When I turn off the light in my bathroom, the GFCI outlet inside the
bathroom will also go dead. This is quite inconvenient because I need
to use that outlet to recharge an electric razor, and two electric
powered tooth brushes. Now, I must leave them outside the bathroom in
order to have them recharged.
The strange thing is that I see the same situation in another bathroom
in my house. I have also see the same thing in my brother-in-law
apartment -- the power of the whole bathroom is off as soon as I turn
off the light.
Why is that? What's the reasoning behind this?
Someone wanted to make sure that curling irons weren't left on to burn the house
If you are lucky, you might be able to re-wire it at the switch to solve the
problem, although I believe the lights are supposed to be on a seperate circuit
from the outlets.
My bathroom is too small for doing any ironing. That doesn't seem to
be the reason of wiring the bathroom in that way. Moreover, the house
would be burnt down anyway regardless I left the iron inside the
bathroom or outside the bathroom.
I likely will re-wire the switch to fix this annoying problem when I
need to re-paint the bathroom. Unfortunately, the light and the
outlet will have to be in the same circuit because this is not that
easy to pull new wires in the old house. Thanks for the confirmation.
What? You can't be too careful... think of the children or the people who
might move in after.
No, the best sequence to follow is a
Plans drawn by a professional engineer,
Actual work done by a professional supervisor and an assistant, and
Your bathroom was wired with a switched outlet originally, a REGULAR
outlet. At some point, some genius decided to install a GFCI in place
of the switched outlet.
A properly wired GFCI will disconnect not only itself, but everything
else "downline" from it when the power is removed. Light switch goes
off, all power goes out.
Very true. A good observation.
This is from Canada! Where we have similar but not identical building
and electrical standards. Canada is a huge country with one tenth of
the population of the USA and has three coast lines. Arctic, Pacific
and Atlantic so a fairly wide range of climate; as does the USA from
Alaska to Florida and Hawaii.
We also do it in Canadian English (Colour, humour, etc). and some of
us also in French; along with greater use of international units such
as litres, centimetres and kilometres, degrees Celsius etc.
Although many of us are bi-lingual: Or tri-lingual, if one considers
'American' a separate tongue! :-)
Generally, however our building methods are similar and both countries
(Also Mexico and others, who do it in Spanish or Portuguese) use
similar 115/230 volt electrical systems. So there is a lot of common
ground and commonality of methods if not standards.
But countries of the EU (European Community) and much of the Middle
East often do things differently. Just look at the back of many
computers; there are switches for both North American 115 volts (60
hertz) and 230 volts (50 hertz)!
Also Australia and many Asian countries differ. For example many still
drive on the left. (This was originally European custom; to have your
right (sword or dagger weapon) hand freer to defend yourself as you
passed a stranger going the opposite direction on narrow path or
roadway. Same as we shake with the right hand; except those of us who
have 'funny' hand shakes. :-)
Haven't been to China yet but will be interesting to see how they do
things! Apart from make a lot of the stuff we buy! Yes we have US
owned Wal Marts here!
USA and Canada are major trading partners. So many of the products in
Canada are similar or identical; or are frequently those manufactured
in the USA. Thus as a follower of this group much of the discussion is
pertinent and useful. So thanks once again for those who in the past
have replied and helped with specific items and for those who continue
to respond; often very useful. Frequently thought provoking.
Jay. It is possible that the rewire will be up at the (ceiling?) light
fixture. Not at the switch itself.
Check and see if it has been wired along these lines.
1) Live and neutral from the supply to the light fixture ceiling or
2) All neutrals joined together?
3) The live wire extended to the switch by one wire?
4) When switch is 'on' that live returns via the other wire from the
5) That 'switched live' is connected not only to the light but also to
the bathroom outlet!
6) If the above 1 to 5 is correct? It may be possible to reconnect the
live wire that goes to the outlet directly to the supply live wire?
If you run into something more complicated or different it might be
best to get someone who is electrically competent to help you sort out
how it's previously been wired.
As other posters have said it is unusual to have lights and outlets
hooked up to a lighting circuit. Although it might have n been done as
safety measure at some point in time?
OR: because that was the only way it could be made to work? For
example someone wanting an outlet in an old style bathroom merely
tapped one off an adjacent light fixture! Hmm! Not always the best
policy. Best check it out.
I seem to remember out first house bathroom did not have any outlets
at all. Our second house bathroom had only a shaver outlet which
contained a small 7 watt transformer; something now banned by many
Congratulations on using a GFCI for safety.
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