I am trying to replace an old outlet with a GFCI outlet in a kitchen to meet requirements for a loan. The outlet is next to the sink and has an outlet and a light switch in the same box. It looks like the light may have been wired to run a light above the sink and to control the top outlet. How do I wire the GFCI outlet into this?

Right now we can get the bottom outlet on the GFCI to work by hooking up a white and black wire to the line side of the outlet but are not sure how to hook up the switch. There is a ground wire hooked up to the GFCI outlet and the test and reset work properly with just the line wires connected. It also appears that another outlet further down the counter may have been hooked to this as that outlet isn't currently working. Any help would be great. We are trying to do this ourselves to save money before closing on the house.

1 Answer 1


Any GFCI can protect downstream parts of the circuit. You move that circuit (hot and neutral) to the LOAD side of the GFCI.

Here's the trick: You must move hot and neutral together as a matched set. If you don't, you'll get constant GFCI trips. This can get complicated with light switches, so you have to slow down and learn what you're doing.

Whenever you get a complicated one, seriously consider going to the previous location from which that location is fed... and put the GFCI there instead. If that is the first location, replace the breaker with a GFCI breaker and call it done.

If you don't see a light to be switched, it's possible that switch works a garbage disposal. Switches near sinks usually do that. If the disposal has a receptacle, it'll be under your sink. That definitely needs GFCI protection.

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