know all the right terminology, so if someone could respond to me using my above lingo that would be great.

E.g. - You need to plug the disposal white into the output hot - or bridge the input hot with the output hot.

I could understand that. :P

Sorry for being such a noob!


PS - I found the 'instruction' sheet and here is what it says:

To replace existing switch, you must join the lead wires of the Switch GFCI device (the ones attached to the unit) to existing switch wires in electrical box using the two separate wire connectors supplied. (The 'switch wires' being the disposal wires I assume).

Connect switch only in the hot line between fuse(s) or breaker and load. (I have no idea exactly what this means - I can only guess).

So here is my 'guess': I connect the two black switch lead wires to the Disposal hot and white wires using the screw thingies they supplied (since both of the switch leads are black, does it make no difference which switch lead attaches to which disposal wire?). Then I bridge the two HOTS (input and output) using a small piece of 12 guage wire leftover from the old switch???

Last edited by LordX; 11-29-2010 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 11-29-2010, 04:44 PM   #6
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Problems installing GFCI Outlet/Switch! Please help!


Ok, I tried connecting the built in switch wires with the disposal wires, and bridging the incoming and outgoing hots.

It popped the reset button out immediately. So it doesn't like the hots bridged.

Having the built in switch wires connected to the disposal wires doesn't pop the reset button... but it doesn't turn on the disposal either..

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Old 11-29-2010, 07:03 PM   #7
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Problems installing GFCI Outlet/Switch! Please help!


Here's my take on the situation.

You have 8 wires in the box. 2 are #12 b/w to feed the GFCI. 2 more #12 b/w from the GFCI to feed the other receptacle.
Two #14 b/w to feed the disposal unit. Two #14 b/w to power the unit.
Connect the two white 14's together with a wirenut. Connect one black #14 to a switch terminal and the other black #14 to the other switch terminal.

What you have there is against code where I live.
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Old 11-29-2010, 07:41 PM   #8
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Problems installing GFCI Outlet/Switch! Please help!


Really the dishwasher should have it own circuit and not on the SABC [ Small Appalince Branch Circuit ] I think the only legit way is run new circuit and change that switch box to two gang and run the Countertop receptales alone and run new circuit for dishwashwer.

That is the legit way to do this and I belive someone did not know the NEC code even CEC { Canada Electrical Code } when they install the dishwasher. and both stated that dishwasher shall not use the SABC at all.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 11-29-2010, 08:54 PM   #9
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Problems installing GFCI Outlet/Switch! Please help!


I am getting some ideas from other forums as well. Here is what someone else said - see if this makes sense:

"To get the disposal working on the switch, connect one of the black switch wires to the other brass LOAD terminal. Each of these terminals can accept two wires, and you already have one installed there per the picture. The other switch wire gets wirenutted to the black wire going to the disposal. The white coming from the disposal gets connected to the silver LOAD terminal where you should already have a white wire connected. All of the grounds should be connected to each other and to the ground screw on the receptacle."

I am just curious if by LOAD he means the incoming power ports (which my unit labels as LINE) or the outgoing power ports (which my unit labels as LOAD).
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Old 11-29-2010, 09:02 PM   #10
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Problems installing GFCI Outlet/Switch! Please help!


outgoing aka load side.

However I know it may work but as I say before if this is part of SABC someone whom did ran the wire were not aware with the codes.

That something you will have to dealt with it later when you do any more remodel or repairs in the kitchen area and the kitchen area have pretty strict code on this.

And what more the SABC and the photo you posted the conductors you have in the GFCI device is 12 gauge size and dishwasher is 14 gauge and it not allowed on 20 amp circuits at all.

Merci.
Marc
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Old 11-29-2010, 10:21 PM   #11
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Problems installing GFCI Outlet/Switch! Please help!


Actually the dishwasher runs off of the 12 guage load wires. I know this becuase it worked even when the 14guage wires were disconnected completely.

The 14guage wire only goes to the garbage disposal.

That wiring trick worked though! So I am in business!
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Old 11-29-2010, 10:24 PM   #12
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Problems installing GFCI Outlet/Switch! Please help!


If you don't mind moi ask you this question I know you have GFCI there but what other receptales it is on that circuit like next receptale on the counter top or what ??

I am suprised that dishwasher is on that circuit.

Merci.
Marc
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Old 11-29-2010, 11:05 PM   #13
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Problems installing GFCI Outlet/Switch! Please help!


There are two (i guess 3 if you include the dishwasher) outlets on this series.

The two visible on the counter are right near the sink, so they need to be GFCI.

I plug my microwave into the first one. Nothing into the Second (which is the switch one), and the third is the dishwasher and stove. (But I have a gas stove so its only drawing for the clock and spark.)

I was wrong about the fridge being on the circuit, the fridge is on another.

Even if I technically didn't need more than one GFCI on a series, it was time to replace the old outlets anyway... they were dirty from the previous owners, and that yucky yellowy brown color. The new ones I put in are white.
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Old 11-29-2010, 11:45 PM   #14
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Problems installing GFCI Outlet/Switch! Please help!


Ok I understand that was exsting set up however it will be still a good time to mark down the load centre to know what circuit it is still on that one so you can able find it quicker.

But down the road you will have to address this issue one way or other and genrally I run the dishwasher and Garbage dispoal on it own circuit so it will not affect the countertop circuit aka SABC.

Merci,
Marc

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