(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Wiring Problem

  1. #1

    Default Wiring Problem

    I just remodeled my bathroom. I am not an electrician by a long shot although I have done hundreds of receptacles and switches. When wiring gets complicated though it gives me a headache. Here is a drawing of the wiring in my bathroom. I added the light in the upper right hand corner. The rest of the wiring and fixtures already existed. Although the light in the upper left is really a fan but not that that matters. The only other thing I changed was the receptacle to a GFCI. My current problem is the light at the bottom. When I connect the red wire to the switch and turn on the switch it trips the GFCI. When I unhook the red wire then the light in the upper right works fine but that disables the light at the bottom. Everything but that one light works fine without the red wire connected. The GFCI works properly, the fan and the light in the upper right. Where the heck am I supposed to connect the red wire to so that it does not trip the GFCI and works properly?

    Thanks for help!



  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member Livin4Real's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    192

    Default

    Have you tried pig-tailing the load side neutral down to the bottom light to see what happens instead of using the line side neutral?

  3. #3
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    2,523

    Default

    The light on the bottom is where the problem needs addressing. Notice that the white (neutral) for this light is picked up from the line side of the GFCI but the hot is coming from the load side of the GFCI.

    Unless the lights are required to be protected by GFCI I would connect everything to the line side of the GFCI. This is the only way to have bottom light work with the neutral being tapped from the supply to the GFCI

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,412

    Default

    GFCI compares the output on the load side with the return on the load side. If they aren't within very close (milliamps) of each other, it thinks some of the current is leaking (possibly through you!) and trips. As indicated, you need the lights to be wired to the same side of the gfci, either load or line depending on whether you need or want the lamps protected. Normally, the lights are separate from the gfci so if you trip it, you don't lose the lights at the same time, but this is up to you.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  5. #5
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    9,001

    Default

    The lower light, the one fed power on the red line, has power ( hot ) from the load side of the GFCI, but the neutral bypasses the GFCI, hence the GFCI thinks all the current through that light bulb is actuall going to ground.,

  6. #6

    Default

    You need to pigtail a couple of jumpers off the hot and neutral entering the receptacle box and connect them directly to the GFCI. Don't route the lamps through the GFCI. I am pretty sure you are only supposed to protect other receptacles using the GFCI, not lamps.

    It looks like the reason you are tripping is because the neutral of the bottom lamp returns to the input side of the GFCI but the hot for the bottom lamp comes from the output of the GFCI.

  7. #7

    Default

    Guys...thanks for all your comments. Yes I was trying to have the lights protected by GFI because one of the lights is located on the ceiling about a foot away from the tub. I was told by an electrician that code in my area is any light within 6 feet of the tub should be protected.

    So is there no way to have the bottom light protected in my situation? If not then I guess I don't have any choice but to wire everything to the Line side like you all suggest.

  8. #8
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,412

    Default

    Sure there is, but you need another conductor to bring neutral from the load side of the gfci back to that light. ANother way would be to get rid of the gfci altogether and replace the circuit breaker with a gfci breaker.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  9. #9
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,655

    Default light

    Of course there is, just run a neutral from the load side of the GFCI to the light so both of the light's wires are on the same end of the GFCI.

  10. #10
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    NY State, USA
    Posts
    975

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hj
    Of course there is, just run a neutral from the load side of the GFCI to the light so both of the light's wires are on the same end of the GFCI.
    The only way to do this would be to run a new cable with BOTH neutral and hot. You cannot simply run a neutral by itself.

    My question is why do this at all? Do these lights really need GFI protection? I notice in the one post it says the lights "should" have GFI protection.
    Who's rules is this, and is it a real code requirement, or just someone's suggestions because they think it is a good idea?

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hndcrxguy
    Guys...thanks for all your comments. Yes I was trying to have the lights protected by GFI because one of the lights is located on the ceiling about a foot away from the tub. I was told by an electrician that code in my area is any light within 6 feet of the tub should be protected.
    Ahh, I believe it is within 8 ft of a tub (the actual tub), and only if the fixture says it needs GFCI. You may be better served by having a wet location lamp fixture if it can be subjected to water sprays. I don't see it hurting, however get other inputs, I'm not savvy on these things.
    Last edited by snafflekid; 09-25-2007 at 10:24 PM.

  12. #12
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    NY State, USA
    Posts
    975

    Default

    Here is the NEC section on this. Unless there is a specific local amendment NO GFI protection is required provided the fixture is a "securely fastened luminaires installed in or on the ceiling or wall". If it is not this type of fixture it cannot be that close to the shower anyway.
    I have NEVER seen a fixture that required GFI protection in the instructions.



    410.4(D) Bathtub and Shower Areas
    No parts of cord-connected luminaires (fixtures), chain-, cable-, or cord-suspended-luminaires (fixtures), lighting track, pendants, or ceiling-suspended (paddle) fans shall be located within a zone measured 900 mm (3 ft) horizontally and 2.5 m (8 ft) vertically from the top of the bathtub rim or shower stall threshold. This zone is all encompassing and includes the zone directly over the tub or shower stall. Luminaires (lighting fixtures) located in this zone shall be listed for damp locations, or listed for wet locations where subject to shower spray.




    Handbook Commentary:

    A revision of 410.4(D) clarifies that securely fastened luminaires installed in or on the ceiling or wall are permitted to be located in the bathtub or shower area. Where they are subject to shower spray, the luminaires must be listed for a wet location. Luminaires installed in the tub or shower zone and not subject to shower spray are required to be listed for use in a damp location. GFCI protection is required only where specified in the installation instructions for the luminaire.
    The intent of 410.4(D) is to keep cord-connected, chain-hanging, or pendant luminaires and suspended fans out of the reach of an individual standing on a bathtub rim. The list of prohibited items recognizes that the same risk of electric shock is present for each one.

  13. #13
    Electrician frenchelectrican's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    NE Wis / Paris France { In France now }
    Posts
    46

    Default

    I will provide the link it will describe what Speedy Pete is describing on this situation here

    here the link and click on that http://www.mikeholt.com/reprint_request2000.php?id=3197


    this will show the photo of it

    Merci, Marc

  14. #14

    Default

    I think underwater pool lights require GFCI. I know, it is not applicable, but it is an example.

  15. #15
    Licensed Electrical Contractor Speedy Petey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    NY State, USA
    Posts
    975

    Default

    OK, you got me. I take back what I said about never seeing a fixture that called for GFI protection.
    I agree, not applicable to this situation, but I did leave myself wide open.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •