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Q&A About Adding a New Bathroom Light, Sharing a Neutral on a GFCI Circuit and Troubleshooting a Light Fixture

November 20, 2009

Question Kiki asks:
I want to add an additional flush mount ceiling fixture to my bathroom ceiling. I already have a combo exhaust fan/ceiling fixture. Can I connect onto this for my new fixture? If so, can you tell me the steps? Thank you.

You just need to install a 14/2 or 12/2 with ground cable (match existing size) between the fan/light and new light. If you do not have attic space above and the new light is not going in the same joist space, then this could be challenging. Essentially, you need to get a new romex cable from point A to point B. Connect the wires at the fan/light with the same wires which controls the light.


Claude Doud asks:
I have two circuits coming into my kitchen using a single 12-3 romex. I want to protect each of those circuits with GFCI. I am a bit confused on how the single neutral should be wired. On the first circuit I can connect the line with the black and white to the GFCI and protect the down stream outlets be connecting a second black and white on the load side and then on the line side of the next outlet.

How do I connect the white for the second (red) wire to the GFCI since I am sharing the common?

Unfortunately, you can’t share a neutral with GFCI and AFCI protected circuits. You need to install a new 12/2 with ground cable for your other kitchen circuit.


Aaron asks:
I have recently purchased a two bulb fixture due to the old two bulb fixture not working properly. The old two bulb fixture only had one bulb working. I installed the new two bulb fixture but again…only one bulb is working. I’ve double checked the wiring and it seems to be correct. Is it a problem with the wiring box that the fixture is being mounted to? or new switches?

It’s tough to say without being there. I recommend checking for voltage at each lamp socket. If there is no voltage there, then work your way backwards until you find the problem. If there is voltage there and the bulb still doesn’t work, then check the center tab to ensure it is not flattened. If it is, then turn off the power and use something flat to pick this tab up a little. If there is voltage and the tab is not flattened, then you have a loose connection somewhere and you need to work backwards towards your switches and breaker box to find the problem.


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