light switch not working


  #1  
Old 11-25-03, 04:20 PM
Shamim
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light switch not working

I have a light switch in the living room that doesn't seem to affect the workings of any of the sockets in that or any other room. It has current as I have tested it. In addition, all the sockets in the room also have current. In fact, when I turn of the circuit breaker for that room the current disapears from all the sockets and the light switch. What is wrong with this light switch, how can I make it work for a socket?
 
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Old 11-25-03, 04:33 PM
R
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Start by telling us how you determined that there is current at the light switch.

Then tell us what wires are present at the light switch. By that I mean any wires directly attached to the switch as well as any other wires that may be connected in the same box. Be specific. Tell us how many cables are present, and what color wires are in the cables, as well as exactly how they are hooked up.

I am guessing that perhaps the previous owner did not want the switch controlling anything, so he or she eliminated the switch from the circuit.
 
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Old 11-25-03, 05:24 PM
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Could it possibly be switching half of a receptacle? This is quite common so that half can be used for something like a clock while a lamp is switched.
Is anything switched in that room? Code says something must be switched when you enter a room. Be it a receptacle or a light fixture. Like racraft said, maybe the previous owner didn't want a switched receptacle and just spliced the wires to make it hot all the time.
 
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Old 11-25-03, 05:29 PM
J
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I'm with Speedy. To determine if the switch controls any outlet(s), test both halves of every duplex receptacle. If you have some receptacles with the ground hole on top and some with the ground hole on the bottom, then start your testing with the ground-hole-up receptacles.

It's also possible that the previous owner accidentally rendered the switch useless by replacing a receptacle without understanding what the tab on the side of the receptacle is for. You might turn off the breaker and check every receptacle in the room to see if there is a red wire in the box. Again, start with any that have the ground hole up. Be sure to let us know what you find.
 
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Old 12-08-03, 07:09 PM
Shamim
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Ok, thanks for all your replies and patience. Here is the situation: I have checked with an electrical tester to confirm that there is indeed current in the switch. All sockets in all recepticles are functional. Here are the contents of the switch recepticle:
There are two cables that come in: CABLE 1: white wire, blackwire, and a copper ground and CABLE 2: white wire, black wire, and red wire.
The white wires from cable one and cable two are neatly spliced together on the side. The black wire from cable one is going into the upper back of the switch and black wire from cable two is attached to the upper right side of the switch. The copper ground from cable one is going into the upper left side of the switch. Finally, the red wire from cable two is attached to the lower right side of the switch.
I'm still trying to check all the plug recepticles internally which is not so easy with all the furniture and a one year old running around.
 
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Old 12-08-03, 07:36 PM
J
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Does the switch lever say "on" and "off" on it, or is it blank? I'm guessing that it does say "on" and "off", and that the switch only has two screws (not counting the green screw that the bare wire is connected to). I'm also guessing that the black/white/red cable also has a bare wire that you forgot to mention??? How are my guesses?

I stand by my prior idea that somebody replaced a receptacle without knowing how to do it properly. Find the recepatcle(s) in the room with both a black wire and a red wire connected to it, and you have found what the switch is supposed to control. After you find it, we can tell you how to fix it.
 
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Old 12-08-03, 09:34 PM
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One or more of the outlets in the room will have a red wire that is either not connected at all, or is connected in parallel with the black wire.

If the red wire is not connected then eiother someone intentionally removed it (to make the outlet not be switched) or had no idea what it was for and did not connect it properly.

If the red wire is connected in parallel with a black wire then I agree with John, someone did not know what they were doing and incorrectly hooked the outlet up.

Please check all the outlets in the room. Do not stop when you find just one outlet with a red wire. There may be more than one outlet with the red wire.

Report back what you find at the various outlets. Also, decide which outlet or outlets containing the red wire that you want to be switched. You can select one or more of them. You could also select half od a duplex outlet to be switched and half to be always on if you want.

We will tell you how to wire it when we know what you have at the outlets and what you want.
 
 

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