GFCI w/ Outlet on a Switch

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Old 05-07-18, 08:29 AM
J
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GFCI w/ Outlet on a Switch

I recently went and changed many outlets in my house because of broken plastic on the receptacles. As I changed them out I wasn't trying to redesign the wiring I was just making sure I had good connections. This includes changing out a single GFCI controlling my outdoor outlets.

When I did this I cam across a really oddball wiring setup that really has me scratching my head. The GFCI is the first/lead outlet and the 2nd outlet in the string was wired in the GFCI circuit on the lower outlet and a plug on a switch on the upper with 14/3 wire and one neutral. The twist is that the switched hot wire came from a different non-GFCI circuit and the shared neutral came from the GFCI circuit. These circuits happened to be on opposite legs in the panel if it makes a difference. I didn't like how it was wired but I replaced the outlet anyways and made sure to break the tab on the outlet between the hot screws.

The issue is anything plugged into the GFCI outlet works fine. The moment something uses the switched outlet the GFCI trips. After I thought about this, I realize this defiantly would be the case and be a problem. The moment power is applied to the switched outlet this is going to cause a mismatch in amps on the neutral and hot of the GFCI circuit the very thing a GFCI is meant to do protect against.

I have corrected the situation but I believe it had been wired like this for years and I don't understand how it would have worked in the first place. I figure I either missed something obvious or the old GFCI on the circuit never worked or had been rigged somehow.
 
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Old 05-07-18, 11:33 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

The twist is that the switched hot wire came from a different non-GFCI circuit and the shared neutral came from the GFCI circuit.
That's quite a twist and as you noted...... will not work.
 
 

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