Bathroom Switches and GFI Stumping Me

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squall280
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Bathroom Switches and GFI Stumping Me

Post by squall280 » Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:46 am

I have an issue in a friends apartment. for whatever reason he bought new switches in a move to update and he wired everything back up and nothing is working correctly. I have dabbled in some easy stuff but this has stumped me.

There are three wire in the box and they are as followed.
My first wire/ (vanity light) seems to have a power line going directly to it and then a line down to the switch.
My second wire/ (ceiling exhuast/light combo) seems to be a wire coming from the unit into the box.
My third wire/( GFI) seems to be a power line going right to it.

He wants to be able to turn both lights on at the same time but I am unsure how to feed the wires.

Any help is appreciated.
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Shannon
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Re: Bathroom Switches and GFI Stumping Me

Post by Shannon » Sun Nov 24, 2019 9:56 am

Well first off I must warn that you should not be messing with electrical in a apartment building as the liability issue is high if something goes wrong.

So none of this is working now?
All these are in one triple box together?
Are these all 14/2 wires entering the box? (3 grounds, 3 whites, 3 blacks)

If the ceiling light does have power at the light then either the black wire or white wire coming from it should have power when the breaker is on. That one should work no matter what when hooked to the switch?

All of these worked properly before you friend messed with them?

Can you post a picture of the wiring now and the box please
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squall280
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Re: Bathroom Switches and GFI Stumping Me

Post by squall280 » Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:41 pm

Hey Shannon, I wont be back till Tuesday but its a double box. The original configuration was a 2 switch configuration and a regular outlet. There are 3 wires 14/2. One wire has power coming from the end of the line. Wire two is a direct line from exhuast fan/light combo and that has no power. Wire 3 is a direct wire line from box. He wanted to have both vanity light and exhaust/light to be on 1 switch.

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Shannon
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Re: Bathroom Switches and GFI Stumping Me

Post by Shannon » Sun Nov 24, 2019 4:40 pm

Ok let me see if i have this figured out now? My assessment of what you just said is:
You have one live wire coming in (wire #1)
One dead wire going to fan/light combo (wire #2)
One dead wire coming from ceiling light box (wire#3)

This is different from what your drawing shows? In the drawing you show the light on ceiling having power which means the wire #3 would have one conductor end live (either white or black)
Can you reconfirm if the drawing is correct or my assessment of what you have said please.

If my assessment of what you said is correct (only wire #1 is live) we will have no problem getting one switch to operate both. If one of the conductors in the wire coming from the ceiling light to switch has power it will be a little more messing around but still doable.
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squall280
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Re: Bathroom Switches and GFI Stumping Me

Post by squall280 » Sun Nov 24, 2019 10:02 pm

Sorry for my terrible explaination. Ill try to explain from the panal box to this double gang box.

WIRE 1
So we have one wire out of the panal box running all the way up to the vanity mirror light, then that wire goes into the double gang box, so the switch would be after the light.

WIRE 2
This wire is coming from the ceiling light/fan down to the double gang box. No power to this.

Wire 3
This wire comes from the panal box to the GFI in the double gang box.

Thank you Shannon. You are a wealth of information.

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Aaron
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Re: Bathroom Switches and GFI Stumping Me

Post by Aaron » Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:48 am

squall280 wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:46 am
He wants to be able to turn both lights on at the same time but I am unsure how to feed the wires.

Any help is appreciated.
For this situation, since there's two power sources in two places, you'll use just one of those sources for the switches that power each of the lights, and abandon the other power source--its hot and neutral won't get connected to anything and should just have small wirenuts/marettes at the ends of those wires.

If you already have a constant power source at the switch box, that's the easiest power to use because it's where the switches are. Wire the white wire that was once part of the switch leg (the light that had its power going to it first; the one you're abandoning) to the neutral source in the switch box and remove any marking that might be on that white wire so you can re-identify it as neutral (the marking being tape wrapped around it, or a black marker band which rubs off with alcohol).

The black that goes to that light gets connected to one of the screws of the switch you want to control that light. The other screw of that switch is pigtailed to the hot (black) coming into that box. That same hot has a pigtail going to the OTHER switch, which should control the fan.

All grounds are connected together of course.

Hope this helps.

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Shannon
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Re: Bathroom Switches and GFI Stumping Me

Post by Shannon » Mon Nov 25, 2019 9:21 am

Yes start out by turning of the breakers to these two circuits (wires #1 and #3)

In the ceiling light octagon determine the #3 wire that is going to the switch. Disconnect it from the power source in that box , and re cap the hot wires in the box and fold them back in out of the way. Connect the #3 white to the neutral of the light and #3 black to the hot wire of the light. Remove any markings like Aaron mentioned that may be on the white wire that indicated it was hot in the old set up.

Now down at the switch/ GFCI box we want all the neutrals wire nutted together with a pigtail also sticking out of it.

The black # 1 and #2 wires get wire nutted together with a pigtail wire as well. Hook the pig tail to the top screw on the switch. This will supply power to the two fixtures (ceiling light & fan/light combo) when the switch is on.

Take black wire #3 and add two black pigtails to it. Hook one black pig tail to the bottom switch screw and one to the brass "line" screw on the GFCI. This method will not GFCI protective fan and lights.

Next add the white pig tail to the silver "line" on the GFCI.

If you need the lights and fan to be GFCI protected then take black wire#3 and hook it to the brass "line" Screw on the GFCI and run a separate black piece of wire from the brass "load" screw on the GFCI to the bottom screw on the light switch. This will now have the fan and lights also protected by the GFCI.

Turn on the circuits again and you should be fine.
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