toggle switch - oops


  #1  
Old 11-27-03, 09:18 AM
kralspace
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toggle switch - oops

My situation is this. I have two existing outside lights controlled by a single inside switch. The original lights were removed by the Stucco company that replaced the house siding. The owner asked me to replace the lights with new flood lights so the Stucco contractor did not replace the lights.

After installing the new flood lights, the switch has somehow become a toggle between the two lights. When the switch is in the "on" position the right light is on and the left light is off. When the switch is in the "off" position the left light is on (but very dimm) and the right light is off.

The original power source comes in to the left light box. I have the black connected to the black line down to the switch box and the white connected to the white on the right light box and a pigtail to the left light box. The white from the switch is coded (black) as a live wire from the switch and I have it connected to the black on the right light box and a pigtail to the left light box.

I have read through two different wiring books and have not found anything to help trouble shoot the problem. Has anyone experience something like this before.
 
  #2  
Old 11-27-03, 11:10 AM
J
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Your description sound correct (well, not code correct, but we'll get to that in a bit), but only if you have correctly identified the three cables in the left light box. Are you sure you know which of the three cables is which??

BTW, you have a violation of the NEC in how you wired the switch loop. Code requires that the white wire of the switch loop be the continuous power, and that the black be the returning switched power. You have it backwards.

I assert that you have mixed up which cable is which. I think that the cable you think goes to the switch actually goes to the right light, and vice versa. This would produce the symptoms you describe.
 
  #3  
Old 11-27-03, 12:24 PM
kralspace
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John,

I tested the wires before I started and I am sure about the orginal source (hot). Now, as for the other two lines, I first wired the right light box, tested, and it worked. I then wired (pigtailed) the left light box and got the toggle effect.

As I visualize what you are saying, I believe my right light box worked for my initial test because I did have the switch and right light box lines backwards which would make the switch the end of the series.

Yes, I now realize that I am in violation regarding how I wired the switch. I just looked it up in my handyman club home wiring book (pg 79) and it shows it as you discribed. I will switch the wires when I switch the lines tomorrow.

Thanks for your help and Happy Thanksgiving,

Martin
 
  #4  
Old 12-11-03, 06:33 AM
kralspace
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John, the problem is solved as you explained it. I had the wrong cable to the switch. I also changed to the white wire for the continuous power. Thanks for all your help.
 
  #5  
Old 12-11-03, 05:55 PM
J
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Martin, thanks for the report. You're welcome.
 
 

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