Wall switch still has power on it when switch is cut off.

by Mark Hefner
(Newton NC)

I am putting new recessed lighting in my basement drop ceiling. I cut off the wall switch and prepared my wires to wire in my new fixture. After checking to make sure power was dead, I started to wire in my new fixture. However when I started moving around the wires, I noticed a ground fault detector had kicked.


Next I checked the wire with the voltage and continuity meter and found that when I touched the white wire with the ground wire, the ground fault kicked again. I check ed to make sure the switch was wired correctly and it is.

Any thoughts??

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Jun 27, 2017
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Why the white wire to ground triggers the GFCI
by: Gary

Mark,

The GFCI will "sense" the difference in the amount of electricity flowing into the circuit to that flowing out, even in amounts of current as small as 4 or 5 milliamps. The GFCI reacts quickly (less than one-tenth of a second) to trip or shut off the circuit. Even though the white is typically the same as ground, the circuit is completed through the white wire therefore enough current for the GFCI to pickup the difference. Your GFCI is working perfectly.


Hope this helps.
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