gfci switch combo hook up problem

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  #1  
Old 07-18-08, 11:55 AM
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Angry gfci switch combo hook up problem

I am trying to hook up a gfci switch combo in my bathroom. The switch controls a light above the sink. We have a black, white and ground wires (the line) and a black and white wire(these are soft lines for the light) coming out of the receptacle. We hooked the black wire to the line side of the outlet,brass screw, and the white wire to the line side, silver screw. We did not hook the switch part up yet because we wanted to see if we were getting any power to the outlet and we get nothing. The reset button doesn't even work or the test button. There is power coming to the breaker and that receptacle because we used a voltage tester on them. We thought it might be a bad outlet that we bought so we returned it, twice, and it still didn't work. Thought it might be that particular brand so we went to a totally different store and bought a different brand outlet, still nothing. We replaced the same kind of gfci in my kitchen and it works fine, what could be the problem. Please help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
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Old 07-18-08, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by tangel54 View Post
I am trying to hook up a gfci switch combo in my bathroom. The switch controls a light above the sink. We have a black, white and ground wires (the line) and a black and white wire(these are soft lines for the light) coming out of the receptacle. We hooked the black wire to the line side of the outlet,brass screw, and the white wire to the line side, silver screw. We did not hook the switch part up yet because we wanted to see if we were getting any power to the outlet and we get nothing. The reset button doesn't even work or the test button. There is power coming to the breaker and that receptacle because we used a voltage tester on them. We thought it might be a bad outlet that we bought so we returned it, twice, and it still didn't work. Thought it might be that particular brand so we went to a totally different store and bought a different brand outlet, still nothing. We replaced the same kind of gfci in my kitchen and it works fine, what could be the problem. Please help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My guess is that your installing it incorrectly.
 
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Old 07-18-08, 12:12 PM
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It is always better to use a drawing. Otherwise you guess. Is this what you are doing?????

 
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Old 07-18-08, 12:13 PM
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Is it possible you mixed up which cable is which? Is it possible you mixed up LINE and LOAD? Was the breaker on when you pressed the RESET button? Exactly what kind of test device do you have and how did you use it?
 
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Old 07-18-08, 12:15 PM
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DSC, that diagram cannot be what he is doing because he has a combo device. And he's only trying to get the receptacle to work to start with--the switch will be second semester.
 
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Old 07-18-08, 12:28 PM
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Ok well combo can mean totally integrated, as you describe or side by side. I guess in this case they mean integrated but who knows.

Does the outlet look like this? with switch and single outlet??

 
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Old 07-18-08, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by John Nelson View Post
DSC, that diagram cannot be what he is doing because he has a combo device. And he's only trying to get the receptacle to work to start with--the switch will be second semester.


My bet, one of two things, he has the wrong wires in the box that he thinks is the feed, or two he's not making the correct connections on the device, or a combo of the above...
 
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Old 07-20-08, 02:50 PM
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Yes it does. It has 2 black wires coming out of the back of it also.
Originally Posted by dsc3507 View Post
Ok well combo can mean totally integrated, as you describe or side by side. I guess in this case they mean integrated but who knows.

Does the outlet look like this? with switch and single outlet??

 
  #9  
Old 07-21-08, 06:22 PM
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There isn't a load only a line. Yes, the breaker was on when we tried to press the reset button. We went and bought one of those voltage testers from Lowes. We have tried hooking the wires up every way we know how and nothing works. We desperately need to get this done.
QUOTE=John Nelson;1399049]Is it possible you mixed up which cable is which? Is it possible you mixed up LINE and LOAD? Was the breaker on when you pressed the RESET button? Exactly what kind of test device do you have and how did you use it?[/QUOTE]
 
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Old 07-21-08, 07:06 PM
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Ok so you have four wires (minus the grounds) 2 white and 2 black in this box. One cable with black and white goes to the light and one supplies the power. The question is are you mixing up the cables.

With the GFCI combo removed and the four wires extended from the box, separated and well away from each other and with no one else around that could mess with it, energize the circuit. Using the test connect it to one set of black and white and then the other set of black and white. Do you get anything on either connection? If not you r can also check from any of the four wires to the ground wire. Do you get any indication?

Remmeber to turn off the power and cap those wires before turning it back on.
 
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Old 07-22-08, 04:00 PM
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Yes, we have done that, thinking that we were mixing the power wires and switch wires. But, alas, we weren't. The wires that we hooked to the line side of the outlet are the only wires that have power. The soft wires, that are the switch wires have no power.


Originally Posted by dsc3507 View Post
Ok so you have four wires (minus the grounds) 2 white and 2 black in this box. One cable with black and white goes to the light and one supplies the power. The question is are you mixing up the cables.

With the GFCI combo removed and the four wires extended from the box, separated and well away from each other and with no one else around that could mess with it, energize the circuit. Using the test connect it to one set of black and white and then the other set of black and white. Do you get anything on either connection? If not you r can also check from any of the four wires to the ground wire. Do you get any indication?

Remmeber to turn off the power and cap those wires before turning it back on.
 
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Old 07-22-08, 05:50 PM
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Ok so you have identified the power wires and there is power on them - black and white. Turn off the power and connect them to the line connections on the GFCI. Black to brass colored screw and white to silver colored screw. Turn the power back on and reset the GFCI. Does it work?
 
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Old 07-25-08, 07:40 PM
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No it doesn't, that is what is stumping us. It acts as if there is no power to the gfci. It doesn't allow the gfci to be reset.



QUOTE=dsc3507;1401608]Ok so you have identified the power wires and there is power on them - black and white. Turn off the power and connect them to the line connections on the GFCI. Black to brass colored screw and white to silver colored screw. Turn the power back on and reset the GFCI. Does it work?[/QUOTE]
 
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Old 07-25-08, 07:57 PM
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OK. I think you said you had a tester or light to check for power. When you touch the leads to these two wires, black and white, that you have connected to the GFCI does it indicate there is power there?
 
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Old 07-26-08, 02:04 PM
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Yes it does but yet it still will not allow us to reset the gfci, or test it for that matter.



Originally Posted by dsc3507 View Post
OK. I think you said you had a tester or light to check for power. When you touch the leads to these two wires, black and white, that you have connected to the GFCI does it indicate there is power there?
 
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Old 07-26-08, 02:37 PM
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Ok, just to go back over this. You have the white and black wires connected to the feed terminals of the GFI. Black to brass, white to silver screw. You have nothing else connected the the GFI other than those two wires. You have checked for power at the two screws on the GFI that you have connected. You get power there. You have tried more than one GFI. None will reset or test. You have tested this by actually plugging something into the outlet or using the tester.

If all of the above statements are true I am at a loss for what is wrong. Report back.
 
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Old 07-26-08, 10:04 PM
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First, what tester are you using exactly?

When you had the wires unattached and separated for testing, did you confirm that the black wire was the hot by testing it compared to ground (if ground is available in the box)? Should have read around 120V, and the white should have read nothing.
 
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Old 07-26-08, 10:42 PM
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While it is important to have hot to brass and white to silver screws - even if they were reversed the GFCI would still function with nothing else connected to it. AC has no polarity. A GFCI only knows circuit balance.
 
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Old 07-26-08, 11:23 PM
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You aren't using a digital multimeter are you?
 
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Old 07-27-08, 02:33 AM
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Originally Posted by dsc3507 View Post
While it is important to have hot to brass and white to silver screws - even if they were reversed the GFCI would still function with nothing else connected to it. AC has no polarity. A GFCI only knows circuit balance.

Dsc3507.,,

A little correction there the new GFCI receptales are line and load senstive and if you get one of the line and load reversed most of them will not funtion at all. { will not turn on at all }

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 07-27-08, 11:19 AM
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Merci,

I was not referring to line and load, I was talking about connecting a GFCI with just the line connections, load unconnected, no ground. In this case the GFCI would not know, nor care if neutral and ground were reversed.

I just point this out because someone cited reversed or mis-connected upstream neutral and ground as a possible problem. Hanging it in mid air, with line only connected it would not matter.

Of course you would want to connect it properly but just pointing out it should still work.
 
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Old 07-27-08, 12:50 PM
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Yes, you are correct. Now you see why we are at a loss also.


Originally Posted by dsc3507 View Post
Ok, just to go back over this. You have the white and black wires connected to the feed terminals of the GFI. Black to brass, white to silver screw. You have nothing else connected the the GFI other than those two wires. You have checked for power at the two screws on the GFI that you have connected. You get power there. You have tried more than one GFI. None will reset or test. You have tested this by actually plugging something into the outlet or using the tester.

If all of the above statements are true I am at a loss for what is wrong. Report back.
 
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Old 07-27-08, 01:24 PM
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Do you have a digital camera you can use to take some pictures of this?
 
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Old 07-27-08, 03:22 PM
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Just WONDERING? iF YOU REMOVED THE GFCI . AND TEMPORARY REPLACED IT WITH A REGULAR OUTLET,WHAT POWER WOULD we HAVE?? iF YOU TRY IT LET US KNOW! THIS IS BUGGING ME! MAYBE WE CAN GET SOME CONFIDENCE?
 
