GFCI receptacle question


Old 05-04-06, 11:31 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 8
GFCI receptacle question

I've been looking around but can't seem to find the answer to my problem so here I go:

I have a junction box with a receptacle in which I have 4 wires coming in: 1 red is always hot, another red comes from a light switch and is hot when on, 1 white/neutral, 1 green/ground.

I then have three output wires going to a light fixture: red, white, green.

The current set up has the always hot red connected to the receptacle, and the switch hot to the light red.

Both white from the light and the receptacle are connected to the white neutral/return.

Now, I was told I should replace the receptacle with a GFCI protected one. My problem is that if I keep the same wiring only the receptacle is protected, not the light fixture.

Is there a way to protect the light fixture as well? I tried to put its neutral on the load neutral connector but it trips as soon as I turn the light on. I'm pretty sure it's because the hot doesn't come from the load.

My understanding at this point is that the only way to also protect the light fixture is to rewire the switch hot to be on the load as well. Can somebody please advise?

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Old 05-04-06, 11:39 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
You are correct. You cannot GFCI protect the light without placing the GFCI BEFORE the switch.

Why do you want to GFCI protect the light?
Old 05-04-06, 11:43 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 8
Thanks Bob.
It's a pool light actually. I guess GFCI didn't exist when the pool was built many years ago. I just bought the house and I'm trying to update things around. Electricity is one of the many projects on my list. :-)
I guess I'm going to have to pull another wire in the conduit on that one. Well, thanks for the prompt answer!
Old 05-04-06, 12:08 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,537
Originally Posted by alehors
It's a pool light actually.
A very good reason to add GFCI protection. From your initial description, I assumed you were working with a bathroom light; the pool light makes a huge difference. All pool lights do not necessarily require GFCI protection; however, providing GFCI protection for the light is a very good idea.
Old 05-05-06, 10:30 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 8
Project completed!

We all tend to ask questions, get answers, and disappear. I wanted to take a few minutes to report that I completed my project!

I actually avoided the burden of pulling an extra wire over 50 feet of conduit and kill two birds with one stone. I placed the GFCI protected receptacle on an outlet close to the panel by the pool pump and go with the load line from there. So I ended up protecting the two outlets and the light all at once. :-)

Thanks again. This forum is great. You guys reply fast, you rock! :-)


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