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Old 11-18-2008, 10:36 AM   #1
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tripping the gfi?


I was wondering if i can put a switch before a gfi outlet. The reason for this is my x-mas lights. I have two plugs outside in my soffits that come from this switch. I am not sure if the gfi will trip every time I turn the switch on and off.
Thanks for any help

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Old 11-18-2008, 11:35 AM   #2
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tripping the gfi?


If the switch is before the gfci receptacle it will not trip. A gfci receptacle only sees leakage current with things that are plugged into it or wired to the load side terminals of the gfci. You can have a switch after a gfci also if it is connected to the line side and then passed thru the box for onward power to another receptacle or switch.

New codes now require that nothing else share the receptacle circuit with gfci circuits serving bathrooms with one exception. In your case it sounds like your home was built before these mandates. It was common to gfci protect outlets outside a bathroom from a gfci in the bathroom in years past. To some degree the same thing for kitchens.


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Old 11-18-2008, 11:40 AM   #3
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tripping the gfi?


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Originally Posted by Stubbie View Post
If the switch is before the gfci receptacle it will not trip. A gfci receptacle only sees leakage current with things that are plugged into it or wired to the load side terminals of the gfci. You can have a switch after a gfci also if it is connected to the line side and then passed thru the box for onward power to another receptacle or switch.

New codes now require that nothing else share the receptacle circuit with gfci circuits serving bathrooms with one exception. In your case it sounds like your home was built before these mandates. It was common to gfci protect outlets outside a bathroom from a gfci in the bathroom in years past. To some degree the same thing for kitchens.

thanks, I was hoping that was the answer. Have a great day
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Old 11-18-2008, 12:54 PM   #4
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tripping the gfi?


Quote:
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It was common to gfci protect outlets outside a bathroom from a gfci in the bathroom in years past. To some degree the same thing for kitchens.
I found this out the hardway at my house, found that the upstairs bathroom GFCI outlet was wired to the front and backyard outlets off the load side. Of course the GFCI outlet in the bathroom wasn't even functioning properly. I have since replaced the GFCI outlet in the bathroom and re-wired the outside outlets to their own circuit and put the bathroom on its own circuit as well.

I didn't even know that kinda thing was acceptable back then, I just thought the hack job that wired my house was an idiot and was trying to cut corners and save money any way he could.
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Old 11-18-2008, 01:27 PM   #5
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tripping the gfi?


Yep.. my home was built in 1983 and is exactly like yours plus the garage receptacles ( not the GDO's). I've never had any problems and the gfci works fine... so leave it alone is my motto.....

Last edited by Stubbie; 11-18-2008 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 11-18-2008, 08:11 PM   #6
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tripping the gfi?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stubbie View Post
If the switch is before the gfci receptacle it will not trip. A gfci receptacle only sees leakage current with things that are plugged into it or wired to the load side terminals of the gfci. You can have a switch after a gfci also if it is connected to the line side and then passed thru the box for onward power to another receptacle or switch.

New codes now require that nothing else share the receptacle circuit with gfci circuits serving bathrooms with one exception. In your case it sounds like your home was built before these mandates. It was common to gfci protect outlets outside a bathroom from a gfci in the bathroom in years past. To some degree the same thing for kitchens.
There are some GFCIs that will trip when power is applied. I have noticed that this usually only happens when power is first applied new out of the box, or when the power has been interrupted for awhile. If you need a GFCI protected switch, you might try the GFCI/Switch combo from Cooper. I find them at Lowes.
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Old 11-18-2008, 08:52 PM   #7
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tripping the gfi?


Now that you mention that InPhase, most cord mounted GFCI's will trip once they loose power, so as to prevent the device they are attached to from turning on when power is restored.

The op could simply put in standard receptacles outside, and use a GFCI switch inside to control the outlets. It works just like a GFCI outlet, only it has no plugs on it, just two buttons on the front.
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Old 11-19-2008, 04:47 AM   #8
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tripping the gfi?


all great advice!!!!! The only reason I did not put a gfi switch is because my switch is a timer switch. So it shuts the plugs on/off when set to do so.
Thanks again for all of the advice

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