New GFCI receptacle

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Old 04-13-15, 07:42 AM
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New GFCI receptacle

I am remodeling a mid-70's bathroom. I have a receptacle next to the sink. It is not currently a GFCI and I would like to replace it with one. When I pulled the receptacle from the wall, I found three complete cables. I think one is hot, one goes to a switch which controls the light above the sink and mirror, and one goes to the light. The wires were connected to the receptacle in this manner--all grounds wired together in a pigtail with one ground wire running to the receptacle, a white and a black screwed to the appropriate sides of the outlet, two whites and two blacks backstabbed to the outlet. How should I rewire this for the GFCI? One other thing that I am doing--all of this is in a single box with short wires which doesn't give me much room to work. I am installing a double box with a blank on the other side to give me more room. Thanks for any advice.
 
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Old 04-13-15, 07:49 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

You don't have the wiring ID'ed correctly. If one cable was power in, one was to the light, and one was to the switch.... they wouldn't all be connected together at the receptacle.

It sounds more like you have power in, power out, power to the switch which then goes to the light. You'd need to connect all the whites together with a small tail to go to the GFI. Do the same with all the black wires.
 
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Old 04-13-15, 08:01 AM
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Sounds logical and doable. Will the switch have any impact on the GFI? Thanks for the quick response
 
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Old 04-13-15, 08:18 AM
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Will the switch have any impact on the GFI?
No. .
 
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Old 04-13-15, 01:41 PM
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I pigtailed the whites together and the blacks together then attached to the receptacle. I have power at the receptacle but the light doesn't work.
 
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Old 04-13-15, 01:52 PM
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What are the wires and connections at the switch?
 
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Old 04-13-15, 02:54 PM
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One white, one black, and one red attached to the switch. More than I had counted on. There are two cables coming into the switch box
 
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Old 04-13-15, 03:02 PM
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One white, one black, and one red attached to the switch
That is a 3-way switch. Have you tried the other switch that controls the light?
There are two cables coming into the switch box
What is the second cable connected to?
 
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Old 04-14-15, 12:44 PM
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I'll try to be a little more specific. Three cables are coming into the switch box. Cable 1 has White to the switch, Red to the switch, and Black nutted to Black of Cable 1. Cable 2 has Black nutted to Black of Cable 1 and White nutted to White of Cable 3. Cable 3 has White nutted to White of Cable 2 and Black to the switch. I hope this is more helpful.
 
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Old 04-14-15, 12:51 PM
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The second switch is simply one cable, Red, White, and Black to the switch.
 
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Old 04-14-15, 01:26 PM
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Which switch controls the light that doesn't work? Do you have a multimeter? (A non contact tester won't work.)
 
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Old 04-14-15, 02:47 PM
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The first switch is the one which is closest to the GFI outlet and the lights. The other switch is outside the bathroom door.
 
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Old 04-14-15, 03:15 PM
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The first switch is the one which is closest to the GFI outlet and the lights. The other switch is outside the bathroom door.
But you wrote:
I have power at the receptacle but the light doesn't work.
And I asked:
Which switch controls the light that doesn't work?
 
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Old 04-14-15, 03:27 PM
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Both switches would potentially control the light. Neither one is at the moment. The outlet is between the switches and the light. When I wired the GFI by pigtailing the whites and the blacks at the outlet box and running a black and white and ground to the outlet, I had power at the outlet but nothing happened at the light.
 
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Old 04-14-15, 04:56 PM
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So are both switches 3-way switches that control the light?
Both switches would potentially control the light.
Please a simple answer not a confusing one. Did both switches control the light before you installed the GFCI?
 
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Old 04-14-15, 05:29 PM
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Sorry. I tried. I get a box that says simply "Yes" is too short, I must use at least 25 characters. But anyway, "Yes."
 
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Old 04-14-15, 07:32 PM
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Cable 1 has White to the switch, Red to the switch, and Black nutted to Black of Cable 1. Cable 2 has Black nutted to Black of Cable 1 and White nutted to White of Cable 3. Cable 3 has White nutted to White of Cable 2 and Black to the switch.
Which color wire of which cable connects to the common of the switch? (Common is the odd colored, usually dark gray, screw?

At the hall switch which color wire to the common?

I am drawing a diagram so I can better see what you have but I need the above information to finish. I'm pretty sure which one but need to verify.

Just to not forget the obvious have you redone the wire nut connections at the GFCI? Swapped out the bulb?
 

Last edited by ray2047; 04-14-15 at 07:50 PM.
  #18  
Old 04-16-15, 12:59 PM
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At the hall switch, the black wire is attached to the dark screw.
 
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Old 04-16-15, 01:15 PM
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Following your suggestion about the obvious, I left the breaker turned on and gently jiggled the wire nuts that connect pigtails with the blacks and the whites (bad idea, I know, but I am home alone at the moment so who will know. Which turns it into a super bad idea, I know). Anyway when I lightly jiggled the nut at the white wires there was a slight sizzling sound (not from me, thankfully) and lo and behold, everything works. So I assume that now I should redo the wiring and connections with the wire nuts. I promise I will switch off the breaker first. Then I will post my results.
 
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Old 04-16-15, 01:24 PM
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Anyway when I lightly jiggled the nut at the white wires there was a slight sizzling sound (not from me, thankfully) and lo and behold, everything works. So I assume that now I should redo the wiring and connections with the wire nuts.
Yes redo the wire nut. .
 

Last edited by ray2047; 04-16-15 at 01:51 PM.
  #21  
Old 04-16-15, 01:40 PM
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Everything works! For those of you who were following this thread, go to the part where it says to pigtail the blacks and whites together and attach the GFI. Then ignore the rest.

This is a great website and a tremendous service. Thanks for the help and patience.
 
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