Electrical help. (Adding outlet to light switch box)

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They bothe have their own hot wire to it. The bot are tuned off by the same breaker. That much I know. I kind of thought what you said. I just wanted to tripple check.
And yes it must have been a hack job. I also noticed that one of the switch es was grounded and the other one was not.
On Monday, March 25, 2013 7:34:48 AM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

current light switch box. This box currently has two switches, one for the fan,light and one for the vanity light. Each switch has a white wire, a bla ck wire, and a ground. When checking with a voltmeter, the white wire on bo th switches always has power. Each black wire only has power when the switc h is turned on. I am assuming the white wire is the power wire. Can I take these white wires off the switches, connect them to the top and bottom "hot " terminal on the gfi outlet, then feed the switches from both terminals on the other side of the gfi? When I did this messing around with the switche s, everything worked properly. I just thought that the black wire was alway s the constant power wire.
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On Mar 25, 9:22 am, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

me breaker. That much I know. I kind of thought what you said. I just wante d to tripple check.

ches was grounded and the other one was not.

The key quesiton here is whether you have a neutral in that switch box or not. As Derby pointed out, this looks like the feed goes to the light and fan locations, not to the switch box. If you have no neutral at the switch, then you can't run the outlet off of it.
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On 3/25/2013 10:21 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

breaker. That much I know. I kind of thought what you said. I just wanted to tripple check.

Ditto, DD03 hit the nail on the head. While it doesn't conform to current code, it doesn't sound like a Rube either.
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On 3/25/2013 1:00 PM, RBM wrote:

>

I have read nothing that is not compliant with previous codes, that were likely in effect when the wiring was done.
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On 3/26/2013 12:54 PM, bud-- wrote:

Me either, it's a garden variety 4 way setup. All the OP needs to do is splice through the three colors and connect the motion detectors according to their diagram and it should work.
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On 3/26/2013 5:06 PM, RBM wrote:

Oops, wrong thread, (lol), but same answer. Garden variety single pole switch legs, where feed resides at the device being switched. No legal, safe way to make an outlet work without the proper neutral
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.

e

Hide quoted text -

What if you got a neutral to the switch box like this. Go to the fan motor and re-wire it so it goes:
from circuit hot to one lead of motor from other lead of motor to bathroom switch from other side of switch back to neutral where fan is
You now have a neutral in the switch box. And you have the hot from the other switch, which is on the same circuit. Which is what you need for the outlet.
Is there anything wrong with that?
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On 3/27/2013 10:16 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

You mean, other than it being a rube (lol)? It would work of course, unless there was a possible GFCI in the circuit to the fan, but you can't steal hots from one cable and neutrals from another, and you can't typically break a neutral through the switch.
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wrote:

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l- Hide quoted text -

If I understand you correctly....
First off, you'd be switching the nuetral, which is not allowed.
Second, we don't know for sure if the light and fan are on the same circuit. I haven't gone back through the entire thread, but I don't recall the OP ever stating that the 2 devices were on the same circuit.
Unless the code has changed very, very recently, it is permissible to have more than one circuit in the same switch box.
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ral- Hide quoted text -

Well, I guess that takes care of that.

"They bothe have their own hot wire to it. The bot are tuned off by the same breaker. That much I know. "
But, per above, it doesn't matter.
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On 3/27/2013 8:16 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

The code does not allow the switch in the neutral.

The code requires all circuit conductors to be in the same cable or raceway (or multiple cables run together with conditions).
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On 03/27/2013 10:16 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I don't believe it is code compliant to switch the neutral, although my NEC is packed away in a very safe place.
As I said in my previous post however I'm certain that a receptacle in a bathroom by current code either needs to be on a 20A circuit that serves only that bathroom, or a 20A circuit that only feeds bathroom receptacles (that is, you can feed receps in more than one bathroom - not sure how many - but only if the circuit feeds *only* receptacles, e.g. lights, fan, etc. are on a different circuit.)
If the OP's bathroom does not have a recep then I am guessing that it does not have a dedicated 20A circuit either and likely the light and fan are on a 15A circuit that is a general lighting/recep circuit for that area of the house.
nate
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So there is not a way to make a gfci work with this set up?
On Monday, March 25, 2013 7:34:48 AM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

