Switched outlet tripping breaker


Old 11-02-15, 08:44 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2015
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Switched outlet tripping breaker

Re-wiring the garage and running into an issue with a switched outlet. The outlet is in the middle of the run (after a GFCI and before a single ceiling outlet for the door opener). I've split the receptacle to only have the top outlet switched and all of the hot outlets are working as expected. Unfortunately the switched outlet trips the breaker each time it's switched on. The wires coming into this box are: 2 wire from GFCI (from load) 2 wire from switch (white taped as 'hot') 2 wire from next outlet

Connections as follows:
- Ground from outlet to raised ground screw
- Black from GFCI, Black to next outlet, Switch loop (white from switch), and pigtail are nutted and connected to bottom brass screw
- Black from Switch connected to top brass screw
- White from GFCI, White to next outlet, and pigtail are nutted and connected to bottom silver screw

Any suggestions are welcome.

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Old 11-02-15, 10:18 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Nice pictures.

Just to confirm......
The conduit on the left goes to the switch for one half of the receptacle. (switch loop)
The MC and the other conduit are power in and out to the garage door receptacle.

If it's wired as I have listed, and turning the switch on with nothing plugged in trips the GFI..... then that would suggest the problem is in your switch wiring. Usually the breaker would trip but maybe the GFI is acting quicker.

Have you confirmed that everything is actually grounded. That can be checked with a meter from black to the box.
Old 11-03-15, 05:20 AM
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 699
Why is the white wire to the left tied to the blacks . This is done with Romex going to a switch . But with conduit , there is no reason / excuse for it . Either replace it with another color ( red , blue , etc. ) or at the very least , put some colored tape at each end of the white wire .

Since the switch is part of the breaker tripping story , you may need to replace all the wire going to the switch & the switch .

I am going to guess the black wire returning from the switch is shorted to earth ground ( the conduit or box ) , somewhere .

God bless
Old 11-03-15, 06:34 AM
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Agreed. This receptacle looks properly wired. As said, it must be a short in the switch wiring.

Wanted to add: Look at your receptacle terminals. The wires should be wrapped around the screws clockwise. The upper hot wire should be reconnected properly.
Old 11-03-15, 08:57 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2015
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@wyr thanks for the suggestions and feedback. the white is marked at both ends with black tape, which you can see in the photo below. i'll be re-checking the run from the switch tonight.
Old 11-03-15, 09:02 AM
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@handyone yes, at the point of the photo i had recently removed everything to do a test. everything will be buttoned up more appropriately prior to be tucked back in. thanks for the feedback.
Old 11-03-15, 09:07 AM
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@pjmax your description is accurate. turning the switch on with nothing plugged in trips the breaker, not the gfi. all receptacles and switch are strapped to their respective boxes via ground pigtail. i'll be checking the run to the switch for continuity and/or a short with a meter this evening. thanks for the welcome/feedback.
Old 11-04-15, 08:50 AM
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thanks to everyone's suggestions i was able to isolate the issue. there was obvious continuity btwn the black lead from the switch and the conduit. pulled the wiring and found a small nick in the insulation near a right angle connector. will be pulling new wire later this week.

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