Old 10-02-00, 09:16 PM
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I am not sure how to fix this. My friend was helping me change wall outlets and replaced outlets controlled by a switch and now the outlets wont work off of the switch. And one of the breakers trips when the switches are one even though nothing is plugged in. There are four wires and a ground on the outlets, is there a diagram to wire them or do I need an outlet tester?
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Old 10-03-00, 02:43 AM
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I am not an electrician, but once you determine whether your wire from the panel (power source) goes to the switch (two sets of black/white wires-with-bare ground in switch box) or comes from an outlet to the switch (one black/white-with-bare ground in switch box), you should be able to straighten it out.
First, turn OFF circuit breaker at panel.
If the switch has two sets of black/white wires w/bare ground: Connect both blacks (hot) to brass screws on switch, twist and wirenut both whites (neutral)together, and do the same with bare (ground) wires and pigtail to green screw on box.
If the switch has one wire of black/white-with-(bare)-ground coming from the first outlet: SWITCH: Connect the black at the switch to a brass screw. Mark the end of the white (now a hot) with a piece of black tape and connect it to the other brass screw on switch. Connect the bare ground to the green screw on the box. FIRST OUTLET: Mark end of (hot)white from switch with piece of black tape and connect to a brass screw on first receptacle. Twist/wirenut the blacks together (from switch to other receptacles). Twist/wirenut the bare grounds together (pigtail) and connect to green screws on receptacle and to box. Connect white (neutral) going to other receptacles to silver screw on first receptacle.
In other outlets: connect both incoming/outgoing blacks to brass screws, both whites to silver screws, and pigtail bare ground wires to green screws and boxes.
If you have any questions, any of the pro electricans in here will be glad to help you, if my preliminary info doesn't. Good Luck!
Old 10-03-00, 06:32 AM
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I think the answer might be that you forgot to break out the tabs separating the top and bottom outlets. And if you didn't pay attention to which wires went to the top of the outlet and which went to the bottom, you may have miswired too. Take a look at the outlet you removed (hopefully you have not discarded it). Is the tab broken out?
Old 10-03-00, 05:42 PM
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Again, I am NOT an electrician. But I think that you might have missed in tc's post that he only has 4 wires coming into his outlet boxes.
I thought that you needed 12/3wg to do split dupe receps? Am I right or wrong? (sprky still thinks that I'm just trying to fry myself, with my jakeleg wiring......LOL) I just do my own thing. I have no idea what the code is. I use common sense from watching pros.I just give folks prelim advice, and hope that a pro confirms or corrects me. (After all these years, I still haven't burned my house down or killed myself. "Another Accident Waiting To Happen" or Mike aka OG (Seriously, I would never give anybody any prelim advice that I did not think was safe.)

[This message has been edited by OldGuy (edited October 03, 2000).]
Old 10-03-00, 07:54 PM
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I have to agree with John on this one.

Old 10-04-00, 07:04 AM
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You need a tester. What you have is a split receptacle, one half is always hot, the other half is switched. These are common (required) in rooms with no ceiling fixture. The four wires you have are as follows:
1 black and white from source.
1 black and white from switch.
The reason it's blowing a circuit is because you have white connected to black through the switch.
To fix this do the following:
(determine source)
Break tab connecting the hot side terminals on the receptacle (colored screws). Do not break the neutral side (silver screws).
Take white from source and connect to one silver colored terminal on outlet.
Take black from source and pigtail to white from switch and a short black, hook short black to bottom half receptacle (colored screw).
Take black from switch and hook to top half receptacle (colored screw).
You're done...
Switches are confusing sometimes. Just because you have a white wire does not mean it is always neutral. In your situation, you have a hot and neutral wire at the outlet, not two hots and two neutrals. If it weren't for that switch, all you would have to do to wire the outlet is hook black to hot and white to neutral. But since you have a switch, it gets a little fuzzy, now what you need to do is hook white to neutral as before, but black will be interrupted by the switch first. So black goes to the switch first rather than directly to the outlet. Hence the black to white from the switch and then black from the switch to the outlet. This will switch the entire outlet. Your case is even further complicated by splitting the outlet. Now black comes from source to half the outlet, up to the switch and back down to the other half. Easy as pie....


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