current light switch box. This box currently has two switches, one for the fan,light and one for the vanity light. Each switch has a white wire, a bla ck wire, and a ground. When checking with a voltmeter, the white wire on bo th switches always has power. Each black wire only has power when the switc h is turned on. I am assuming the white wire is the power wire. Can I take these white wires off the switches, connect them to the top and bottom "hot " terminal on the gfi outlet, then feed the switches from both terminals on the other side of the gfi? When I did this messing around with the switche s, everything worked properly. I just thought that the black wire was alway s the constant power wire.
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On Mar 25, 10:17 am, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

The essential question is, do you have a neutral in that switch box. Piecing together what you've said, it sounds like there probably is not one there. If there isn't you can't even do a regular outlet, let alone a GFI.
One confusing part is that you said you tested it out temporarily and it worked? What exactly did you do? GFI or outlet, either one, needs a neutral.
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The outlet worked when I hooked it up. I will have to go back and look but I know one wire from the hot went in o n the side, I cut another wire off an old cable and ran that from the other side of the outlet to one of the switches. I will have to look at home to be sure. I will say the outlet worked becasue I had a hair dryer connected to it and both lights worked. Also, when the switch for "test" was hit, the outlet did not work and both lights still worked.
I wish I had it hear in front of me. It was late last night.
I do know I have two white wires and two black wires and a ground going int o the box in the wall. Like I said, before checking it out, I tested and bo th white wires have power all the time. The black wires only after its indi vidual switch is flipped.
On Monday, March 25, 2013 7:34:48 AM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

current light switch box. This box currently has two switches, one for the fan,light and one for the vanity light. Each switch has a white wire, a bla ck wire, and a ground. When checking with a voltmeter, the white wire on bo th switches always has power. Each black wire only has power when the switc h is turned on. I am assuming the white wire is the power wire. Can I take these white wires off the switches, connect them to the top and bottom "hot " terminal on the gfi outlet, then feed the switches from both terminals on the other side of the gfi? When I did this messing around with the switche s, everything worked properly. I just thought that the black wire was alway s the constant power wire.
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On Mar 25, 10:35 am, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

in on the side, I cut another wire off an old cable and ran that from the o ther side of the outlet to one of the switches. I will have to look at home to be sure. I will say the outlet worked becasue I had a hair dryer connec ted to it and both lights worked. Also, when the switch for "test" was hit, the outlet did not work and both lights still worked.

nto the box in the wall. Like I said, before checking it out, I tested and both white wires have power all the time. The black wires only after its in dividual switch is flipped.

If those are the only wires you have in the box, then it would seem the only possibilities are:
A - Hot comes from panel, to one fan wire, white wire goes from other fan wire to switch, other side of switch (blk) goes back to where fan is and is connected to neutral there.
B - Hot comes from panel to where fan is, but is not connected to the fan there. Instead the hot is connected to the white wire that goes to the switch. Other side of the switch (blk) goes back to fan and is conneced on one fan wire. Other fan wire is connected to neutral.
Either way, you have a problem. At the switches, in case A, you have a neutral, but no hot. What appears to be hot is passing through the fan or light. In case B, you have a direct hot, but no neutral. If that is in fact what's there, one clever solution that I think could work, would be to make one switch like case A and one like case B. Then you would have a hot and a neutral in the switch box for the new outlet. But you could not use the downside load connections on the GFI, but that isn't essential, especially if the other stuff is just the lights, fan, etc, ie no outlets.
To do the above, you'd only have to move two wires around at either the light or the fan.
The puzzling thing left is that you say it worked. If it's wired like we think it is, that would mean that the hair dryer worked because it was in series with either the light or the fan motor....
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On Mar 25, 10:35 am, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

