I'm trying to replace an old standard receptacle with a new GFCI receptacle as well as a switch to a set of lights next to it. The switch should not control the receptacle (outlets should have power regardless of switch).

Currently, the GFCI receptacle works when the switch is off. However, once I flip the switch, the receptacle trips and the lights do not power on. There are two cords coming into the electrical box.

Each cord has three wires that are black, white, and green (Cord A's green is mostly non-insulated). I'll refer to Cord A as the one of the left and Cord B as the one on the right.


Note that Cord A's black wire is stripped in the center and then continues to the GFCI receptacle. This is how it always has been.

I have been connecting the center-stripped black wire from Cord A and the end-stripped black wire from Cord B to the single pole light switch. I have tried grounding Cord A's green both with the switch and the receptacle. Same result either way.


For the receptacle, the end of Cord A's center-stripped black wire and Cord A's white wire are connected as line. Cord B's white wire is connected as load. Note that there is no other black wire to connect with load. I have tried swapping the white wires, but then the receptacle doesn't work at all.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

  • Can you get us better photos of the inside of the box? Commented May 18, 2017 at 18:28

1 Answer 1


Why are you using the LOAD terminals? You have no idea what they do, but what you do know is the GFCI is a different type of thing and the screws are even differently labeled. I am just mentioning this because mains power can get people hurt or burn your house down. "Not knowing" should make you more reluctant to experiment.

Pull the GFCI out of there, cover both the LOAD terminals with tape, and don't use them. Now your project has a chance of success.

That will create another problem to solve, and the answer is "pigtail".

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.