Kitchen GFI wiring fiasco

Reply

  #1  
Old 10-01-15, 05:27 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 3
Kitchen GFI wiring fiasco

Hi everyone,

Trying to update some of the outlets in my house and I attempted to rewire an old outlet in the kitchen to a GFI. It's a single switch double outlet with the switch on the left turning on lights under the kitchen cabinets. When I hooked up the GFI initially and tested it, the ceiling light burned out.

I tried changing places with some of the wires (with power off of course) to see if I could make it work but nothing worked. The way its wired now the GFI trips if the ceiling light is flipped on or anything is plugged into the outlet. The switch next to it for the cabinet isn't affected. Dilemma I have now is can I even wire this safely? If not I may just put the old outlet back on to have the lights work and call an electrician.

Ill try to attach links of the pics I took
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 10-01-15, 05:33 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 3
http://i827.photobucket.com/albums/z...psuauuugin.jpg

Here's a link to the outlet box. There's two cables with 6 wires total. It looked like one of the line wires coming in connects to the outlet from the switch and then goes back out the right bundle. So instead of "hooking" underneath the screw, it just curves around and goes out the back side of the circuit. Is that okay?

Name:  20151001_185759_zpsuauuugin.jpg
Views: 293
Size:  40.6 KB
 

Last edited by ray2047; 10-01-15 at 05:42 PM. Reason: Add image.
  #3  
Old 10-01-15, 05:59 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,052
As bad a shape as the insulation is on those wires I'm not surprised it is tripping. First I'd suggest loosening the clamps and slipping heat shrink tubing over all the wires as far as you can.

Next you need to determine which cable is power in and which wire is neutral. Slip white heat shrink on the neutral and black on the hot.

On the cable to the light do the same.

Connect the whites together with a pigtail and connect the pigtail to the line side (silver) of the GFCI.

Connect two pigtails to the black of power in. Connect one pigtail to the switch. Connect the other pigtail to the line side (brass) of the GFCI.

Connect the black of the cable to the light to the other side of the switch.
 
  #4  
Old 10-01-15, 09:36 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 46,182
You need to be very careful bending the wires at the clamps where they come in at the back of the box. If they arc/break there you'll be in trouble.

Name:  20151001_185759_zpsuauuugin.jpg
Views: 290
Size:  47.7 KB
 
  #5  
Old 10-04-15, 04:13 PM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: usa
Posts: 274
PJmax "You need to be very careful bending the wires at the clamps where they come in at the back of the box. If they arc/break there you'll be in trouble".


That is for sure. And someone will be in for a big pain in the a**.
Just looking at that old cloth covered NM mounted in a metal box in a plaster wall makes my stomach hurt.

It's pictures like that that make me glad I'm retired.
 
  #6  
Old 10-04-15, 04:18 PM
michaelshortt's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Washington State
Posts: 788
Do it right, rewire your kitchen circuits.
 
  #7  
Old 10-04-15, 05:15 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 46,182
Do it right, rewire your kitchen circuits.
Yes.... that is the correct way but not always possible or not without high labor costs.
 
  #8  
Old 10-14-15, 09:32 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 3
Thanks for the replies guys. So I have one of the those voltage testers that I used to determine which wire had power to it, but what about the neutral wires? How do I know if its neutral or just dead?

Also the black wire that goes from the bottom of the switch loops around one of the screws on the plug and then goes in to the bundle on the right. Does the wire need to be cut and pigtailed?
 
  #9  
Old 10-14-15, 10:28 AM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 3,097
The black wire that loops around a screw and continues on elsewhere can remain that way --- unless the insulation crumbles off of it while you are changing things around.

You need a multimeter, not just a voltage tester.

To find the neutral, you need a reference point. You can take with a grain of salt the metal box as a zero reference. (It really depends on whether the box is grounded.) An alternate reference is a long single conductor wire connected to the neutral bus bar inside the breaker panel and brought up the stairs and across the floor to where you are working.

You should measure zero volts from a neutral wire to the reference (long wire across the floor or whatever) and you should measure about 120 volts from a hot wire to the reference.

You should not have burned out a light unless that light was old enough and used enough to be susceptible to a burnout the next time it was switched on.

If the insulation flaked off of a neutral wire and the wire touched other metal then it is likely for a ground fault circuit interrupter to trip even if a breaker does not trip.
 
  #10  
Old 10-14-15, 10:37 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,052
So I have one of the those voltage testers that I used to determine which wire had power to it, but what about the neutral wires?
As Allen wrote they are useless for real testing. You need an analog not digital multimeter. An $8-$15 cheap one is fine. While your getting it pick up some colored heat shrink tubing. Temporarily remove the clamps and slip the heat shrink on as far as you can, shrink it with a blow dryer or heat gun, then replace the clamps.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes