switch receptacle


  #1  
Old 03-06-04, 02:34 PM
ptloibner
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switch receptacle

I'm replacing an outlet where a switch used to turn on the bottom half of the outlet, but now it does not. I have broken off the tab on the copper (right) side. I have switched the white wires on the left (silver) side back and forth and on the same screw. I have put the red wire on top on the copper side and the black on the bottom... then switched them and tried every combination in case I didn't remember. Both halves of the outlet are hot at every combination as are the two outlets behind it. Which wire from which screw does what? It looks like a standard outlet with four wires, but where does the switch fit into this? Thanks.
 
  #2  
Old 03-06-04, 03:00 PM
Lew Falconer
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I think the problem is your switch, not your receptacle. Usually the red wire is the switched wire to the bottom outlet. It really doesn't matter whether the top or bottom is switched, it's your choice.
It sounds to me like the switch has gone defective in the on position so you can't turn the power off to the receptacle. Replace the switch wired just as the old one is and you should be good to go. If not, let us know what wires are in the switch junction box and what is connected to the switch.
Remember to turn off the power at the service panel before doing the job.
Have a good day and let us know how you make out.
 
  #3  
Old 03-06-04, 03:20 PM
R
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I agree, check the switch. Swichtes have moving parts, which can go bad.

At the outlet the white wire goes on either the silver screws, tab not broken. The red wire coes on one brass screw and the black wire goes on the other brass screw, with the tab broken between them. The ground goes to the green ground screw.
 
  #4  
Old 03-06-04, 04:03 PM
ptloibner
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It's a new switch that turned on the outlet before I replaced the outlet. It has a red wire in the top and a black wire in the bottom. It's a standard pole switch. Thanks for quick responses.
 
  #5  
Old 03-06-04, 05:58 PM
J
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If you are switching white wires then you must have 2 cables into the box. Where is the second black wire connected? What are all the connections at the switch?
 
  #6  
Old 03-06-04, 06:22 PM
ptloibner
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There's just the one black wire is available for attaching to the outlet, and only one was available for the outlet I took off.... After further looking at the outlet, I realize that there are two black wires with a joiner thingy merging it into one that is at the bottom right side of the outlet. But it worked that way with the previous outlet.

The switch is just the one red wire on top and the one black wire
on top as previously described.

Thanks.
 
  #7  
Old 03-06-04, 07:01 PM
Lew Falconer
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Just to set the picture straight in our minds: in the receptacle junction box you have both white wires connected to the upper and lower silver screws. There are two black wires wire nutted together with a third wire that is attached to the upper brass screw. There is one red wire attached to the lower brass screw and the tab is removed between the two brass screws.
At the switch, there is one red and one black and they are attached to the upper and lower screws on the switch.
If all of the above is true, turn off the power to the circuit again. Pull the switch out of the box and remove the red wire from the switch and separate the wire away from the switch and box to avoid it touching anything.
Make sure nobody goes near the switch. Turn the power on again and check for power at the receptacle. If there is no power where the red wire is connected, the new switch is defective.
Let us know what you find. Please be sure the wiring at the receptacle is as I stated above.
 
  #8  
Old 03-06-04, 07:47 PM
R
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It sounds very much like the switch is bad.

Try the suggestion to remove the switch to see if that removes the power to the outlet.

Also give us a complete inventory of all the cables and wires in the switch box and the receptacle outlet box. Be specific, tell us what cables are present, what wires are in each cable, and where the wires go.
 
  #9  
Old 03-08-04, 08:48 AM
ptloibner
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I have changed the switch even though it was a new switch and it worked before... the outlet is still always hot.

Cable and Wire inventory again?! Lew Facolner has described it to perfection. There are no other wires or cables as seen by the nakad eye.

I disconnected the red wire from the switch and tested the power at the outlet where the red wire is connected (presently the bottom half) and it was still hot! (both halves)

So it appears that I have the wrong red wire or something, but it worked before... I swear! I also made sure that I had completely cut the tab and that none of the wires were touching.

Thanks.
 
  #10  
Old 03-08-04, 11:07 AM
R
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Are any other receptacle outlets in this room switched? Are there red wires in any other receptacle outlets?

Something is wrong here. If you have one end of the red wire open, and the other red wire is still hot then either the outlet is bad, you have not broken the tab properly, or you don't have the other end of the red wire.

What happens when you remove the red wire from the receptacle outlet? Is the red wire hot? Is the outlet hot?

This really isn't that complicated. Something is not right with what you are doing, or telling us.
 
 

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