Outlet stops working when light switch is on

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  #1  
Old 12-31-15, 03:54 PM
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Outlet stops working when light switch is on

I am remodeling a bathroom. I have power going into the bathroom going to a GFCI outlet first (line in) and then (load out) to a switch for the bathroom lights.

The GFCI outlet works fine when the light switch is off, but as soon as I turn the light switch on the outlet no longer works. The GFCI does not trip, it just will not power anything when the light switch is on (turning the bathroom lights on). As soon as I turn the light switch off, the outlet works fine again. I have tried 3 different outlets (2 GFCI and one non-GFCI) thinking it may be something wrong with the outlet, but the same thing occurs with each outlet tried.

Any advice how to correct this issue will be very much appreciated! Thanks!!
 
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Old 12-31-15, 04:09 PM
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I have power going into the bathroom going to a GFCI outlet first (line in) and then (load out) to a switch for the bathroom lights.
Normally the light should be on the line side. There should be slots for two wires on the line side. Connect both the power in cable and cable to the lights to the line side. Tell us if it now works correctly.

Above assumes you have only two cables at the receptacle and two cables at the switch.

This is how it should be wired.

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Last edited by ray2047; 01-01-16 at 06:11 AM.
  #3  
Old 01-01-16, 05:31 AM
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Are the walls opened up so you can see the studs and the wiring?

Does a hair dryer work correctly when plugged into the GFCI receptacle?

Your description of what happens suggests to me that what you think is the power in cable to the box with the GFCI unit is not.

I think that the power is going to either the switch or the light first.

Double check that by doing the following:

Turn off the power.

Unhook each wire from the GFCI unit one at a time, labeling the wire with where it was last connected and leaving it loose not touching anything.

Turn the power back on.

Using your multimeter, verify which cable is live (black to white). Repeat the measurements with the switch in the other position. Unscrew the light bulb(s) and repeat the measurements yet again.
 
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Old 01-01-16, 06:14 AM
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And I'll start my New Year with my old warning, you can't use a non contact tester to determine which cable is "hot".
 
  #5  
Old 01-02-16, 08:39 AM
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Ray and Allan, thanks for the response!

As I tried to wire the circuit to the diagram Ray sent I realize my original description of the circuit was incorrect (sorry about that). I do NOT have a power feed into the bathroom AND a separate load line out to the lights from the switch. There is only one set of wires going to the switch so my interpretation of the circuit is that there is a direct line from power to the light with the switch in between.

The issue may be in what I am trying to do. Into the simple switch circuit described above I am trying to add an outlet that would always be hot. Is this possible? Please let me know what you think.

Thanks again!!

Ken
 
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Old 01-02-16, 10:33 AM
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Into the simple switch circuit described above I am trying to add an outlet that would always be hot. Is this possible?
If it is a pre 2011 switch loop probably not. You need a neutral. There is no neutral.

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