GFCI Switch/Outlet Wiring Diagrams

–Check local regulations for restrictions and permit requirements before beginning electrical work– The user of this information is responsible for following all applicable regulations and best practices when performing electrical work. If the user is unable to perform electrical work themselves, a qualified electrician should be consulted.

This page contains wiring diagrams for a ground fault circuit interrupter (gfci) with a built in switch, often called a gfci combo switch. This device can be used for ground fault protection near water sources such as in a kitchen or bathroom where space is a minimum.

There are basically two ways to wire this device, one to protect the load on the switch and one with no protection for the switch portion of the circuit. Having both options is convenient because if the switch controls a light fixture, including it in the protected circuit would cause the lights to go off whenever the gfci trips. This can create a dangerous situation at night. If the switch controls a garbage disposal or similar load near water, however, it can be helpful to have it protected for extra peace of mind.

Wiring a GFCI Switch/Outlet and Garbage Disposal

wiring diagram gfci switch and outlet with garbage disposal

This diagram illustrates the wiring for a Cooper gfci combo switch device to protect a garbage disposal. With this wiring method, the gfci outlet, the switch, and the disposal are all protected with the ground fault breaker built into the device.

The receptacle half of the combo is always hot and if the disposal or a load plugged into the outlet cause a ground fault, the whole device will trip and the neither will work until the danger is removed.

To wire this circuit, the hot source is connected to the hot terminal on the receptacle outlet half of the combo device. The source neutral is connected to the neutral side of the outlet. One of the builtin switch wires is connected to the hot side of the switch half on the device. The other switch wire is spliced with the hot wire running to the garbage disposal. The neutral wire running to the disposal is connected to the neutral terminal on the combo switch.

Wiring a GFCI Switch/Outlet and Light Fixture

wiring a gfci outlet and switch

This gfci combo wiring diagram leaves the switch and light fixture out of the protected circuit. With this arrangement the receptacle outlet is always hot and protected by the device. The switch and light are not protected by the device but will still work if the gfci trips. This can be useful if you need the lights to stay on if a ground fault occurs.

To wire this circuit, the hot source is spliced to the hot on the receptacle and to one of the wires on the switch half of the device. The other switch wire is spliced to the hot wire running to the light fixture. The source neutral is spliced to the neutral terminal on the combo receptacle and to the white wire running to the fixture. Likewise, the source ground is splice to connect the combo and the ground wire to the light fixture.

–In these wiring diagrams, the brass colored terminals represent the hot side of the device and the silver colored terminals represent the neutral side. Ground wires and terminals are in green, including a green dot representing the builtin grounding terminal found in most metal outlet boxes.

–By code, the number of conductors allowed in a box are limited depending on box size. Conductors include wires, devices like switches and receptacles, and some other metal parts. Check here to calculate the number of conductors allowed in a box before adding new wiring, etc.