Switch Outlet combination


Old 03-31-07, 11:11 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: New York
Posts: 269
Switch Outlet combination

SIster moved into new house and no outlet in the bathroom so went to home depot and bought one those gfi switch/ outlet combination and plan on taking out existing light switch and installing one of these. Can someone explain how to wire it i want the outlet to be powered all the time and i want the switch to control the lights in the bathroom. I just need you guys to refresh my memory i installed one of these about 5 years ago but don't remember how i did it?
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Old 04-01-07, 04:18 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: New Bern, NC
Posts: 1,623
I am gonna go out on a limb and guess that whoever wired this home originally did not put the bathroom lights on thier own circuit. If I am right, you cannot legally, (in most areas of the USA) put this bathroom GFI on the same circuit.

If the bathroom lights are on thier own circuit, you still need to check to see if the circuit feeds to the switch first, then to the lights, or to the lights first then to the switch. If the feed goes to the lights first, you will need to run new cable from the light to the switch to use this GFI.

If the feed goes to the switch first, then the neutrals from the light will be spliced in the switch box and tucked up in the back. Addind the gfi will be easy. Just pig tail a wire from the other two whites to the new combo device. Then connect the hot and switched legs where the directions for the new switch tell you to. Do not forget to pig tail the grounds to the new switch.
Old 04-01-07, 06:10 AM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 5,599
You need to open the switch box and tell us the wires in it. If you only have two wires and they are both connected to the light switch then you can not do it. You must have two white wires in the box that are not connected the switch to make this work.

The switch will have four screws + ground. The way you want it connected the two screws together on one side get the hot wire. The silver screw get the neutral wire. The other gold screw gets the switched wire to the light. The green screw gets the ground wire.
Old 04-01-07, 09:54 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Chesapeake, VA
Posts: 340
The outlet will come with directions- it should be pretty straightforward; you'll probably also need to add a pigtail to the whire wire, so see if you can scrape up about 6" of #12 from someone. The other 3 wires will just hook right back up- if you don't know which black wire is hot and which is switched, it's a 50/50 shot; hook it up like before, and you can always swap the two if you were wrong. And hopefully the switch isn't just a switch-loop, in which case you're SOL and can't do anything. In fact, you might want to check that before blowing $20 on the new outlet.

NEC requires bathroom receptacles have dedicated circuits just to them, because hairdryers and curling irons draw a LOT of power and tend to create unsafe overload situations that trip circuit breakers. To be 100% legal about it, you would have to pull a new circuit. Practically, though, eh, hairdryers have a low duty cycle,and I don't want to tell you to just do it anyhow, but... well, I'll leave it at that. A lot depends on what else is on the circuit. If you have problems tripping breakers the first time you turn on a curling iron, you're going to need to do a bit more work to get her a dedicated receptacle coming off the panel
Old 04-01-07, 10:10 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Code also requires GFCI protection, for a good reason. At the very least, do not install anything except a GFCI protected receptacle, unless the circuit has a GFCI recetpacle upstream or a GFCI breaker.

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