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            DIY Message Boards  Hop To Forum Categories  Home Improvement  Hop To Forums  Electrical    one 20 Amp GFCI, one 20 Amp Toggle Switch, to four 14/2 Romex Wires in a Double Gang
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        one 20 Amp GFCI, one 20 Amp Toggle Switch, to four 14/2 Romex Wires in a Double Gang Sign In/Join 
        posted
        Ok electricians, I have something for you to shake your head at. I’ve got four 14/2 Romex wires coming out of a double gang box. (I assume they are 14/2 because they are white). As you can see from from my crude graphic (attached to this post) only one of the Romex wires has a ground coming out of it (I guess that makes it 14/3). I am not sure what everything is wired to. I can tell you that if I turn off a 20 Amp Breaker in the breaker box it will shut off power to the outlet and switch. (FYI because this appears dangerous I have shut off power to this outlet so I do not burn down my house). Any takers as to what I am doing wrong? The plugin will work but if I turn on the toggle switch it trips off the GFCI outlet. I understand that you may have many more questions so I am prepared to answer any that come my way. And thank you in advance for your help.

         
        Posts: 11 | Registered: Sep 30, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        Older romex wire sleeves for the 12 gauge wires were also white, you had to look close for the embossed writing, or take a wire cutter and see what it can tell you about the size.

        A 14/3 or a 12/3 means it has a black, white, and red wire -- plus the ground. Is it possible your wires with no grounds had the grounds cut off, or are of the older wire before grounds? And maybe that one wire with the ground is the result of someones remodel or handy work.

        So I wouldn't assume the size is 14, check it for sure.


        Which one of those wires is the actual wire that brings power into the double gang box?

        This message has been edited. Last edited by: Re-mdlr,
         
        Posts: 972 | Location: No. California | Registered: Mar 24, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        I'm having trouble understanding your diagram. It looks like you have neutrals and hots on the same connectors on the GFCI.

        The hots should all be under the brass colored screw and the whites should be under the silver colored screw. The line should be where the power comes into the box and the load should feed any down-stream outlets so they are protected by the GFCI. What does the switch control?

        I agree with Re-mdlr, older 12 gauge wires had white outer sheaths as well. The color coded outer sheaths is a relatively new development.

        This message has been edited. Last edited by: Sparky617,


        General Disclaimer

        Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

        My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
         
        Posts: 761 | Location: Cary, NC | Registered: Aug 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        And I see the first wire on the left has the black going to the 'load' side, while it's corresponding white wire goes to the 'line' side.

        So which is the 'power in' wire, and which is the wire that goes with the switch to turn on/off what???
         
        Posts: 972 | Location: No. California | Registered: Mar 24, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        quote:
        Originally posted by Sparky617:
        The color coded outer sheaths is a relatively new development.


        And it is a much improved and appreciated development
         
        Posts: 972 | Location: No. California | Registered: Mar 24, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        neutral "alternate use" white wires that are repurposed (for instance, running a 14/2 WG from an overhead light to a wall switch) are supposed to be recoded with colored tape.

        which some "hail, I know what these goldarn wires is for" guy in the house's past didn't do.

        your only hope is to trace 'em out.

        used to be everything was sheathed in the wiremaker's cheapest plastic color... all gauges. I have seen white, black, and of course the ever-popular UV-resistant grey for direct burial wire. back when they were trying to pass off aluminum wire as safe the second or third time, they even green-striped the outer jackets. gauge the wire with a stripper to see what size it really is, since I assume you do not have a dial caliper or micrometer in the tool box.

        easy fix is to replace the breaker with the proper size. if there is a tiniest bit of undersized wire in a circuit, either downrate it all or replace the funny bits.


        sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
         
        Posts: 5784 | Location: North Burbs, MN | Registered: Mar 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        I will check to be sure but the garage was built in the seventies. it is also on a 20 Amp pole so I think it is 12/2 or 3.

        Thanks for responding everyone. I’m not sure if I was clear, I apologize, but the following is what I would like to do. I would like to correctly wire everything so the plugin will work and I want the toggle switch to turn on and off a light fixture above. (Please refer to my notes below) I would also like to correctly wire it so everything that is not working, works.

        I updated the crude picture with the Toggle Switch, Receptacle and wires and reposted it. I added numbers and letters to help differentiate the wires. So we know what wires we are taking about.

        I also attached a crude diagram of my garage. The item that I have labeled “Double Gang Box” is where the receptacle and toggle switch go (from the first diagram I posted). Everything in this diagram (Except for the garage door) is running off the same 20 Amp breaker. Also connected to this breaker, not pictured, is my dining room fan/light, three separate toggle switches that control three separate closet lights and one kitchen fan/light.

        Right now I have everything in the Double Gang box disconnected. Rather, there is no receptacle or toggle switch in it. If the 20 Amp Breaker in the Main Load Center is switched on, everything works except for the items colored red.

        I hope this helps, please let me know if you have any questions and again, thanks for your help.

         
        Posts: 11 | Registered: Sep 30, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        My Garage

         
        Posts: 11 | Registered: Sep 30, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        Do you have a volt meter? The wires going into the line should be the feed from the panel. It looks like you light is picking up power from the outlet. The outside outlet should be connected to the load side of the gfci outlet.


        General Disclaimer

        Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

        My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
         
        Posts: 761 | Location: Cary, NC | Registered: Aug 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        Wire #1 is not connected properly, and you did not answer the question as to which wire is bringing in the power to the box. And what do wires #2, 3, and 4 go to?? Your GFCI outlet is connected incorrectly. Did you do this, or did you just buy the house and found this connected incorrectly??

        If it's built in the 70's, where are all the ground wires? And was the receptacle in the ceiling always on, or operated by a switch with the overhead light?

        This message has been edited. Last edited by: Re-mdlr,
         
        Posts: 972 | Location: No. California | Registered: Mar 24, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        I can't figure out why the white wires are all over the place. The feed from the panel should be on the silver screw on the line side of the gfci. All the others should be connected together and pigtailed to the silver screw on the load side with the possible exception of the light switch. I don't like using the device as a splice for the wires. It is legal, but my electrician dad and my tech school instructor would never allow me to do it.


        General Disclaimer

        Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

        My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
         
        Posts: 761 | Location: Cary, NC | Registered: Aug 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        I hate any time a switch and an outlet are in the same box. It's like taking one piece of bread and putting peanut butter on one side and then jelly on the other. It works, but there are better ways to do things
         
        Posts: 972 | Location: No. California | Registered: Mar 24, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        Thanks for all of your comments everyone. I was able to find, for the lack of terminology, the main feed and what all the other wires went to. I then successfully made everything work with the GFI and toggle switch. Thanks a bunch!
         
        Posts: 11 | Registered: Sep 30, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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            DIY Message Boards  Hop To Forum Categories  Home Improvement  Hop To Forums  Electrical    one 20 Amp GFCI, one 20 Amp Toggle Switch, to four 14/2 Romex Wires in a Double Gang

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