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GFI and switch controlling two florescent fixtures not working

GFI and switch controlling two florescent fixtures not working


Old 08-31-00, 11:31 AM
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I am wiring two florescent fixtures (four 40 watt bulbs each) with a silent glow switch and GFI. When I turn on the switch it trips the GFI. I had the florescent fixtures temporarily wired to an older basement circuit for two months, so I know they are wired correctly.

To keep from having all 10 lights in my basement on at one time, I added a brand new circuit to by circuit breaker box. I first wired the new circuit to a GFI outlet to protect the second outlet and switch on the circuit (all components are new). The second outlet is correctly connected to the load side of the GFI. I tested the GFI and second outlet with a receptacle & GFI tester and everything tested OK.

From the second outlet, I wired the black wire (brass terminal) to the in terminal on the switch. Then I wired the out terminal on the switch to the black wire going to the florescent fixtures. I next wired the white wire coming from the florescent fixtures to the neutral side (silver terminal) of the second outlet. The bare ground wire is connected to the GFI, second outlet, switch and florescent fixtues.

I thought this wiring was correct, but when I flip the switch it trips the GFI. I replaced the switch with a new one and I get the same problem. Do you know where I went wrong?

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Old 08-31-00, 04:28 PM
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Hi Dennis,

First, it is not necessary to have the light or switch on a GFI. But since you are coming from a GFI outlet by necessity it will be so, unless you put a GFI outlet in the seond outlet and not use the loads on any of them.
Question. When you disconnected these fixtures from the other circuit did it include the neutral as well. Is this new circuit totally isolated from the other. If you happened to keep the neutral at the light and merely tied the two together, you are creating an unbalanced load on the GFI and that is causing it to trip. That will happen only when you turn on the switch.
Old 08-31-00, 09:10 PM
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I disconnected all three wires and cut off about 6 feet of the wire because I didn't need the extra wire to reach the new switch. It is a brand new circuit with a new circuit breaker. There is no connection to the old circuit.

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