GFCI tripping when turning on light switch

Ask your electrical related questions here
Post Reply
Joed
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:46 am

GFCI tripping when turning on light switch

Post by Joed » Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:49 pm

Hey guys,

Hopefully someone can help. I am installing a new pendant light over my sink. When I flip the switch to turn it on it gets power for a second then trips the 20amp gfci. The light is rated for 120v. Any idea what’s causing this?
Attachments
6AA9C9D2-EFEC-4BC9-B6F6-D57D8DC16374.jpeg
6AA9C9D2-EFEC-4BC9-B6F6-D57D8DC16374.jpeg (72.61 KiB) Viewed 277 times
DAC1BA0C-7ED1-4944-A7DF-9FFB54AD72B4.jpeg
DAC1BA0C-7ED1-4944-A7DF-9FFB54AD72B4.jpeg (67.19 KiB) Viewed 277 times
Last edited by Joed on Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:54 am, edited 1 time in total.


User avatar
A. Spruce
Posts: 4528
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2016 5:23 pm
Location: California, USA

Re: Light tripping when turning on

Post by A. Spruce » Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:20 pm

What is inside the ceiling box? What wire colors and bundles? Does the power originate at the switch or at the ceiling box?
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

User avatar
Shannon
Posts: 11232
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:58 pm
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: Light tripping when turning on

Post by Shannon » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:28 am

It looks like you have that green wire coming from the pendent attached to the ground? Now I understand the confusion as green usually indicates ground but because you only have a green and black wire coming from the light that green has to be the common wire (white).
If you've found our videos or website information helpful, please considering pledging us on Patreon

User avatar
Shannon
Posts: 11232
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:58 pm
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: Light tripping when turning on

Post by Shannon » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:29 am

Also I would make all the connections above the plate in the box then install the plate on the box.
If you've found our videos or website information helpful, please considering pledging us on Patreon

Joed
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:46 am

Re: Light tripping when turning on

Post by Joed » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:53 am

Hey Shannon,

Thanks for your reply. There are 3 wires coming from the box the hot, neutral, and ground (which is short in length). The light pendant also has 3 wires (hot, neutral, and ground). I added a short piece to the ground coming from the box because it was too short for me to get a good connection. I wrapped the ground wire around the green screw and connected the light fixture ground to the box ground as well. Is it necessary to wrap the ground around the green screw? Or should I just connect the light fixture ground to the ground coming from the box? Not sure what is tripping the GFCI

Joed
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:46 am

Re: Light tripping when turning on

Post by Joed » Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:08 am

Also. If I was to put a wire nut over the ground coming from the box, and just connect the ground from the light fixture to the green screw would this be sufficient?

User avatar
Shannon
Posts: 11232
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:58 pm
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: Light tripping when turning on

Post by Shannon » Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:48 am

Ok I can not see the neutral from the light, so that is not the issue then.
Some GFCI will trip when installed to light switched circuits I have found. If you don't need those lights to GFCI protected then you could wire the switch directly so it is not powered by it, this would eliminate the problem.
If the existing bare ground is attached to the metal box in the ceiling then simply wire nut that wire to the ground of the light. If the bare ground is not attached to the box then what you have done will be fine as ling as the metal light cover plate is screwed to the metal box.
If you've found our videos or website information helpful, please considering pledging us on Patreon

Joed
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:46 am

Re: Light tripping when turning on

Post by Joed » Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:54 am

I do want to keep the GFCI because the outlet and light switch are next to my kitchen sink. The Feed ground wire is not connected to the box, just running through it. Would it be OK to attach both grounds (The feed ground and the light fixture ground) to the grounding screw?

User avatar
Shannon
Posts: 11232
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:58 pm
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: Light tripping when turning on

Post by Shannon » Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:56 am

From what i see in my code book ,I do not believe that you will need that switch to be GFCI protected unless it is less that 1m (3') from a tub or shower. Hopefully Aaron and Wayne will chime in here soon? They seem to be missing in action right now? LOL.
If you've found our videos or website information helpful, please considering pledging us on Patreon

User avatar
Shannon
Posts: 11232
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:58 pm
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: GFCI tripping when turning on light switch

Post by Shannon » Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:56 am

Yes both grounds can be attached together or to the grounding screw
If you've found our videos or website information helpful, please considering pledging us on Patreon

