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Want to replace the old razor outlet by a GFCI one but I hit a snag

Want to replace the old razor outlet by a GFCI one but I hit a snag

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  #1  
Old 08-02-13, 11:51 AM
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Want to replace the old razor outlet by a GFCI one but I hit a snag

I was trying to replace the old razor outlets in my bathrooms with GFCI ones. The original wiring had the razor outlet controlled by the existing light switch (i.e. outlet only receives power when the lights are turned on). I would think that installing the GFCI outlet as is would require that the light switch be in the on position and that I would have to reset the GFCI outlet every time since turning the power to the outlet on & off would trip the protection feature on the outlet.

Would I have any simple options or would a call to an electrician be the right call?
 
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  #2  
Old 08-02-13, 12:01 PM
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First we need to confirm this is just a regular receptacle. A true razor outlet contains an isolation transformer. I doubt you have that. Lets start with the wiring at the switch and the light and go from there. Tell us if you have cables, how many at each, and how the individual wires in the cables are connected.
 
  #3  
Old 08-02-13, 12:02 PM
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Turning power on and off won't trip the GFCI...do you have to reset all your GFCIs when power goes out or you turn off a breaker? I never have.

You may be able to do it so it's always hot...but you'll need to provide a description of all the wires at each box and any voltage measurements you can do for the Pro's to advise you.
 
  #4  
Old 08-02-13, 12:04 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

You're right. Cutting the GFCI off and on will almost certainly mean you'll have to reset it.

If the outlet for your receptacle has a two-conductor feed from the box where the switch is, it should be easy to change the hot conductor for the receptacle from switch control to always hot. You'll need to kill the circuit and pull the switch out of the wall to see how the wires are connected now. Don't disconnect anything until after you've got it figured out - just pull it and have a look.

If, after you do that, the solution isn't obvious to you, post back with a description of the wires and how each is connected. You can include pictures that will show us that information if you think that will help. See How To Include Pictures.
 
  #5  
Old 08-02-13, 03:26 PM
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Nash...could you expound on having to reset the GFCI if you cut the power via switch? How is it different from a whole house outage or tripping a CB with a GFCI down line? I've never had to reset a GFCI after either one...
 
  #6  
Old 08-02-13, 03:53 PM
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On the few times I lose power none of my GFI's need to be reset.
 
  #7  
Old 08-02-13, 04:57 PM
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On the few times I lose power none of my GFI's need to be reset.
I don't think I've reset a GFCI outlet in my home more than once in 25 years and we have plenty of power outages. That one time was a nuisance trip.
 
  #8  
Old 08-02-13, 06:51 PM
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IDK, Vic, maybe I'm wrong about that. I've had it happen but, y'know, I don't recall it's being every GFCI after every outage, so maybe the ones I've seen were coincidental.

I'm going to retract that comment.
 
  #9  
Old 08-02-13, 09:09 PM
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If the outlet is slaved to the lightswitch with its own unique wires, wouldn't it be easy enough to move the hot wire from the switched side of the switch to the unswitched side, or to pigtail the switch from the run from the panel along with the hot to the outlet?
 
  #10  
Old 08-02-13, 09:16 PM
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Yes, TWX, that's what I said in my first reply.
 
  #11  
Old 08-14-13, 09:59 AM
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Sorry guys, just got back from vacation and would like to reply to you all.

ray2047, the outlet I'm referring to does contain a transformer which I have removed.

If I don't need to reset the GFCI switch every time I turn the light switch "On" then I will continue the posts from the other moderators (Gunguy45 & Nashcat1).

Thanks ray2047!
 
  #12  
Old 08-14-13, 10:13 AM
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Going with what you (Gunguy45) and the other members/moderators are stating (that turning the light switch on and off should not require a reset of the GFCI outlet. As previously stated the GFCI outlet is a "slave" of the light switch.

If this is the case I can simply wire the GFCI outlet with the existing "Line" and "Load" wires that were connected to the old razor outlet and live with the fact that the GFCI outlet is not "Hot" all the time; only when the lights are on. I would think that having the bathroom lights on would be a small inconvenience to whomever is using the bathroom GFCI outlet.

I think this simple approach would save time and labor as I have 5 bathrooms in my quadplexe that have the same situation.

What do you think?

thanks,

ciaravin
 
  #13  
Old 08-14-13, 11:57 AM
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As previously stated the GFCI outlet is a "slave" of the light switch.
Why? If you have one switch that controls both the light and the receptacle, it has one hot wire from the panel connected to one terminal and two load wires connected to the other terminal.

I think you should connect the feed wires for the LINE terminals on the GFCI to the unswitched power and the neutral feeding the switch, so that the GFCI is always hot.

If this is the case I can simply wire the GFCI outlet with the existing "Line" and "Load" wires that were connected to the old razor outlet and...
Is the "razor outlet" a standard duplex receptacle that is protected from the LOAD terminals on the GFCI receptacle, or will be?
 
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