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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hoping someone could help with this. I currently have a GFCI outlet in my bathroom and the light switch is not part of the GFCI circuit, when I test the outlet my light switch remains on, but I want this circuit to turn off when the GFCI is tripped. I have messed around with the wires but cannot seem to get it right. The reason for this is I am putting a fan over my bath and instructions require it to be on GFCI. Below is a picture of the wiring as it is now with light not on circuit.

Please note, the outlet was installed upside down (not sure why). everything is connected on LINE and nothing on LOAD. All instructions I come across are for combo switches.
 

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What colour wires were originally on the light switch.
Is the light on the same circuit as the GFCI receptacle?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What colour wires were originally on the light switch.
Is the light on the same circuit as the GFCI receptacle?
I am not sure of the original wires as this is how it was from previous owner. When I shut the breaker off for the bathroom, it also powers down the bedroom mext to it and the bedroom in the basement.

There is a white/beige wire going to light switch and another one going to the outlet, with another white wire connecting from outlet to light switch.
 

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First off the neutral to the light is being switched which is big no no and a code violation. The jumper between the GFCI and switch is coming from the neutral connected to the GFCI. When a GFCI trips, it cuts power to the hot side, not the neutral side.


You need to figure out how the light is wired, specifically where the hot to the light is connected. Then rewire things so the hot to the light is switched.


To have the light trip with the GFCI, you need to connect the white neutral to the light to the neutral LOAD screw on the GFCI. Then connect a black jumper from the hot LOAD screw on the GFCI to the switch. Then connect the black hot to the light to the switch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
First off the neutral to the light is being switched which is big no no and a code violation. The jumper between the GFCI and switch is coming from the neutral connected to the GFCI. When a GFCI trips, it cuts power to the hot side, not the neutral side.


You need to figure out how the light is wired, specifically where the hot to the light is connected. Then rewire things so the hot to the light is switched.


To have the light trip with the GFCI, you need to connect the white neutral to the light to the neutral LOAD screw on the GFCI. Then connect a black jumper from the hot LOAD screw on the GFCI to the switch. Then connect the black hot to the light to the switch.

Okay, forgive me if I am missing something.

What would be the best way of going about figuring out how the light is wired? I planned on testing each wire and varifying HOT and NEUTRAL tomorrow morning with my multimeter. I just don't understand the two hot lines going in at the same spot. I know alot of this stuff was done by the previous home owner as he changed the layout of the upstairs and had it checked by an electrician, but judging by some of the things we have come across in the past am starting to question how good the inspection was (as you mentioned about switching neutrals, which after reading up on I am now aware of).
 

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Okay, forgive me if I am missing something.

What would be the best way of going about figuring out how the light is wired? I planned on testing each wire and varifying HOT and NEUTRAL tomorrow morning with my multimeter. I just don't understand the two hot lines going in at the same spot. I know alot of this stuff was done by the previous home owner as he changed the layout of the upstairs and had it checked by an electrician, but judging by some of the things we have come across in the past am starting to question how good the inspection was (as you mentioned about switching neutrals, which after reading up on I am now aware of).

I would start by tracing the white wire coming off the top of the switch. It will go to into a cable entering at the back of the box. There will also be a black wire in the same cable. Trace that black wire. Most likely it will be one of the black wires connected to the hot LINE screw of the GFCI. If so, disconnect that black wire from the GFCI and turn the power on. Turn the switch on and check for voltage at the light. You should not have any with the black wire disconnected.

If this tests out as I believe it will, then rewire things as I described in my previous post.
 

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Sounds like you have two cables in the box. If that is true connect as follows.
If the receptacle is working then leave the black and white on the LINE terminals where they are.
Connect the other white from the light to the LOAD silver terminal.
Connect a short black from the gold LOAD terminal to the switch.
Connect the black from the light to the other terminal on the switch.

Connect all the grounds together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sounds like you have two cables in the box. If that is true connect as follows.
If the receptacle is working then leave the black and white on the LINE terminals where they are.
Connect the other white from the light to the LOAD silver terminal.
Connect a short black from the gold LOAD terminal to the switch.
Connect the black from the light to the other terminal on the switch.

Connect all the grounds together.
Thanks, so if I changed the switch out to one with a timer that has the green, white. black wires already on it, would I use a short black wire from the LOAD HOT to the black wire on the switch and pigtail it with the black wire from the light leaving the white neutral wire capped off and ground connected to ground?
 

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Thanks, so if I changed the switch out to one with a timer that has the green, white. black wires already on it, would I use a short black wire from the LOAD HOT to the black wire on the switch and pigtail it with the black wire from the light leaving the white neutral wire capped off and ground connected to ground?
NO

The line wire from the timer connects to the LOAD hot on the GFCI
The load wire on the switch connects to the black wire from the light.
The white(neutral) wire from the switch and the white neutral wire from the light connect to the LOAD silver screw of the GFCI.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks, so if I changed the switch out to one with a timer that has the green, white. black wires already on it, would I use a short black wire from the LOAD HOT to the black wire on the switch and pigtail it with the black wire from the light leaving the white neutral wire capped off and ground connected to ground?
NO

The line wire from the timer connects to the LOAD hot on the GFCI
The load wire on the switch connects to the black wire from the light.
The white(neutral) wire from the switch and the white neutral wire from the light connect to the LOAD silver screw of the GFCI.
Okay, thank you 🙂
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
NO

The line wire from the timer connects to the LOAD hot on the GFCI
The load wire on the switch connects to the black wire from the light.
The white(neutral) wire from the switch and the white neutral wire from the light connect to the LOAD silver screw of the GFCI.
Thanks again, I think I got it all wired correctly now, everything seems to work, light trips when test GFCI and my plug shows everything on the GFCI is correct, and the test function on the tester will trip GFCI.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just one more question, this is a 20amp timer, the GFCI is 15amp and the breaker circuit is rated for 15amp. Will this ve a problem, and should be replaced with a 15amp light timer?
 
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