User avatar
Shannon
Posts: 11232
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:58 pm
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: Light tripping when turning on

Post by Shannon » Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:57 am

Joed wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:54 am
I do want to keep the GFCI because the outlet and light switch are next to my kitchen sink. The Feed ground wire is not connected to the box, just running through it. Would it be OK to attach both grounds (The feed ground and the light fixture ground) to the grounding screw?
Try swapping for a good quality switch and see if that stops it from tripping the GFCI
If you've found our videos or website information helpful, please considering pledging us on Patreon

Joed
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:46 am

Re: GFCI tripping when turning on light switch

Post by Joed » Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:58 am

Great, I will try this tonight hopefully it works. IF it doesn't work, what else could cause the GFCI to trip when the light switch is turned on? The light bulb turns on for a second before the GFCI trips.

User avatar
Shannon
Posts: 11232
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:58 pm
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: GFCI tripping when turning on light switch

Post by Shannon » Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:02 pm

Also be sure you have the GFCI wired correctly. Power supply (white and black) from in the box get attached to "line" half of the GFCI and wires going to switch (white and black) from "load" half or GFCI
If you've found our videos or website information helpful, please considering pledging us on Patreon

Joed
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:46 am

Re: GFCI tripping when turning on light switch

Post by Joed » Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:28 pm

Yes the GFCI is wired correctly. Only thing I can think of causing this is some kind of ground issue, or a defective light fixture. The light switch should be ok its brand new but could be defective. I will try adjusting the grounds if that doesn't work I will try and change the light fixture and switches.

User avatar
A. Spruce
Posts: 4528
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2016 5:23 pm
Location: California, USA

Re: GFCI tripping when turning on light switch

Post by A. Spruce » Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:20 pm

Are you sure there is a neutral in the light box and that it's not just a switch leg?
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

User avatar
Shannon
Posts: 11232
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:58 pm
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: GFCI tripping when turning on light switch

Post by Shannon » Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:55 pm

A. Spruce wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 1:20 pm
Are you sure there is a neutral in the light box and that it's not just a switch leg?

Good point !
How many wires are in the ceiling now?
Just one 14/2 wire?
Is this an existing circuit that was working fine before you installed the new light?

Sometimes cheaper switches cause some static or something when they are used and they can cause issues
If you've found our videos or website information helpful, please considering pledging us on Patreon

User avatar
emtnut
Posts: 1417
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 7:21 am
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: GFCI tripping when turning on light switch

Post by emtnut » Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:56 pm

As Shannon mentioned, the wiring connections should be outside the plate.
It's hard to tell from the pic. Another angle would help, and without the plate in the way so we can see how it is being fed.
Spruce brought up a good point about the switch loop. Need a better view of what you have there.

The GFCI will trip on overload, and also if there is a neutral and ground touching each other.
~~ This space for rent ... apply within :mrgreen: ~~

User avatar
Aaron
Posts: 2620
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:03 pm
Location: St. Paul, MN

Re: GFCI tripping when turning on light switch

Post by Aaron » Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:15 pm

When that cord goes into that plate hole for the connections in the fixture box, it should also have some sort of strain relief, clamp, or grommet as an attachment to the plate so the outer insulation doesn't chafe on the metal plate. The pendant light should have a secure means to hang. It should not be tugging on the connections in the box as it hangs.

User avatar
Shannon
Posts: 11232
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:58 pm
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: GFCI tripping when turning on light switch

Post by Shannon » Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:46 pm

Aaron wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:15 pm
When that cord goes into that plate hole for the connections in the fixture box, it should also have some sort of strain relief, clamp, or grommet as an attachment to the plate so the outer insulation doesn't chafe on the metal plate. The pendant light should have a secure means to hang. It should not be tugging on the connections in the box as it hangs.
I was thinking about this earlier today, you are completely correct about being hung securely and not just by the connections. The way it is now if it came apart you could have the hot wire touch the bracket.
If you've found our videos or website information helpful, please considering pledging us on Patreon

User avatar
Aaron
Posts: 2620
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:03 pm
Location: St. Paul, MN

Re: GFCI tripping when turning on light switch

Post by Aaron » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:52 pm

Usually the manufacturer includes all the parts you need for a proper, safe installation. Best to double check the packaging and/or instructions.

Post Reply