Replace Bathroom Combination Switch - OLD wiring question

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  #1  
Old 10-18-15, 12:51 PM
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Replace Bathroom Combination Switch - OLD wiring question

Appreciate any advice, guys. I'm not an electrician but have learned a bit around the house and from my old man.

The bathroom was probably wired in the 1950's. It has a light switch with electrical outlet (combined switch, I believe it's called). The light is somewhat jumpy and wanted to switch it out.

Pictures posted of both sides. It's got a White, Black, and Brown (what I'm calling the wire on the bottom left). There's a ground screw but nothing attached, though it does appear there is a ground wire all the way at the back of the box though not long enough to reach the switch.

I initially wanted a ground wire because this is for the kid's bathroom and I was worried about shock not having a ground. I then decided to get a GFCI (also pictured from the back) from Pass & Seymour.

I'm admittedly confused by the diagram, and wanted to know if I could just connect the White and Black appropriately to the LINE of the GFCI, and to ask which LOAD terminal I should load (I'm guessing Black)? Also, if I do this, I know it's not technically grounded but the GFCI will work for the light switch and the outlet, correct, so that if wet little fingers managed to short the switch, it would shut off without electrocuting anyone? Do I need to do anything with the two pigtail black wires coming out of the top of the GFCI?

Thanks again.
 
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  #2  
Old 10-18-15, 01:34 PM
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You should have two 2-conductor cables in the box. One that is in coming power and one that goes to the light. What I'm going to write is based on that. If you don't post back.
  • The two whites of the two cables to the silver side of the line side of the GFCI combo.
  • To the brass line side the black of the power in cable and one of the two GFCI switch leads.
  • The other GFCI switch lead is wire nutted to the black of the cabel to the light.
The ground in the back must be pigtailed to the combo, the ground of the cable to the light, and if the box is metal to the box.

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Last edited by ray2047; 10-18-15 at 02:03 PM.
  #3  
Old 10-18-15, 06:17 PM
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Thx, will look into this a little more closely during the week.
 
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Old 12-01-15, 06:11 AM
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only one white wire

Sorry for the delay. Some personal issues have kept me away from this project.

I attempted to install the GFCI last weekend and did not succeed. As I've said, there are only three wires attached to the old switch (termed "White" and "Brown" as seen on one side of the picture in my original post; and "Black" on the other side. Though the "Brown" really is also a black, I'm just calling it that for ease of discussion).

I have attached the Black to the Hot Line side, and the White to the White Line side. With just these two connected (and the Brown disconnected), the GFCI outlet allows anything plugged into the socket to work. I also added a ground wire, which was not initially present.

Certainly though the Light switch doesn't work with just the Black and White wires hooked up. I have tried additionally hooking the Brown up to the Load on both sides, and neither allowed power to flow to the outlet.

The picture response from Ray involves using two White wires, which I do not have. The wiring is old and there is a tangle of many wires with faded colors nutted together in the box, and it is difficult to be clear what is going where. I'm trying not to open pandora's box by leaving these alone, and hoping there's an easy way to get the light switch to work just using the third, Brown, wire without messing with the tangle. I'm still not sure how the GFCI switch leads (the two black pigtails) play into this, and have those taped off for now as well since I don't appear to have the all the wires available per Ray's picture.

Again I'm not an electrician and if I need one, so be it. I don't think I'd be able to get one out for less than a few hundred dollars. Just hoping there's an easier solution!

Thanks again
 
  #5  
Old 12-01-15, 07:52 AM
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did you press the reset on the GFCI after hooking the "brown" wire up to the load side of the GFCI?

As shown in your picture Ray edited, 1 of the stranded wires for the switch should be put under the Hot Line Side screw with the black wire coming from the cable supplying power to the box.

The other stranded wire for the switch should be connected to the "brown" wire with a wire nut.

More than likely your neutrals are already nutted together inside the box with a short piece of wire coming off to connect to your combination receptacle/switch.

If you can, snap a picture of the cables/wires inside the box.
 
  #6  
Old 12-01-15, 08:43 AM
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You may have a switch loop. Identify the two wires you believe come from the light. Connect them together with a wire nut and turn the breaker on. Does the light come on?

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Looks like the tab was removed. I missed that. If that is the case just connect the two black combo switch wires to the two wires from the light.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 12-01-15 at 09:09 AM.
  #7  
Old 12-02-15, 01:03 PM
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Solved with one follow up question

Thanks for your responses. Ray -- when I looked back at the picture and your point about the tab I got mad at myself and ran home to see if that was it. Alas, it's my poor photography and broken smartphone camera. The tab has not been broken off. You can see it there in the shadow where they meet though I agree it's not clear.

Drummin spot on. The light fixture is three bulbs and I guess they probably all have their neutrals nutted together deeper in (hence the tangle of wires). Did as you suggested and nutted the "brown" wire to one of the switch leads, and the other went into the hot line screw with the black hot wire.

One last question. To test the GFCI, I am supposed to push in the TEST button, see the RESET button pop out, and anything plugged in turns off. This happens and power to anything plugged into the outlet goes off. But when I do test it, the overhead light fixture stays on as long as the switch is flipped on. This isn't supposed to also turn off with the TEST button is it?

Thanks again. You guys are awesome.
 
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Old 12-02-15, 02:07 PM
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To test the GFCI, I am supposed to push in the TEST button, see the RESET button pop out, and anything plugged in turns off.
Yes.

The light should not go off. In my diagram it is wired to the Line side. There should be nothing connected to the load side under the yellow tape.
 
  #9  
Old 12-02-15, 04:42 PM
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Thanks Ray. Yes I was actually going to do what you had suggested minus the additional white wire that I didn't have, but got tired of running back and forth between circuit breaker trying a few different things my old man suggested.
Cheers.
 
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Old 12-02-15, 04:58 PM
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Yes I was actually going to do what you had suggested minus the additional white wire that I didn't have
I do not understand what you just wrote. All connections have to be made for it to work.
 
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