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Thread: GFCI, Dimmer Switch, Outdoor Lamp Posts with Receptacles

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member hagler's Avatar
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    Default GFCI, Dimmer Switch, Outdoor Lamp Posts with Receptacles

    I have a GFCI outlet in the dining room....a Dimmer switch is run off of this outlet....the dimmer switch controls outdoor lamp posts with receptacles.

    In the Box I have the following:
    2-wire from the panel coming into the box
    2 wire from the switch coming down into the box
    2-wire going to the next outlet on the circuit
    .......then Black, white, green, & blue wire coming into the box from the outdoor lamp posts with receptacles

    I need to look at the wiring at the Lamp Posts for the lights & receptacles.....But.....please help if this holds true:
    Wires coming into the box from the outside: If the Blue Wire goes to the Lights of the Lamp Post & the Black & White go to the outlets on the Lamp Post:

    Thinking I would pigtail the Power from the Panel and run one black to LINE side of the GFCI and the other Black to the Dimmer Switch....Black from outside outlets on lamp posts also connected to this pigtail for constant power to the outlets.

    Pigtail the White (neutral) from the panel and connect to White (neutral) of the outlets on the Lamp Post & white to the LINE side of GFCI.

    Blue line coming into the box connects to the White wire leading to other side of Dimmer Switch (Switch Leg).
    (Would it be common to have the Blue Wire feed the lamp post lights and the Black & White feed the receptacles of the lamp post?)

    LOAD side of GFCI - leave as is running to the next outlet on the circuit.
    Any opinions on this configuration would help.
    Thank you in advance!

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Outside power is supposed to be protected by GFCI, so no, you should not be attaching things to the line side...you need it to be on the load side to be protected by that GFCI.

    There isn't a convention on what the color code of the post is...so, you'd have to look at the wiring diagram to be sure. There should be a ground lead from the post, a switched hot for the lamp, and maybe constant on for the receptacles with power and neutral - neutral is likely common to the lamp and receptacles, but it could be entirely separate as well.

    Make sure the box is big enough for the wires coming in...the size of the box will be listed, and the fill capacity should not be exceeded for both safety and practical reasons (too many wires to jam in there, for example).
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hagler View Post
    ....the dimmer switch controls outdoor lamp posts with receptacles.
    A dimmer should not control a receptacle. A receptacle should have only line voltage.

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member hagler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    Outside power is supposed to be protected by GFCI, so no, you should not be attaching things to the line side...you need it to be on the load side to be protected by that GFCI.

    There isn't a convention on what the color code of the post is...so, you'd have to look at the wiring diagram to be sure. There should be a ground lead from the post, a switched hot for the lamp, and maybe constant on for the receptacles with power and neutral - neutral is likely common to the lamp and receptacles, but it could be entirely separate as well.

    Make sure the box is big enough for the wires coming in...the size of the box will be listed, and the fill capacity should not be exceeded for both safety and practical reasons (too many wires to jam in there, for example).
    So I should pigtail the load side and run lines off the pigtail to the switch, the next outlet on the circuit, and the constant power to the outdoor receptacles?
    ---Then from the other side of the switch connect to the switched hot for the lamps (likely the blue wire).....?
    ----White neutral from the load side should be pigtailed and connected to the white neutral of the outdoor receptacles?
    ---Only lines going into the GFCI are the black and white from the panel (source) ?

    Is this correct? Just looking to confirm....(I will look at the wiring for the posts, also)...but for now, assuming blue wire is the switched hot for lamps and black and white going outdoors are for the receptacles outside)
    Thanks again!

  5. #5
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Well, the lamp would need neutral, too, but you do only switch the hot. Yes, make sure you get all things on the circuit either exclusively on the load side when any wire goes to the load, or you'll unbalance the thing and trip it.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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