wiring question on cooper combo switch-gfci

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Old 10-18-08, 11:24 PM
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wiring question on cooper combo switch-gfci

I am getting ready to replace a light switch in our basement garage, picked up a combination switch/gfci to add an outlet also. O.K. this is my question, the installation instructions say"DO NOT wire switch to control power to GFCI. To replace existing switch, you must join wire leads of the Switch GFCI device to existing switch wires in electrical box. Does this simply mean not to insert switch wires into gfci screw terminals, but it's o.k. to attach to the wires feeding the gfci? Or does it mean I have to run another line to breaker box? Please forgive if it's a simple question, but I hope it's a simple answer. Combo device is"XSGF15 ShockSentry Combination Switch/GFCI" from Cooper
 
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Old 10-19-08, 12:35 PM
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Question black,red,white, and copper wires

Hi to all, I'm a newbee here, from what I've seen this is a very helpfull bunch, and I hope my problem isn't redundant,posted last night about cooper combo, opened switch box to find a black wire, a white wire, a red wire, and a copper ground. Instructions don't mention a red wire, gonna leave myself open here, where do I put the red wire?
 
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Old 10-19-08, 12:50 PM
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This means your GFCI must be hooked to your line and not to the load side of your switch. It must be ahead of the switch.
Where did the red wire come from in the first place (gleaning from your second post)?
 
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Old 10-19-08, 12:53 PM
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Let's keep in one post. Refer back to your original post and lets continue from there. I've posted an answer and question for you there.
 
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Old 10-19-08, 12:54 PM
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Wires

Tell us about all the wires in the box. How many cables are entering or leaving the box and what colors are in each cable? Was the original switch a 3-way switch?
 
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Old 10-19-08, 01:26 PM
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thanks for reply

I apoligize for extra thread. There is only one cable entering the box, a 14-2 with ground, there are four wires, a black, a white, a red, and the copper. I havent taken the old switch out yet so here is how they are currently connected, white to brass screw, black to silver screw, both on the top side of switch. The red is connected to a black screw on the bottom side of the switch, and copper to the green screw. This switch, along with aonther at the top of the steps operate eight lights in our basemant.
 
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Old 10-19-08, 01:38 PM
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cooper combo

Sorry for the double threads, I started searching for answers late last night, and didnt open the switch box until this a.m. The switch is fed by way of a 14-2 with ground wire, and it is the only line to the switch. I have already posted the wire positions from the old switch to the other thread, along with other information that I hope will help explain the setup I have. Again sorry for the multiple threads, to simplify I will stick to the other thread, and thanks for your help.
 
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Old 10-19-08, 01:47 PM
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If you only have one cable (a cable is a group of wires contained in an outer jacket) and you have three insulated conductors (wires) then you do not have 14-2 cable. The first number on a cable designation denotes the size (gauge) of the individual conductors and the second number denotes the number of insulated conductors. If the size of your individual conductors are number 14 then you have 14-3 cable.

As to where does the red wire go...what you have described is called a three-way switch circuit. These are circuits that have two switches, each with three connection points (ignoring the equipment ground) that control (usually) lights from two different locations. Two of the wires (the two on the same color screws) go to the other switch and also connect to the same color screws. Power is connected to the odd colored screw on one switch and the odd colored screw on the other switch connects to the light fixture(s).

I suggest that you pick up a copy of the book Wiring Simplified at any home center. It will clearly discuss this wiring scheme with several illustrations.
 
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Old 10-19-08, 01:58 PM
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Having 14/3 and 14/2 entering a box can also indicate a circuit designed to have a constant hot(black wire) running throughout. I've wired circuits like this before. As mentioned above, get a Wiring Simplified book as it explains both 3-way switching and the circuit I just mentioned, which both contain the red wire.
 
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Old 10-19-08, 05:16 PM
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thanks to all

Thanks to all for your help and guidance, Furd you are correct as to the two switches running the lights and I am going to get the book"Wiring Simplified". And your explanation of the numeral designations on the cable make perfect sence, so I went and looked at the cable again to double check and it does say it is 14-2 with ground, I'm not disputing you at all, maybe the cable was mislabeled and sold at discount, it appears that the guy we bought the house from bought most if not all of his material this way, and did all the work himselfe. In the end I've decided to put the switch back the way it was, and in a few weeks add several outlets throughout the basemant as they are sorely needed, only one outlet down there right now, and put them on there own line. Look for me again in a couple of weeks. And thanks to all again
 
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Old 10-20-08, 01:28 PM
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If the black, white, red, and bare copper ground wire are truly all contained in one cable, then it is a 14-3 w/G like furd mentioned. I have never seen a mislabeled cable.

Please check - generally, a 14-2 w/g cable is usually flat, while a 14-3 w/g is usually round because the wires are twisted in the cable. If yours is a 14-2, where does the red come from?

Also, it seems you have a 3-way light switch because you mention the other switch operating the same lights. Since your white is connected to the switch, it is not a neutral conductor. Therefore, you cannot put a receptacle here because you do not have a neutral - you have one hot, 2 travellers (hot also, depending on the switch position), and a ground.


willis
 
 

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