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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Westborough, MA
    Posts
    20

    Default Switch - Wall light - GFCI outlet

    I have a small bathroom where the wall switch on the outside of the bathroom controls the wall light above the vanity, AND the power to the only outlet in the bathroom, a GFCI. I'd like to have the GFCI be hot all the time, but the switch still able to control the wall light, as it does today. Here's my question... can I make this change only in the GFCI box (I plan on installing a new GFCI, as mine is outdated), or is there work that has to be done in the box that houses the wall light as well?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated... thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,481

    Default Re: Switch - Wall light - GFCI outlet

    Depends on how it was all wired in the first place. What you will need to do is determine if the power comes in from the light fixture, the outlet, or the switch, then isolate the outlet from the switch circuit. My suspicion is that the light fixture is powered with a switch leg to the switch. At some point someone decided they needed an outlet and tapped the switch leg for the power, hence the need for the switch to be on for the outlet to work.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,558

    Default Re: Switch - Wall light - GFCI outlet

    As Aspruce says it is not possible to provide an accurate answer without knowing what cables you have in each of the three locations and how they are connected.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Westborough, MA
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Switch - Wall light - GFCI outlet

    Thanks guys... I'm shutting off the power and digging in this afternoon. I'll let you know what I see in the box.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Westborough, MA
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Switch - Wall light - GFCI outlet

    You were right... looks like the outlet was added after the wall light, and they just tapped into the box for the existing light to add a leg to get to the new outlet. I'll be running some new wire back to circumvent this. Thanks for the heads up!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Switch - Wall light - GFCI outlet

    were does your main power come in the switch or the light?if it comes in at the light you dont need change any thing but way its all connected in the box with the light.youll need to turn the power off, disconnect the wires in this box and identify the wires first(ground wires dont need to be disconnected or rewired).you should have 2 wires coming from the switch,2 wires from the gfi, 2 from the power source and 2 wires from your light fixture.(if you dont have wires on your fixture add 2 8" peices of wire to the screw connection points on the light).

    (1)wire nut one wire from the switch, the black wire from the gfi and the main hot wire together.
    (2)wire nut the gfci neutral,the main neutral and one leg from your light socket.
    (3)wire nut (or connect) the last switch wire to the light socket.
    (4)turn the power back on

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