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Mike G.
Mike G., Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 6997
Experience:  Proven Professional 46 years Experience
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is it possible to add a regular switch by taking the hot from

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is it possible to add a regular switch by taking the hot from 3-wire cable for 3-way switch and the neutral from an outlet "receptacale"?

Hi, I'm Mike and I'll be glad to assist you. That's not a good idea. You may overload the neutral if both circuits are on the same phase. Also, the box in question may only have switch hot, not the lead box. If you can pick up a neutral at a receptacle, pick up the hot there.


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

the problem taking both the hot and the neutral from the receptacle is that this project is in the garage and the receptacle is protected by GFI. If you trip the GFI, you lose the light of the new switch.

If you only took a neutral from the receptacle, being GFCI protected, it would trip as soon as you tried to use the light. That's another reason for getting hot and neutral from the same source.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

If I follow your diagram, would the light turn off if the GFI is tripped

Yes it would when something faulted to ground, not when you used the light. It would consider the load on the neutral as a fault. The load on a hot has to match the load on a neutral when a GFCI is on the circuit.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Is it the same as taking both the hot and the neutral from the receptacle?


NO, the light will operate and not trip the GFCI in normal operation. The GFCI will only trip if there is a fault on the circuit.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Confusing, but thanks for your help.

Wire it up as directed and you'll see it works right.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


I have already wired it up by using the hot and neutral from the receptacle. IT is working, but I was trying to find a way to keep the lights on when the GFI is tripped. Using your method, I will still have the same problem.


Is the GFCI at the receptacle you tapped or elsewhere?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

somewhere else, but it is in series. The minute that the main GFI trips, I lose power in the next three receptacles attached to it.


If you where taking it from the lead GFCI, you could tap the LINE terminals and avoid the GFCI protection. That is the only way unless you find a different source.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

How? Please explain

If you look at the terminations on a GFCI device there are LINE and LOAD terminations. Anything connected to the line will not trip a GFCI because it will be ahead of the device components.
Mike G. and 2 other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


I like your ideas Mike.

Glad to help.

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