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Old 07-06-2012, 05:19 PM   #1
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rocker lighted switch and gfci outlet


Lighted rocker light switch
Can anyone helop with this question? I have a lighted rocker light switch; when it is in the off position it registers 80 volts. It is piggybacked with a [COLOR=blue !important][COLOR=blue !important]GFCI [COLOR=blue !important]outlet[/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR]. I believe the light in the switch is the cause of the 80 volt reading.
I had called Leviton, the switch manufacturer and they said that this is normal and safe. Just to verify, I asked at Home Depot and was told the same. But my friend who is a master [COLOR=blue !important][COLOR=blue !important]electrician[/COLOR][/COLOR] and his son, said they never came across something like this and said it is not normal, not to used it.

Please if anyone has knowledge of this , let me know.

and does anyone know what it costs per month to run 80 volts? my electric company had no answer for me.

I thank you in advance.

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Old 07-06-2012, 05:29 PM   #2
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Where are you measuring the 80 volts and is it causing any problems?
Did you install the lighted switch?
Was there a spare neutral in the box as a return path for the light?

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Old 07-06-2012, 08:45 PM   #3
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1. 80 volts measured from black and white wires

2. Rocker lighted switch was installed piggy backed with GFCI outlet. Rocker switch changed with a toggle switch. Toggle switch does not output volts when off, outputs 80 with rocker when off.

3. No spare neutral

thank you for responding, too
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:54 PM   #4
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does the light in the rocker switch come on when the switch
is in the off position? or in the on position ?
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Old 07-07-2012, 01:38 AM   #5
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Here is the wiring diagram for the Leviton Illuminated when OFF switch from the Leviton site.
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So you are measuring the 80 volts across the resistor when the switch is OFF. What I don't understand if this switch uses the ground for the return, why doesn't the GFCI detect the leakage to ground and trip? Or is this switch on the Line side of the GFCI?
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Old 07-07-2012, 01:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimage57 View Post
and does anyone know what it costs per month to run 80 volts? my electric company had no answer for me.
It is the watts you need to know not the volts. In the previous reply I pointed out that you were measuring 80 volts across the resistor, which means there is approximately 40 volts across the built-in light. The web site did not mention how many watts the circuit draws when off, but I would estimate less than 5 watts. There are 720 hours in a month, so at 5 watts that would be 3.6 KWH at 15 cent/KWH the cost is 54 cents a month.
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Old 07-07-2012, 04:18 AM   #7
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rocker lighted switch and gfci outlet


You're still not providing enough specific information to tell exactly what you're measuring and where, but the answer will be the same regardless: This is normal and the cost to run the lighted switch is nearly zero. The voltage you are reading is either in series with the switch or across it, and in either case it's a normal consequence of operating the internal lamp in the switch. The neon lamp in a lighted switch typically requires about 5mA, which is 0.6W. That's about $0.78 per year.
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Old 07-07-2012, 07:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goosebarry View Post
It is the watts you need to know not the volts. In the previous reply I pointed out that you were measuring 80 volts across the resistor, which means there is approximately 40 volts across the built-in light. The web site did not mention how many watts the circuit draws when off, but I would estimate less than 5 watts. There are 720 hours in a month, so at 5 watts that would be 3.6 KWH at 15 cent/KWH the cost is 54 cents a month.
If the built in lamp is a neon,
and most are, then the power used
will be half a milli amp,
or 500 micro amps.
so low it is not even worth worring about !
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Old 07-07-2012, 08:18 PM   #9
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When nothing is plugged into a receptacle it still has 120V on it.
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Old 07-07-2012, 10:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimage57 View Post
1. 80 volts measured from black and white wires

2. Rocker lighted switch was installed piggy backed with GFCI outlet. Rocker switch changed with a toggle switch. Toggle switch does not output volts when off, outputs 80 with rocker when off.

3. No spare neutral

thank you for responding, too
The 80 volts is always going to be there with no load on the outlet because of the lamp. It's normal and as mpoulton mentioned you are just paying pennies a month for the lamp. The only thing not to code is you are supposed to connect the switch (lamp return) to a neutral instead of ground.

Last edited by zappa; 07-07-2012 at 11:00 PM.
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Old 07-08-2012, 06:21 AM   #11
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rocker lighted switch and gfci outlet


Quote:
Originally Posted by k_buz View Post
When nothing is plugged into a receptacle it still has 120V on it.
YES you will !
But at very limited current !
The neon lamp will limit the current to 500 micro amps.
un nerving may be, but not dangerous.
Barely enough to register on a meter.
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Old 07-08-2012, 06:30 AM   #12
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rocker lighted switch and gfci outlet


Repeat.

Does the switch light up in the off position, in the on position, or all the time?
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Old 07-10-2012, 06:52 PM   #13
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when in the off position, it lights up; it is not bright like a night light, but has a glow so you could find it in the dark.

it does not glow in the on position.
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:54 PM   #14
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With the switch in the off position,
and the neon indicator effectively in parallel with the switch,
A very small current will flow,
this current is limited by the neon.
usually it is about 1/2 a milli amp,
or 500uA.
this then accounts for the 80v reading on the meter.

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