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Old 09-14-2008, 11:05 PM   #1
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Why does this diagram not work?


I'm rewiring a bathroom light. Logically I think the attached wiring diagram should work, but when I hooked everything up, the light does not work and the switch does not affect the operation at all. The outlet works (unless tripped) as well as the power to the rest of the house. I have checked all the splices and they are snug. I have a voltage tester and it shows power going through the light to the light bulb. I've switched out several light bulbs and replaced the switch. Still no luck. What am I doing wrong?

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Old 09-14-2008, 11:17 PM   #2
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Why does this diagram not work?


You can't connect a bulb to the same wire twice and expect it to work. Power needs to flow from one wire through a load, back to the panel. In this case, you have it almost correct, the red wire coming off the switch should always connect to the Brass or Black terminal/wire of a load or light fixture. the Silver or white colored wire should always connect to the white wire or neutral in the circuit.

So to fix this:
Simply reverse the wires at the fixture (red wire from the switch to the black on the fixture) then connect the white wire from the fixture to the white wire in the circuit.

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Old 09-14-2008, 11:40 PM   #3
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Why does this diagram not work?


theatretch85, I followed your advice and connected the black wire from the fixture to red wire from the switch. Then I connected the white wire from the fixture to the white wires in the circuit. When I turned the breaker back on and flipped the switch, my bulbs flashed and the GFCI outlet tripped. What did I do wrong?
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Old 09-15-2008, 12:24 AM   #4
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Why does this diagram not work?


You have 2 choices- if you want the lamp to be protected by the GFCI, the switch must connect between the black connection from the load side of the GFCI and the black wire on the lamp, the lamp white wire must connect to the white wire from the load side of the GFCI.

If you don't want the GFCI to be protecting the lamp, then connect the red wire from the switch to the black wire of the lamp, also connect the white of the lamp to the white before the GFCI (the line side).

Black and red wires are the hot wires, white is neutral. hot wires get switched, neutrals do not.
In your drawing if you used the line and load sides of the GFCI, left of the outlet would be the line side, right would be the load.

If you only used the line screws of the outlet and not the load screws, the wires to the right of the outlet would continue to be the line side.
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Last edited by handyman78; 09-15-2008 at 12:32 AM.
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Old 09-15-2008, 07:31 AM   #5
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Why does this diagram not work?


You must connect the white wire to the light to the LINE white wire GFCI connection. By connecting to the load white and the line black wire the GFCI is detecting a leakage current and doing its job of tripping.
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Old 09-15-2008, 10:14 AM   #6
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Why does this diagram not work?


When I am trying to do something new and am having trouble and do not understand what is going on, I read about it, ask questions, and learn all I can...

I would suggest you learn all you can about electrical wiring until you understand the following things...

The hot wire is the wire which is switched like in this diagram...
http://www.thecircuitdetective.com/swtch.gif

Black is hot, white is neutral, bare copper (or green) is ground like shown here...
http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio.../ElecOver.html

The neutral wire should be wired to the light socket "ring", the hot wire should be wired to the light socket base as shown in the following diagram. And if it is a lamp with a cord and plug, the large prong on the cord should be connected to neutral which then connects to the light fixture socket "ring". This type of plug is called a "polarized" plug.
http://www.rd.com/images/tfhimport/2...g001_size2.jpg

Why a polarized plug?...
http://www.rd.com/19451/article19451.html

Regular outlet wiring...
http://www.make-my-own-house.com/images/elswitch.jpg

GFCI wiring diagram...
http://www.do-it-yourself-help.com/i...receptacle.jpg

GFCI's...
http://www.doityourself.com/stry/gfci

All sorts of stuff to read about here...
http://www.hometips.com/home_electrical_systems.html

Then there are all sorts of books on basic electrical wiring at your library, new book stores, and used bookstores.
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Old 09-15-2008, 03:20 PM   #7
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Why does this diagram not work?


Correct wiring...

Why does this diagram not work?-user8414_pic616_1221451242.jpg
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Old 09-15-2008, 07:10 PM   #8
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Why does this diagram not work?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jcrampton View Post
theatretch85, I followed your advice and connected the black wire from the fixture to red wire from the switch. Then I connected the white wire from the fixture to the white wires in the circuit. When I turned the breaker back on and flipped the switch, my bulbs flashed and the GFCI outlet tripped. What did I do wrong?
I am sorry, I did the dumb thing of "assuming" that the wire continuing beyond the outlet was "Line" side, didn't think about it possibly being connected to the "Load" side. The new diagram chris75 posted above will work just fine.

Also, since you said this is a bathroom, what else is connected to that GFCI outlet that says "Power to rest of house"?
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Old 09-15-2008, 09:49 PM   #9
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Why does this diagram not work?


Ran the white wire from the light back to the line side of the outlet, and it worked perfectly. Thanks everyone!

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