I'm replacing a pool light and opened the junction box displaying the wiring for the light. I see one white wire and one black wire (Line side) connected to the black and white wires to the light. Also, there is a red wire in the box capped off and a green ground wire attached to the back of the box. Since there is no electrical outlet, I want to put in a GFCI outlet so that I can use the outlet to plug in things. I understand that the black and white line wires will go in the line side on the GFCI outlet. How will the new pool light wires connect to the GFCI outlet, into the load terminals?


  • Hey Jolly, sorry I confused you. Formally, the pool light was operated by a switch and still is if I hook up the light directly to the wires found in the junction box. I want to add a GFCI outlet to protect the pool light, and to have a source of electricity to plug in extension cords or a radio. Therefore, I need to run the wires coming from the switch to the GFCI and also hook up the pool light wires to the GFCI so that it comes on when the switch is turned on, and it's also protected
    – Glen
    Apr 5, 2017 at 10:34
  • if you reply to Jolly's answer directly he will get a notification about it. Otherwise he won't know.
    – user48010
    Apr 5, 2017 at 14:23

1 Answer 1


I think I understand what you are asking.

My understanding is that you are not needing this light to be protected from the GFCI receptacle (since it wasn't before). You would just like to add a GFCI to the existing circuit.

It sounds great that you have figured out that the wires going to the light are "line wires". However I think you might be using that terminology a bit different than most electricians would. To us "line wires" are generally wires that are constantly hot. As in not switched power. This being a light I presume that the hot wire is actually switched power. Do you need to turn on a light switch for these lights to come on?

So the question is. Is it switched power going to your light? If the black wire going to your light is switched power, is the red wire switched power? You might need to trace back to where that red wire is fed from to see if you can get constant power from the previous box on the red wire to bring to this current box.

Basically you will end up with one of two scenarios.

Scenario 1 - Either the GFCI will only work if the light is on (because the hot is switched). Which you can still wire up. You will take the black and white "feed" wires in your box, and attach two pigtails on each wire. One of the pigtails will go to the light, and the other one will go to your Line side of your GFCI (for the black and white wires). You do not need to put all the cables on the GFCI or use the load side. Since you don't actually need anything protected by the GFCI.

Scenario 2 - You are able to get in your box a "switched hot" a "constant hot" and a neutral. You will wire your light up like before, and take the new "constant hot" you might have just found and put it on the line side of your GFCI and the neutral and also put on the line side of your GFCI.


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