switch to plugin trouble


  #1  
Old 02-26-04, 11:18 AM
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switch to plugin trouble

I am trying to convert a light switch to a plug in. The light switch is the second of two to control the light. I want to plug in my new deep freezer. here's what i got. old wiring, no color code. 2 sets of wiring, one with 3 wires, and 1 with 2 wires. 1 wire from each side is connected together. 1 wire from each side is on each side of switch, and the last wire is on lower second screw on the right(as you look at it). the problem is that when i try to make it into a plugin, either i get nothing,i get enough to operate my wireles phone9test item), or if i plug in the freezer, the light comes on, not the freezer. what am i missing? Is this just screwed up wiring?
 
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Old 02-26-04, 11:43 AM
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What was the switch controlling? Power is coming in on the 2 wires from the 1 side.The 2 wires that are connected are neutrals.The other 2 wires that are left must go to what the switch is powering & to another light switch or receptacle.
 
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Old 02-26-04, 11:52 AM
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the switch was only connected to a ceiling light. it is one of 2 switches for this light. One at each end of the room.
 
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Old 02-26-04, 12:05 PM
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Can't be done. Find another source of power to tap. A unswitched receptacle on a very lightly-loaded circuit is usually okay. However, a new circuit is certainly preferred. The last thing you want is for the breaker supplying your freezer to trip all the time.
 
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Old 02-26-04, 12:10 PM
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I apoligize for missing that in the OP. Since it is 1 side of a 3-way you will need to figure out what wires go to the 2nd switch. Those are your travellers.Do you know which of the is the hot in the box,this will go to the black screw on a new 3-way.If you stll want a 3-way switch there you'll need to get a combo device.It will have a 3-way & a receptacle.The travellers each get connected to the other 2 screws.If the light still doesn't work the travellers are crossed.
 
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Old 02-26-04, 12:14 PM
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John right since this is a large appliance it is better to run a new circuit.
 
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Old 02-26-04, 12:18 PM
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Part of my simple "can't be done" judgement was based on your failed attempts. Although tapping power from a 3-way switch only works in a small number of cases, it can work if you're lucky. If you want to explore that possibility, here's how:
  • Shut off the breaker.
  • Record all the wiring so that you can put it back later.
  • Remove the switch and separate all the wires.
  • Turn the breaker back on.
  • Use a simple neon circuit tester to test for voltage between the two wires in the set with only two wires.
  • If your tester lights up, then you're lucky. If it doesn't, then you're not and my "can't be done" judgement stands.
Good luck.
 
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Old 02-26-04, 12:55 PM
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went ahead and rewired it back to the switch. The breaker for this room runs one ceiling light and the washer(on an outlet). Could i just tap into the wire for the existing outlet and run it to a new second outlet? I'm running an extension cord from that outlet right now to power the freezer.
The thing that i didn't understand about the whole deal was why when i configured it to be an outlet, i could get my cordless phone to work just fine, but if i plugged the freezer into the same outlet, it turned on the ceiling light?
 

Last edited by tae; 02-26-04 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 02-26-04, 01:14 PM
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Which wires did you connect to the outlet?

I am thinking that you connected the wrong wires to the outlet, and put the freezer in series with the light. This would make the light in the freezer and regulat light work (albeit at less voltage), but not provide enough voltage to start the freezer compressor.
 
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Old 02-26-04, 04:27 PM
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If you want to convert this to one switch only operating the light then it can be done, but I need to know all the wires in both switch boxes. The remaining switch will be converted to a single pole switch.
 
 

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