I need one more circuit in my garage (to run the dust collector and the table saw at the same time). I already have a circuit with ground and GFCI outlet. I also seem to have another circuit that feeds the porch light+ PIR and then it goes into the garage to come out of the garage on the front wall to feed the garage lights as in the first picture (2 wire circuit +ground) in the figure

enter image description here Below is what I think the wiring diagram would be for the above. The interrupted brown line is the garage wall on which the lights are installed enter image description here

I would like to add a receptacle combo switch so that when I work in the middle of the day to be able to switch off the garage lights like so: enter image description here

I am not sure if this is correct and if you have seen a more professional wiring diagram I would appreciate if you can point me to it. Also I am not sure if I need any sort of box other than this: enter image description here

The wall where the cable enters the wall to feed the first outdoor light looks like this(the wires are in fact vertical with the holes at the bottom of the picture, it was rotated so you can read the cable codes) enter image description here

Here is a picture inside of the box behind the firs light I will probably have to remove the PIR that was there (dead and disconnected now). Not sure if I can replace it. Removing it might add more room for the wasps that built a nest there -I just removed that and I had to patch the hot wire, as you can see the insulation was cracked... so I put some tape there enter image description here

  • Good job writing this question and providing photographs and details. Kudos! Commented Feb 22, 2020 at 13:26
  • thank you, all my posts are like this. At least that I can do in exchange for the help that I get here
    – MiniMe
    Commented Feb 22, 2020 at 14:13

1 Answer 1


yes, your diagram nails it, and it's obvious you have a good grasp of what needs to be done.

Those "handy-boxes" are great for plain receptacles. However, GFCIs are too bulky for them.

For GFCIs, I like to use a 4x4 steel square box, with a 1-gang "mud ring" that sticks out about 1/2", that gives plenty of room for the GFCI and nuts.

Since what is downline of the GFCI will be lights only, those don't need to be on GFCI protection. As such, do not use the LOAD terminals at all - leave the warning tape on them. Make all your connections to LINE.

Another option is to remove the GFCI from the garage altogether and put it in the house. Where? At the switch. By using a GFCI switch! Remember, once you complete your plan, you will almost never throw that inside switch. You are actually better off leaving the PIR powered up 24x7, and you'll be controlling the garage lights from the switch inside the garage. That's a perfect application for a GFCI switch, which is basically a GFCI deadfront that is rated for switching duty. The "Test" button becomes the Off switch, and the "Reset" button becomes the "on" switch. This will protect the entire circuit, lights and all, which is unnecessary, but it allows you to put the GFCI in a box that has room for it, and that lets you use a simple Handy-Box in the garage.

  • I don't think that I can do that inside, it is part of a three switch box that is installed in the wall near the entrance.
    – MiniMe
    Commented Feb 20, 2020 at 4:02
  • Above you are referring to one of these ? s7d2.scene7.com/is/image/homedepotcanada/p_1000805174.jpg These will sit on the wall I can't dig out a cavity for them. Can this box take the GFCI and the switch ? Is there an all in one face plate for both? Like this imperialsupplies.com/thumb/400/2DDD5_AS01.jpg but for GFCI ?
    – MiniMe
    Commented Feb 20, 2020 at 4:06
  • @MiniMe No, not that one, that one is weird. If you want to put them both in the same box, then go with a 4-11/16" square box (they're all deep) and a 2-gang mud ring. Face plates aren't a problem. Commented Feb 20, 2020 at 6:10
  • 4 11/16 switch/gfci cover Raco 858, it is unusual, reasonable pricing might be difficult. Using a 4x4x2.125 with an 814/814c would fit and price out reasonable Commented Feb 20, 2020 at 17:56
  • @NoSparksPlease the Raco 814 and 858 are domed covers which are not the same thing as a mud ring. The 814 in particular forces you to cut off the tabs that support the Decora cover plate screws, so you'll never be able to upcycle it to use anywhere else. I am proposing a mud ring like Raco 841 ($2) or flat Orbit 52000 or for a 4" box, Raco 791 ($1) which brings you out to a standard 2-gang formfactor. Then mount the switch and GFCI like normal, then a common-as-dirt 50 cent switch cover. Commented Feb 20, 2020 at 18:34

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