in on the side, I cut another wire off an old cable and ran that from the o ther side of the outlet to one of the switches. I will have to look at home to be sure. I will say the outlet worked becasue I had a hair dryer connec ted to it and both lights worked. Also, when the switch for "test" was hit, the outlet did not work and both lights still worked.
I fail to see how the GFCI worked, based on your description. With only hots (the white wires) going to the Line side, and the continuation of the hots out of the Load side and to the switches, I don't see how the GFCI worked.
I also don't see how the lights switches still worked when you tripped the GFCI since tripping the GFCI should have killed power to the Load side. That's how they are supposed to work. That's the purpose of having a Load side - so it can be protected by the GFCI.
Something is either wrong with your description of how it is wired or with the original wiring to the switches in the first place. If it were me, I'd be opeing up the light fixture and the fan fixture and tracing the wires to determine which one's are actually the hots and which are the neutrals.
It's possible that one switch switches a hot and the other switch switches a neutral, which would mean that a hot and neutral would be present for the GFCI (assuming you hooked both whites to the Line side of the GFCI) allowing it to work. However, that wouldn't explain why the switches still had power after the GFCI was tripped. As I said, with a properly wired GFCI, the Load side will be dead when the the GFCI is tripped. If it isn't the GFCI is not doing it's job.
Something just doesn't make sense.

nto the box in the wall. Like I said, before checking it out, I tested and both white wires have power all the time. The black wires only after its in dividual switch is flipped.

e current light switch box. This box currently has two switches, one for th e fan,light and one for the vanity light. Each switch has a white wire, a b lack wire, and a ground. When checking with a voltmeter, the white wire on both switches always has power. Each black wire only has power when the swi tch is turned on. I am assuming the white wire is the power wire. Can I tak e these white wires off the switches, connect them to the top and bottom "h ot" terminal on the gfi outlet, then feed the switches from both terminals on the other side of the gfi? When I did this messing around with the switc hes, everything worked properly. I just thought that the black wire was alw ays the constant power wire.- Hide quoted text -

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t in on the side, I cut another wire off an old cable and ran that from the other side of the outlet to one of the switches. I will have to look at ho me to be sure. I will say the outlet worked becasue I had a hair dryer conn ected to it and both lights worked. Also, when the switch for "test" was hi t, the outlet did not work and both lights still worked.

into the box in the wall. Like I said, before checking it out, I tested an d both white wires have power all the time. The black wires only after its individual switch is flipped.

the current light switch box. This box currently has two switches, one for the fan,light and one for the vanity light. Each switch has a white wire, a black wire, and a ground. When checking with a voltmeter, the white wire o n both switches always has power. Each black wire only has power when the s witch is turned on. I am assuming the white wire is the power wire. Can I t ake these white wires off the switches, connect them to the top and bottom "hot" terminal on the gfi outlet, then feed the switches from both terminal s on the other side of the gfi? When I did this messing around with the swi tches, everything worked properly. I just thought that the black wire was a lways the constant power wire.- Hide quoted text -

If you read what he said he did, I don't think he hooked both whites wires to the line side. He said he hooked one to the top and one to the bottom of the GFI. I don't have one sitting here in front of me, but that sounds like it's one to the line side, one to the load side. If that's what he did, even harder to figure out how it could have worked. But it isn't worth the time. He or someone else needs to figure out what he really has there and how to best proceed.
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Sounds to me more like he connected both whites to the line side terminals, and both blacks to the load side. Assume *that*, and it's very easy to see how it could have *appeared* to work:
- the load connected to the pass-through terminals will work until the TEST button is pressed - the load connected to the outlet-only terminals will work if there's something plugged into the GFCI, it's turned on, and the GFCI TEST button has not been pressed. - whatever is plugged into the GFCI will operate because the outlet is _in series_ with the lighting loads, and it's using the neutral there.

Someone else, ideally.
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wrote:

s, and both

could have

How could the GFI work connected that way? He would have the fan circuit on one side of the GFI (eg hot) and the light on the other side (eg neutral) of the GFI. It would be totally unbalanced and should trip immediately.
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