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AssuredElectrical, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4241
Experience:  Contractor-42+ Years in the ElectricalTrade
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What is the wiring two on pole switches and a gfci outlet.

Customer Question

hi. what is the wiring for a two on pole switches and a gfci outlet.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Electrical
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
hi. what is the wiring for two pole switches and a gfci outlet in one unit. Also i do not see a ground. The apt was wired inthe early 80's.see link to outlet/switch i want to install:
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 2 years ago.

Welcome. My name is ***** ***** would be glad to assist.

What was originally in the switch box?

What is the total count of wires and colors?

Can you get a picture of the switch box and wires and post?

Does your switch/Combo have wire leads or screw terminals? They have made several variations.

In the 80's, ground wires were in all cables, they should be somewhere in the box, can you verify?

Let me know and we can continue,


Customer: replied 2 years ago.
i see 1 blue 1 black 2 whites tied together and 2 reds one not connected and wrapped with tape. see pics
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
see link to new swtich/oulet
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you.
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 2 years ago.

Ok, thanks.

I already have seen the link to that new switch, it is an obsolete one no longer produced and why I had asked about the switch.

Does it have wires coming out of the switch?

If so, what are the colors?

Then, how many large screws and the screw colors on the new unit?

Post pictures of the new one for review and it would be quicker.

On one of the pictures, I see a double switch, is that what is being removed?

If so, what wires are connected to it? Colors?


Customer: replied 2 years ago.
double switch being removed- on one side black and red on the other seems to be blue (its very dirty.) the new combo has not yet arrived.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
the pic of the switch on amazon looks like it has a black and red wire
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 2 years ago.

Ok, thanks.

Let me search again for someone with an specification sheet on the switch/recept combo.

They are not made any longer and so the manufacturer doesnt even supply information on them.

I prefer not to guess on what the switch will have, prefer to know.

So, let me see if I can find anything, already checked earlier with no luck, but maybe something pops up.

In the meantime, on the existing switch, does the black wire connect to other blacks in the box?

The blue and red are by themselves?


Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Take your time. The new switch should be here soon. When it arrives I will take a pic and post.
It's now looking like both wires are black. Can you see pics of the wires?
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 2 years ago.


After posting, I thought I would check a service truck and I actually found one.

So, I now have the wiring.

It is shown below in the picture

The only thing we need to verify, is which of the 3 wires on the existing switch is power.

I am pretty sure it is the black wire, and you can test by removing the 3 wires and joining only 2 at a time and power up to see when the lights come on.

I believe black to red will turn on one light

Black to blue the other.

If not, let me know and I can change the diagram

Anyway, the wiring will be as seen in the picture

Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 2 years ago.

Let me know any questions on the diagram,


Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The diagram confusing. The Black looks like it goes back to the gfci box and connects to a screw. But the black is coming out of the back of the box?The red to red makes sense. Yellow to blue OK. with wire nuts, yes?How do I connect "the group of whites" to the box screw with a wiring nut?What about the 2 screws mentioned labeled load and 2 screws labeled line. What do I do with those?Thank you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Also as mentioned and can be seen in one of the pics is a red wire that is caped with tape and not connected to anything. What is that wire for?
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 2 years ago.

Ok, lets look at each wire:

1. First , the switch has a black wire. That black wire is going to connect to the power in your box

The Brass screw on the receptacle portion will ALSO connect to that same power wire.

So, you have 3 wires joined together with a wire nut.

2. The receptacle has a silver screw, that you will connect a short 6-8" piece of white wire to and take the other end and connect to the white wires existing in the box that are already under a wire nut.

3. The red wire on the switch connects to the red wire off the OLD switch

4. The yellow wire off the switch connects to he blue wire off the old switch

5. Connect a short ground wire to the receptacle portion and then connect the other end to the existing grounds in the box

That is it, nothing more

Any wires that are not connected at this time, there is no way for me to know what it goes to, you would have to trace the wire and find its location. It could go anywhere, there are no standards in wiring homes, it is any way someone installs the wiring.

Leave any unconnected now, unconnected.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you.There is no ground wire.However, i noticed that the wires coming out of the back of the box are sheathed. see pic. Not sure the implications of that but y is there no ground?
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 2 years ago.

Ok, thanks for pics.

You have metal sheathed cables. The metal sheath is your ground.

The boxes have holes the back, that you use for ground jumpers.

If you look at Home Depot or lowes, they sell green wires with a screw already affixed. Screw that into the box and you then have a ground.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
screw into the box on one end- the other end of the green wire goes where?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
in the diagram u sent there is no (green) ground wire. just (white) neutral wires.
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 2 years ago.


Grounds are pretty much a given in electrical, they connect to everything and always combined to each other.

There is a small GREEN ground screw on the switch and also should be on every switch and receptacle in your entire house.

CLICK HERE and see a grounding pigtail