Neutral issues

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Old 12-30-13, 03:54 PM
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Neutral issues

I have a switch for a shower light. It is feed from another bathroom outlet containing a GFI outlet. The hot and neutral come from this box to the switch for my light. The two neutrals ( one from feed and other from light) are tide together as are the ground wires. The hot feed wire from this box attaché to the lower lug of switch and the other from switch to the light itself.

FYI - A GFI in guest bath protects outlet next to sink in master bath (one set of wires to line side of GFI and other set on load side which feeds the outlet) no other outlet protected by this GFI.

With switch off. If I check continuity between neutral of light at light and the box which feeds it, it seems okay. I also checked the continuity of the hot wire from light to switch, It seems fine also. The light wires to socket were disconnected

No continuity between ground and neutral wires. No voltage between hot and neutrals or ground. When I turn on switch for light, I get 120V between neutral and ground. The hot at light is not hot but the neutral is.

If the switch is on and the two neutral are wire nutted together no issues other that light will not light. If I test between neutral and ground wire when switch is on, I trip GFI.

HELP!
 
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Old 12-30-13, 05:27 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

A little hard to follow what you are doing. You are feeding a switch that will operate a light in the shower. It sounds like the wiring from the switch to the fixture is correct.

Did you confirm you connected correctly to the load side of the GFI recptacle ?
 
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Old 01-02-14, 06:00 AM
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Everything was fine prior to me getting involved. My customer noted that he had a shower light that quit working several months ago. It was intermittent at first and then one day nothing worked. I checked the fixture, the switch, the GFCI and all are hooked up correctly. Once I got into the switch location I found the following. Two other switches served by a separate hot with neutrals tied together. They operate the light above the sink and an exhaust fan. The other switch has a separate hot and neutral feed which powers the light in shower. This circuit seems to come from the box in the other bathroom which contains a GFIC. The GFIC is attached with a feed on the line side and off the load side it goes directly to the outlet in the bathroom that I am working in. It is the only outlet that is served off of the GFIC. The feed to my switch comes from this box from a pig tail off the hot wire in that box. I get no continuity between my neutrals and ground for the switch to the shower light. When I turn the switch on, I get a neutral wire that reads hot. If I then touch the test between the ground and this neutral, the GFIC operates. It seems that I am energizing the neutral through the switch when I switch it to the on position. Any ideas? Do I go back to the GFIC box and test all of the wiring connections? I have tested the light fixture for shorts, tested continuity of wores from light fixture to switch and no open wires? Not sure what to do next.
 
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Old 01-02-14, 01:07 PM
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Everything was fine prior to me getting involved. My customer noted that he had a shower light that quit working several months ago.
Then everything was not fine. You were called in to fix a problem.


It sounds like it may be a problem at the load side of the GFI. If you check the load side ..... hot to neutral you should measure 120vac. If you measure the hot to ground the meter may trip the GFI.

It would be good if you checked for power at the GFI with an actual voltage tester or even a bulb in a pigtail fixture.
 
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Old 01-02-14, 10:54 PM
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Let me rephrase that. Everything seemed to be fine until a few days before I showed up to take care of a backup sump pump issue. The customer told me that he was having problems with the light and that was when I found the problem. I will get back with my customer early next week when he returns from a short holiday and check out the GFI and the wiring within that box. I can tell you this. When the switch for the light is in the on position and I measure from the neutral to the ground , the GFI does trip. The neutral is carrying the power. Have not had a lot of time of late to think tis through but will do so this weekend. Thanks for your insight so far. I will be in touch with some more detailed information on the problem.
 
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Old 01-03-14, 09:57 PM
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The GFIC is attached with a feed on the line side and off the load side it goes directly to the outlet in the bathroom that I am working in. It is the only outlet that is served off of the GFIC. The feed to my switch comes from this box from a pig tail off the hot wire in that box.
How are the neutrals connected in each box? Well, OK, how is each wire connected in each box?

Is the current setup that the switch and light for the shower are fed from the protected load side of the GFCI receptacle in the other bathroom? If so, that needs to be changed, since one 20A circuit can feed all of the loads in one bathroom or the receptacles -- but no other loads -- in two bathrooms.
 
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Old 01-06-14, 06:03 AM
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No. The switch is fed by the line side and the only other outlet fed off this GFI is the outlet in the adjacent bathroom where my switch is located. FYI - The outlet fed by GFI is next to sink. The switch locations are as you enter this bathroom. First switch for light above sink, second switch for exhaust fan and third switch for my light above shower. The first two switches along with their hot wire neutrals and grounds are not associated with the third switch even though in the same three switch box. The switch operating my light is fed by a separate 14-2 w/grd. from what I recall (been a few days) comes from the feed feeding the GFI outlet in the other bathroom (GFI is pig tailed off the same hot as I recall).
 
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Old 01-06-14, 08:41 AM
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If you bypass the switch does the fixture work? Is the bulb known to be good? Have you checked for voltage at the fixture socket?
 
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Old 01-06-14, 09:27 AM
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The switch is fed by the line side and the only other outlet fed off this GFI is the outlet in the adjacent bathroom where my switch is located... The switch operating my [shower] light is fed by a separate 14-2 w/grd. from what I recall (been a few days) comes from the feed feeding the GFI outlet in the other bathroom (GFI is pig tailed off the same hot as I recall).

that needs to be changed, since one 20A circuit can feed all of the loads in one bathroom or the receptacles -- but no other loads -- in two bathrooms.
I erred in asking whether it was fed from the LOAD terminals and asking, in the same question, whether it was fed from the same circuit.

I would cap off the feed from the GFCI circuit to the shower light switch and feed that from the circuit serving the other two switched loads. OTOH, if that fixture requires GFCI protection - and it probably does - a separate 20A fed to the second bathroom for a new GFCI and that light might be the best solution.
 
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Old 01-06-14, 05:53 PM
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That would be a simple fix. The load would only add a 60 watt bulb and if I cannot trace back the problem, we can just eliminate the problem. I will let you know what we find out.
 
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