Switched outlets


  #1  
Old 03-31-03, 02:12 PM
RodgerG
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Switched outlets

Hi,
I wired a circuit with 7 switched receptacles. I ran power to the switch using 2-wire. I ran 3-wire to the receptacles pig tailing to each one except for the last one. White to the top silver screw, tab intact. Black wire to the top brass screw, red wire to the bottom brass screw, tab removed. Single pole switch, whites together, blacks together and pig tailed to top screw, red wire to bottom screw. Everything is grounded. While testing with a light tester, I noticed that even though the switch was off, there was sometimes a very dull light when I checked the bottom receptacle. This was not consistent with receptacles; it would be different receptacles at different times. Sometimes there would be no glow at all, which is what I thought I would find. I want to think this is normal considering that when the switch is off and no power is being fed to the bottom receptacle, it still picks up any power running through the neutral. Is this true? If so how does this trace amount of current affect the lamp plugged into the bottom receptacle? Also, if this should not be doing this, what could be wrong? I did a very meticulous job wiring and packing these boxes, and nothing is touching the neutral side of the outlet except the white wire. That is why I think this must be normal.
Thanks, Rodger
 
  #2  
Old 03-31-03, 02:26 PM
J
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Try unplugging everything from both halves of all seven receptacles and trying it again. Tell us what happens.
 
  #3  
Old 03-31-03, 02:47 PM
RodgerG
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re

I have not plugged anything in yet. It is a new circuit. These were my test results right after wiring into the service panel.
Thanks
 
  #4  
Old 03-31-03, 03:06 PM
P
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You mention using a "light-tester". Could you please be more specific in describing the tester? I suggest using a standard "A" lamp in testing the wiring.
 
  #5  
Old 03-31-03, 03:24 PM
J
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You wiring sounds correct. If you are using a neon light tester it could be the proximity of the other power wire that is making the light come on dim. Try plugging something into the recptacle and flip the switch.
 
  #6  
Old 03-31-03, 04:14 PM
RodgerG
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The tester is a tiny bulb in a frame with two wires coming from it. You stick a wire in each slot. I have two different ones. I also have a voltometer? I can try. I will turn the circuit on and try a lamp or something and post back. Like I said, it is very random, I can check one and see a very dim glow, go back to the same one 2 min. later and no glow. Thanks
 
  #7  
Old 03-31-03, 04:19 PM
J
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Here is some interesting reading for you. I'm not quite sure yet whether or not this applies to your situation.
 
  #8  
Old 03-31-03, 04:50 PM
RodgerG
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Thanks for the link. It sounds like this could be just that. OK, I tried the testers again and this time all the bottom outlets had a very slight glow with the switch off. I plugged a lamp into all the outlets, both with the switch on and off. It works just as it should on all seven receptacles, both top and bottom. I am confused now. I will get a battery for my meter and try to measure the voltage. Ofcourse if I have a "phantam" voltage problem, than the meter may show just what the neon testers do. Thanks
 
  #9  
Old 03-31-03, 05:14 PM
RodgerG
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This is a response that I recieved from another gentelman in another forum.

"What type of tester are you using? Using a plug in type, with indicator lamps, will give an accurate indication of the circuit, which, with switch off, should show an open hot. and all ok when switch is on."

"Even with a small amount of voltage, a light fixture should not light up until the circuit is complete."

"A glow pen type of tester will show voltage, because there is voltage to the top 1/2 of the outlet. This is not a good tester to use in this case."

I believe what he is saying, but I don't quite understand.
Thanks
 
 

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