I want to relocate a GFCI outlet in my kitchen that is currently below my top cabinets to above the cabinets so I can plug in an LED rope light and illuminate above the cabinets. With that being said I wanted to connect a switch to the outlet so I can turn the light off and on.

When I took of the face plate for the outlet I noticed there are 2 sources of power (see pictures). There are two hot wires (black) and each are on their own brass screws. Then same thing for the neutrals but on the silver screws.

So do I have to install a 4 outlet box and put a power source to each of the outlets and then wire the switch to one of the outlets? Or can I put the two black wires together and put it on one brass screw and same for the neutrals?

Then is it a good idea to use a dimmer switch?

Two Black Wires Two sources of power

  • 2
    That's a standard receptacle, a GFCI has buttons to test and reset it, though it may be on a circuit protected by a GFCI. It's not two power sources, one pair of wires is the line, the other is the load. Based on the questions you're asking, I believe you would be better off to have a professional do this work for you.
    – BMitch
    Mar 2, 2016 at 3:52

2 Answers 2


While it's possible that the receptacle is split and fed by two sources, it looks like the tab between the terminals is still in place. This means that one of the cables is likely the supply (from the panel), while the other feeds devices further along the circuit.

If the tabs between the terminals are in place, then it's not fed by two sources. You can connect the blacks to blacks, the whites to whites, and the grounds to grounds.

From there, I'd suggest installing a combination switch/receptacle. Running a cable up to where you want the new receptacle, and hooking up the new receptacle so it is controlled by the switch.

That way you don't completely lose the existing receptacle, but you still get your switch controlled lighting.

Depending on the device used, the wiring would look something like this.

enter image description here


  • Since this is a countertop receptacle, it has to be GFCI protected. If it's not already protected, you'll have to install a combination switch/GFCI receptacle. In which case, the wiring will be slightly different.
  • 1
    +1 but I think your 5yo granddaughter might benefit from art lessons ;-) Mar 2, 2016 at 11:41
  • @RedGrittyBrick It takes a lot of nerve to mock 101's quick sketch when we think about his illustration (illustrious?) history!
    – bib
    Mar 2, 2016 at 13:49
  • @RedGrittyBrick Sorry, got a new phone that allows me to draw on the screen. Still getting used to drawing with a stylus, and using the drawing software.
    – Tester101
    Mar 2, 2016 at 13:53
  • I'm no good with a stylus, I tend to draw with pen and paper, take a photo then reduce to 2 colours to make the background white. Many years ago I recall seeing a video about a drawing app that converted wobbly scrawls into perfect squares and circles etc. Closest I can find now is "Think Kit" for "Paper" for iPad - but I don't have any iDevices :-( Mar 2, 2016 at 14:43
  • Thank you for the comments @Tester101! I will be getting a professional to look at it and do the work.
    – Andrewa
    Mar 3, 2016 at 16:54

First, you don't have two sources of power, between the 2 screws there is a metal tab, visible in the top picture that makes the 2 screws act like they are the same. so you can just combine all the black wires in a pigtail, see the image below. The short wire would go to one screw. enter image description here enter image description here In order to be code complaint, see NEC 404.14(E), you have to have a non-standard plug type for a dimmed outlet. Lutron is the only company I know that has readily available dimmable setups and they tend to be expensive. Better to just have them on a switched outlet unless you really want it to be dimmed.


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