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Thread: Buzzing noise at GFCI outlet

  1. #11
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    11
    Yes, well aware of this issue at Christmas time ;-) I have to load balance all of my decorations between different circuits. So, to help me understand, because I am not sure what you mean by "move the gfci protection to ahead of the outlet" -- if I keep the gfci outlet as is and use the neutral switch instead of the dimmer, the only issue I will have is being limited to 6 amps?. I won't start any fires in this scenario, correct? I will then look into switching the breaker for this circuit to a gfci breaker before Christmas. I just want to be able to control my outside lights when I am out of town in the next couple of weeks.

  2. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
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    233
    I think you need Lutron to weight in on this. The neutral switch may or may not work. It may or may not create a hazard. I would venture to bet that Lutron didn't list the neutral switch for controlling a gfci outlet. The safe and correct answer is remove the gfci and put a blank plate over it until you can install a switch and relay for a gfci protected circuit for the Christmas lights.

  3. #13
    Do you know if the pole lights are downstream from the GFCI? You can find this out by turning on the circuit and then using the "test" button. This could help with picking the best advice. It might make sense to put a Pico remote where the dimmer is now and move the dimmer to near where the GFCI is located.

  4. #14
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2016
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    I do not know if downstream. After I hit the "test" button, what am I looking for? I did order a dual voltage neutral switch (Model:PD-5WS-DV-WH) to see if this works. I won't be able to move the dimmer, because I want it to control my porch lights and there is only one switch that controls these lights. I am attaching a diagram. The lights and outlets in the 2 posts and the gfci outlet was added after the home was built.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_0891.JPG  

  5. #15
    With the switch turned on and "Test" pressed, can you confirm which lights remain on, and which outlets have power? The ones that have no power are protected by the GFCI, and are therefore in the downstream / "protected" side.

  6. #16
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2016
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    The post lights with outlets are connected to the gfci outlet. They shut off during "test". So they are downstream.

  7. #17
    Okay, are you really looking for dimming, or just automation / remote control?

    Installing a GFCI breaker, replacing the old GFCI outlet with a standard one, and using the neutral switch is the simplest fix, but limits your current capacity to 6A. You could use the dimmer in the same scenario. It wouldn't be to code with the outlets on the dimmer, but they would be fine if only used for simple loads like Christmas lights. Just take them out before selling the house.

    There are also more complicated options: you could change the circuit to pass full un-switched power (15A capacity) downstream to each pole, and then put a dimmer at each location, but you'd be looking at 3+ dimmers and lots of work tracing circuits.

  8. #18
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2016
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    I do not need a dimmer. I'm just looking to have an "on/off" switch. So even if I replace dimmer with just an on/off switch, I need to install gfci breaker? I didn't have this with my old switch before I replaced it with the dimmer.

  9. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
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    233
    Yes, the best way to come closer to correct would be to use a GFCI breaker and a Caseta Switch. You still run a risk if more than 5-6 amps total is to the switch between lighting and items plugged into the outlets.

    Another option, which is ideal, would be to use a relay at the panel and locate the switch there as well. Then splice through the old wall switch and install a pico over the wiring. The pico would then give manual control so you do not need the app or to go to the electrical panel. If you use a 20 amp relay you do not need to worry about over loading the switch and the GFCI in the garage can stay as is.
    RadioRa2 PSP Level 2 Platiunum
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  10. #20
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2016
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    This device is becoming more of a hassle than it may be worth. Why only 6 amps when going from a regular on/off switch to a "smart" switch? Should I have had a gfci at the breaker with my old regular switch? I guess I don't understand what the difference is going from the regular switch to a smart switch.

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