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I have a 3-wire source power wire (red/hot, black/hot, white/neutral and bare copper/ground) leading into an outbuilding to a light switch and GFCI outlet 4x4 metal box. This 3 wire provides power to multiple lights, multiple outlets and a security light in an outbuilding.

So I just want to make sure I hooked it up correctly.

Incoming or source wires:

  • Black wire- I connected the source black wire to the line in on the GFCI
  • Red wire - I connected to the source red wire to the line in on the light switch
  • Neutral wire- I connected to the line in on the GFCI opposite side of the black wire.
  • Ground wire- I connected to a pig tail wire connected to the screw in the back of the box and also to the ground screw on the light switch and the ground screw on the GFCI.

I have 3 romex wires coming into the top of the box leading to other lights, outlets and a security light.

Out going Lights romex wire: Going to my other lights wire I connected the black wire to the load side on the light switch and connected the ground wire to the pigtail with all the other out going ground wires and connected it to the ground screw on the back of the box. I wasn't sure if I needed to pigtail all the outgoing neutral wires and connect them to the load side of the GFCI? I believe I pigtailed the two neutrals from the outgoing lights and outgoing outlets wires and connected them to the screw on the load side of the GFCI. For the security light wire I used the push in on the load side of the GFCI. Everything is working but I'm not sure if I should have connected the white neutral going to my other lights to the load side on the light switch. Anyway they are all working with it connected to the GFCI load side for the white wires.

Outgoing outlet romex wire: I connected the black outgoing wire to the load side of the GFCI. I connected the ground to the other outgoing grounds on a pigtail and connected to the ground screw on the box. I connected the white wire to a pigtail with the other white wire going to my lights and then connected them to the load side opposite my black hot wire on the GFCI.

Outgoing security light: I connected the black wire for the security wire to the push in on the load on the GFCI and the white wire is also connected to the push in on the load side of the GFCI. The ground is connected to all the other outgoing grounds in a pigtail attached to the ground screw.

As stated everything is working and I have constant power to my outlets and all my lights turn on at this switch. Everything is working so I must have done something right but my only real question is should I have attached the white neutral wire going to my lights to the neutral on the light switch as well as the neutral load on the GFCI? I didn't connect the neutral back to the light switch I just put it back on the GFCI because that's where the line in neutral was. Maybe I should have pigtailed the incoming neutral and connected it to both the line in on the GFCI and the light switch? Now that I'm typing this that sounds like it may have been a better idea. Any help would be appreciated.

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You should have only attached the white grounded (neutral) conductor from the cable leading to the other receptacles, to the grounded (neutral) terminal of the GFCI. The white grounded (neutral) conductors for the lights should be connected with at pigtail to the neutral feeding the building.

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Unless you want to provide GFCI protection to the security light as well, then you'll connect the wires feeding that to the load side of the GFCI.

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  • Thanks! That's exactly what I was looking for. I like your diagrams also. I knew I had all my hot wires connected in the right places but was unsure of my neutral wires. I did have the security light on the GFCI circuit. – Curt H. Feb 25 '15 at 18:18
  • I also read in some of the other threads that people didn't think it was a good idea to use the quick connects on the back of the GFCI outlets. I did use these for the security light. Would it be better to pigtail them and use the screw? With all these wires coming into this 4x4 box there isn't that much room for a lot of wire connectors. – Curt H. Feb 25 '15 at 18:36
  • I prefer using the screw terminals, but I have nothing against the modern push terminals. – Tester101 Feb 25 '15 at 19:06

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