GFCI/Switch combination

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  #1  
Old 11-25-12, 07:08 AM
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GFCI/Switch combination

I have a GFCI outlet with a switch on top. The switch is to control an overhead light. This light has a black and a white wire coming into the box. The instructions that come with the GFCI are confusing, but I have installed GFCI outlets before. The unit has two 2 wire leads hanging from the back that I think are supposed to connect to the black and white wires leading to the lights. When I wire according to what the instructions say my outlet works fine, but the switch will not turn on the lights. If I wire the two wires leading to the light into the load part of the outlet the lights come on and stay on. The switch will not work in that case. Please help.
 
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Old 11-25-12, 08:59 AM
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Assume that this is the Leviton one that has the wrong instructions. The two black leads are just an independent switch.

If you want the light GFCI protected then follow this:
Leviton Online Knowledgebase: Wiring issues
[ATTACH=CONFIG]5942[/ATTACH]

If you don't need the light on GFCI then tap the light's white wire to the white LINE side of the GFCI. Still connect the light's black wire to one of the switch leads. The other switch lead goes to the GFCI's black LINE side.
 
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Old 11-25-12, 10:16 AM
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Thank you. Does Leviton KNOW the instructions are wrong? I just wasted three housrs thinking I am an idiot. (Well I still may be an idiot....but you know what I mean). I think I need to put a call in to their company.
 
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Old 11-25-12, 10:53 AM
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Do you remember the old Bob Newhart show where he owned an inn? His main income was writing how to books. He knew nothing about the subjects he wrote on. Had never done the things he wrote about. He just read books on how to do it then wrote his own. Those instructions were put together probably by a Newhart like illustrator. As to the company fixing it I suspect no one you talked to if you tried would know who to pass the information on to and if it got passed on its journey would just eventually die in someones in-box or file thirteen.

Your best defense is learn the basics of how an electrical circuit works. With that knowledge you can just visualize how the circuit can be connected to work. No remembering wire A on terminal B which can fill your memory very quickly but fail when the situation is slightly different. I'm pretty good with 3-way switches but I don't have the many ways to do it memorized. I just remember: One common to line and one common to load. Regular switches are just the same only simpler. Line to one terminal load to the other. The rest is just making sure you have a path for the electric to flow through.
 
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Old 11-26-12, 10:07 AM
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@astuff

Thank you with your advice the switch and outlet work perfectly.

@Ray

I see the same ideas discussed in my study of martial arts. There are those who just memorize techniques, and there are those who strive to understand principles. Can you recommend any books that will give me a good understanding of electrical principles? I already have the wiring books that mainly tell meto connect wire A to wire B.
 
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Old 11-26-12, 10:22 AM
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Wiring Simplified is often recommended here but I have never read it so I can't say how much theory it gives. I mostly just learned from looking at circuits drawn out.
 
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