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I am trying to wire in a GFCI outlet from a 3 way switch. There is a good ground nearby but no neutral. Can it be done and how?

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  • Can you post photos of the insides of the boxes please? – ThreePhaseEel Mar 27 at 23:51
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No. You can never wire a receptacle with no neutral, and you can't substitute ground. (This is another disadvantage of running switch loops without them, which by the way is no longer allowed.)

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  • This is the answer for the way it is now and I also think how the CO meant the question. Just in case: they -could- run a neutral wire (or new wiring) yes? – Ack Mar 27 at 23:18
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    @Ack If they have big enough conduit, they could stuff a neutral wire through it. And they could of course run a whole new cable, but you can always do that. – Joseph Sible-Reinstate Monica Mar 27 at 23:20
  • That's what I figured. I'm not sure the OP knew it. They may not want to do it but now have the knowledge to make an informed decision. BTW your name is a long one to type out :) Do they need to run a full cable or just one wire? I assume that has to do with the electrical code. Say, run a single wire straight down to a crawlspace and fish it in, to avoid opening up the wall. I'm asking as much for me as them. – Ack Mar 27 at 23:31
  • @Ack -- you can't run a single wire by itself -- their options depend on what wiring method was used to wire their house, though. (One reason why photos are very important) – ThreePhaseEel Mar 27 at 23:52
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It is usually impossible to hang any other load off a 3-way switch circuit. Those wires do not perform the functions that you need. There is no way to --

-- Oh, wait. Smart switches.

Smart switches typically call for changing the functions of wiring in a 3-way circuit. They make it so always-hot and neutral are available at all switch locations (since the wired smart switches need power to function). A useful side-effect of that is that always-hot and neutral are now present for other loads.

We cannot advise further what your options would be, because you have given us very little information about the wiring in your circuit. Every 3-way switch circuit is different.

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