GFCI trips when lights go on

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Old 09-30-17, 08:00 PM
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Unhappy GFCI trips when lights go on

I have this setup (see attached photo, and sorry for my poor drawing skills) and whenever I screw in the light bulb (or flip the switch with the light bulb in), the GFCI trips. Without the bulbs, no tripping. What did I do wrong and how do I fix it?
N in the drawing means that's a white wire and L means black. I did check with a voltage detector and black is hot, white is not.

Thanks very much in advance!
 
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Old 09-30-17, 08:18 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Here's your problem. You created a loop from the line to the load thru your three way switch. You have the line side neutral connected to the lights and the load side hot going to the switches and then to the lights.

I modified your drawing.... the blue shows your hot path that comes from the load side of the GFI. The gray shows the path that the neutral would need to follow.
 
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Last edited by PJmax; 09-30-17 at 08:37 PM.
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Old 09-30-17, 09:09 PM
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Thanks PJmax, that was quick.
I don't have a way to wire the neutral from the load side to the lights, as per your drawing.

Is there a way to make this work without moving the 2-wire cables that go between the switches, the 2-wire cable that goes feeds the fan, and the 2-wire cable that goes between the top left regular outlet to the switch? Moving those would be a mess and would require tearing down walls and what not. Everything else I can move pretty much as I please, more or less.

Thanks once again!
 
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Old 09-30-17, 09:34 PM
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Does the fan and the light need to be on a GFI circuit ?
Neither would need to be by code unless inside the shower area.
 
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Old 10-01-17, 06:38 AM
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I'd say they're both just outside the shower area (a couple of feet from the tub ceiling, not directly above).
 
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Old 10-01-17, 06:41 AM
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Worst case, I can tear down the wall and change the other cables too. I mean, if it's less fuss for you to help me on how to wire it all.

Thanks Pete!
 
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Old 10-01-17, 10:36 AM
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You don't tear down walls. You fish the cables.
 
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Old 10-01-17, 11:15 AM
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They're stapled inside the wall. But at this point I'm open to any suggestion, I'll move all the cables I need.
 
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Old 10-01-17, 11:31 AM
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Put an imaginary box around the tub/shower, and extend it all the way up to the ceiling. If any part of the exhaust fan or light is within the box, you should GFCI protect them. Basically if you can touch the fan or light while standing in the shower.... it needs to be GFI protected.

I'll leave that up to you. I will continue as if those parameters are met.

You will need to add a second GFI receptacle in the second location. Both receptacles will be GFI allowing the line to carry thru to the fan and light circuits. The fan and lights circuits will NOT be protected.
 
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Old 10-01-17, 03:21 PM
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Thanks Pete!
I'll definitely do this. Fan is just outside that imaginary rectangle, the light is a couple of feet away.

A stupid question: Can't this left GFCi in your drawing be a regular outlet? I mean, since I'm going to be feeding it from the LINE connections from the GFCI, does it have to be GFCI as well?

Also, how do I connect two wires to the LINE of the GFCI? Just screw two wires on to the outlet posts, or screw one and use wire nuts?

Thanks!!!
 
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Old 10-01-17, 04:02 PM
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If the second receptacle is in the bathroom then it needs to be a GFI type.
A GFI has two wire ports on every screw terminal.
 
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Old 10-01-17, 06:42 PM
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Sorry, I forgot to mention that completely. The second one (left) is not in the bathroom, it's on the opposite side of the wall (bedroom). Everything else is in the bathroom.
Well, the j-box is "technically" in the attic, the Light 1 is the ceiling light on the top floor, which basically mounts to that j-box.

A thousand thanks Pete, once again!
 
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Old 10-03-17, 03:32 PM
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If no objections, can I then hook up a regular outlet on the left position and not use LOAD posts but instead supply it from LINE posts?

Thanks.
 

Last edited by vladasonic; 10-03-17 at 03:50 PM.
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Old 10-03-17, 05:42 PM
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Yes. That receptacle is not in a wet location so it doesn't need to be a GFI. Technically the bathroom circuit is not supposed to be shared outside of the bathroom but I'm assuming this is an exiting use situation.
 
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Old 10-03-17, 06:31 PM
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Thanks Pete, I owe you a beer. It worked.
Yes, this was all previously setup, but since I was remodeling my bathroom, I wanted to GFCI protect the lights and the fan, just in case. In fact, that circuit is shared with two small bedroom outlets and lights too. Master bedroom is on its own, as far as I can tell. The house was built in the 70's btw.
Glad it's all working again.
And so awesome of you to help. Cheers!
 
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