interesting GFCI issue...

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by michigan joe, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. michigan joe

    michigan joe New Member

    Messages:
    2
    i have a small half bath. there is one light and one switch in the room. no outlets.

    i wanted to replace the switch with a switch/receptacle GFCI combo but when i pulled the old toggle switch out, there was only one cable coming into the box -black, white and ground...

    what's up?

    thanks so much!
    joe
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,272
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    light

    It is not hot/neutral/ground, it is hot/white switched lead/ground and you cannot put a receptacle there unless you can run a neutral wire to the outlet.
  3. maintenanceguy

    maintenanceguy In the Trades

    Messages:
    107
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    In this case:

    ground is ground. So we'll just think about the white and black.

    The feed probably runs directly to the box the light fixture is attached to. From there, one 3-wire cable was pulled to the switch and the black was used as power from the feed to the switch and white was used as power from the switch to the light.


    Pretend they are both black and it makes more sense.
  4. TheElectricalGuru

    TheElectricalGuru National Electrical Code Expert/Speaker/Educator

    Messages:
    11
    Also.....you need to add.....DO NOT have the temptation to use the BARE equipment grounding conductor for ANYTHING other than it's intended purpose....bonding to facilitate the operation of the Overcurrent Protection Devices.............So with that said you will need to install a new 12-2 w/Ground NM Cable to a new box where you intend to install the GFCI receptacle.......

    lol...Unless of course you are in Chicago where I would suggest a 12-2 MC Cable w/ insulated ground....lol
  5. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    689
    The hot and neutral will be in the light jbox.

    It is usually pretty easy to drop down the wall from there and add the GFCI.

    The legality of the installation will come into question because the new recep will not be 20 amp dedicated to the bath.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,272
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    wire

    quote;
    It is usually pretty easy to drop down the wall from there and add the GFCI.

    Really. I usually have a hard time fishing from a ceiling light to the wall switch box, or from a light centered over the medicine cabinet down the wall, and around the corner to the light switch. How do you do it "EASY"l unless there is an attic to work in, which we have few of.
  7. Alectrician

    Alectrician DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    689
    And I usually have trouble changing out a rusted closet flange :)



    He is talking about a recep so the location isn't as much of an issue as a switch.

    99% of older houses here have a light over the vanity.

    If it has a recessed medicine cabinet, even easier. Pull out the cabinet and you have easy access to the adjacent stud bays and j box.

    Many times the wall is deep to accomodate the plumbing. Sometimes it is framed with staggered 2x4's which makes it even easier.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 25, 2008
  8. michigan joe

    michigan joe New Member

    Messages:
    2
    perfect. thanks.

    hahaha. thanks. the "pretend they're both black" helped.

    i will be practicing my "wire fishing" tomorrow!

    michigan joe
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