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Old 07-27-08, 03:36 PM
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It could be possible that the meter you are using is reading "induced Voltage" and once connected, the GFCI reads nothing and therefore cannot be tested/reset. I recommend using an actice tester such as a Wiggi because it requires "real" voltage to indicate rather simply "induced" voltage. a standard multi-meter can read interference as a voltage and sometimes give eroneous results.
 
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Old 07-27-08, 03:41 PM
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Oh and one more thing, "tick tracers/voltage detectors will also detect induced voltage, so i wouldn't rely on these either.
good luck.
 
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Old 07-27-08, 03:48 PM
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One more more thing. there may be something else on the power circuit that is wired backward and threrfore causing a ground fault and preventing the Ground Fault Circuit Interupter (GFCI) from setting/resetting/testing.
 
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Old 07-27-08, 04:11 PM
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Check the ground on the neutral the source neutral . Is there an indicator light on the GFI face? Is it lit? It sounds as if there is an open on the neutral of your source wires. Your neutral must be grounded back at the circuit breaker panel.
 
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Old 07-27-08, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Torgue1 View Post
Check the ground on the neutral the source neutral . Is there an indicator light on the GFI face? Is it lit? It sounds as if there is an open on the neutral of your source wires. Your neutral must be grounded back at the circuit breaker panel.
Anything ahead of the GFCI would not matter. It only checks circuit balance AFTER it not before. There is either power into it or not.

I agree. If you are using a neon bulb tester it may not be accurate. Also if there is a high resistance conditon in the source circuit, the voltage will read normal until a load is applied.

As suggested - install a regular old outlet and see if something you plug into it works.
 
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Old 07-27-08, 08:37 PM
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You need to help us help YOU. What meter do you have??
 
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Old 07-28-08, 06:52 AM
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Hi I just had another? What came out of the box,where you are putting the GFCI,a plug or switch? I;am just thinking of possible switch loop. possiblities? thanks
 
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Old 07-28-08, 05:40 PM
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We had an outlet that was one plug in and a switch hooked up to begin with and it worked fine. We are going to try to hook it back up and see what happens. Hang in there for me, it may take a couple of days to get back with you. Thanks..


QUOTE=dsc3507;1404396]Anything ahead of the GFCI would not matter. It only checks circuit balance AFTER it not before. There is either power into it or not.

I agree. If you are using a neon bulb tester it may not be accurate. Also if there is a high resistance conditon in the source circuit, the voltage will read normal until a load is applied.

As suggested - install a regular old outlet and see if something you plug into it works.[/QUOTE]
 
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Old 07-28-08, 07:02 PM
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What exact type of device are you using? Manufacturer, part no. Leviton made a switch recept. combowhere the switch controled the recept. In other words if the switch was not turned on the recept. was not hot. This could be the case with your device.
 
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Old 07-29-08, 04:49 PM
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Ok, we hooked the old outlet up and got nothing. The first gfci combo that we tried was not a Leviton. The last one that we tried was a Leviton but we have tried hooking the switch part up as well as the "power" lines and still get nothing. Slightly aggravated!!!


Originally Posted by wire twister View Post
What exact type of device are you using? Manufacturer, part no. Leviton made a switch recept. combowhere the switch controled the recept. In other words if the switch was not turned on the recept. was not hot. This could be the case with your device.
 
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Old 07-29-08, 05:47 PM
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Since we cannot come to your location and troubleshoot, we are depending on your info and answers.

What test equipment are you using (model #)?
What devices did you remove, and how exactly were they wired?
What exact devices did you try to install, and how exactly did you wire them (diagram or picture is needed)?
What are the exact voltage readings you see, on each conductor?
 
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Old 08-05-08, 08:26 AM
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To DSC3507 I have found alot of problems people have with with lighting and outlets is a neutral coming loose somewhere along the line. Checking the continuity of the neutral with an ohm meter to ground will determine if it is open or not. I am well aware that a GFI outlet does not read ground faults on the line side. I believe the problem here is Tangel does not have 120 volts to the line side of the GFI. Wiring a straight outlet and plugging in a lamp (with a tested good bulb) would proof the presents of a 120 volt source , as was suggested by several people. The presents of 120v source has not been established from what I have read so far. If several GFI's have been tried I would rule out the GFI. A GFI will not set or reset unless there is a 120 source from my experiance. The light I asked about on the GFI if there is one on this GFI will light when there is power to the GFI and will go out when the device is reset. Suggest after lamp test /outlet( positive results of coarse) apply power 120V black lead to brass line terminal /white neutral to line silver terminal nothing else connected to GFI reset pulg in lamp.
.
 
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