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We moved into a new house last week. I was greeted with a faulty garbage disposal switch in the kitchen. The switch works intermittently depending on how hard it's pressed.

The second issue was the GFCI duplex receptacle on the right of the switch, was not working at all. A reset did nothing.

So I figured I'd replace the GFCI duplex with a new one from the hardware store. After installing that, the new GFCI would not turn on either, despite 120v power to the line terminals (as tested with my meter).

So I disconnected the load wires (pictured on the bottom), and the GFCI started working. The garbage switch continued to work (albeit just as flakey as before). Obviously the downstream receptacle (on the left) that was connected to load (on the right), wont work if it's disconnected.

So I'm wondering should I just replace the switch combo and wire it the same? Or maybe the thing is not wired correctly to begin with. Unfortunately I'm unable to ask anyone about what occurred here.

For reference this is a 2-gang box with 4 wires coming in (actually 5 if you include the ground on the left).

As they say though, a picture is worth a thousand words :) Any help would be great!

[Imgur](http://i.imgur.com/udwbzjV.jpg)

  • Are you trying to provide GFCI protection to the receptacle and switch, or just the receptacle? – Tester101 Apr 11 '15 at 12:05
  • I'm trying to provide GFCI for all the receptacles and switch. – cavalcade Apr 13 '15 at 4:47
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I don't know your "switch/outlet" combination in detail, but I'd guess there might be a connection by default (ie, the switch is tied to the outlet unless you break a tab) that's getting upset by the switch being fed from the line side and the outlet being fed from the load side of the GFCI. In any case, the disposal probably ought to be connected to the load side of the GFCI.

If the switch is the same one that worked or not depending how hard it's pressed, why haven't you replaced it yet?

The ground wire should be connected to the box. The other cable should be checked for a ground wire, and that should be connected to the box if it exists. The box & grounds should be connected to the GFCI and Switch/outlet ground terminals.

If you haven't dumped the trash yet the GFCI you removed might work fine, given what you have found with the new one.

  • thanks. yeah I kept the original GFCI (because I suspect as you do it still works). What about replacing the left hand with a GFCI Combo switch? Something like this Leviton X7299-W leviton.com/OA_HTML/… to answer your question about why I haven't replaced it yet, is because I wanted to research it first. it does need to be replaced though, I'm just trying to avoid doing something wrong – cavalcade Apr 11 '15 at 4:55
  • Is it bad to have 2 GFCI's side by side with one downstream from the other? – cavalcade Apr 11 '15 at 4:58
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    WHY would you need two GFI's in that box??? No reason whatsoever for it. – Speedy Petey Apr 11 '15 at 11:44
  • The reason the GFI does not have power is likely because it is fed from another GFI somewhere else. It's not bad to do this, but it does present troubleshooting problems that you are likely having here. Also, you have a lot of other issues going on in this box. As stated, the grounds MUST be connected to the box, and also the devices. Also, there are no connectors on the cables coming into the box. They do sell connectors that can be placed on from inside the box. Lastly, the disposal should NOT be on with the counter circuit. – Speedy Petey Apr 11 '15 at 11:47
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    ...con't: I'd bet this renovation was done by a handyman or someone who knew just enough to make it work but not how to do it right. – Speedy Petey Apr 11 '15 at 11:47
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GFCI Protection of Switch and Receptacle

If you want to provide GFCI protection to the entire combination device (both switch and receptacle), you'll want to provide a single feed from the load side of the GFCI to the device.

  • Connect a short bit of black wire to the brass colored LOAD terminal on the GFCI.
  • Connect the other end of that black wire to one of the brass terminals on the combo device.
  • Do the same with a bit of white wire, connecting the silver LOAD terminal of the GFCI to the silver terminal on the combo device.
  • Connect the grounds.

This should provide GFCI protection to the entire combo device.

GFCI Protection of Receptacle only

If you only want to GFCI protect the receptacle on the combo device, you'll have to provide multiple feeds to the device.

  • Connect a short bit of black wire from the ungrounded (hot) feed wire, to the upper brass terminal on the combo device.
  • Break the tab between the brass terminals on the combo device.
  • Connect a short bit of black wire to the brass colored LOAD terminal on the GFCI.
  • Connect the other end of that black wire to the lower brass terminal on the combo device.
  • Do the same with a bit of white wire, connecting the silver LOAD terminal of the GFCI to the silver terminal on the combo device.
  • Connect the grounds.

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