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For a technical treatment of How a GFCI works check this by Sam Goldwasser. One of the silly ways a GFCI outlet will trip is by a person accidentally pressing the test button.
This may be a visiting child, or it may be that when someone is unplugging something from the GFI, their thumb happens to press on the test button.
As a separate tip, by 2007 Leviton GFIs' buttons have lost their color, and the reset button is so recessed that it doesn't "look" tripped when it is.
Their purpose is to protect people from electrocution. For instance, if something at the bathroom outlet tripped a GFCI, it might trip the device that had been added right there as an "upgrade," or else it might trip the original one in the garage -- whichever one happened to respond more quickly.
How you hook the other wire up depends on whether the item to be switched is to be on the same circuit as the receptacle.
If it is not, keep it and its neutral totally separate from the GFCI wiring.
Recent GFCI design requirements seem to be making the test button unnecessary: new GFCIs must fail to deliver power if the GFCI becomes incapable of reacting properly to faults. Of course, they can fail in other ways, as when they WON'T run things. Above all, DON'T THINK THE GFCI IS DEFECTIVE WHEN IT KEEPS TRIPPING or will not let itself be reset.
I have come across only two cases of defective tripping.