Perplexed.. adding a switch ...

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Old 03-27-04, 06:31 PM
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Perplexed.. adding a switch ...

Confused.. and could use your expertise....
I'm using 14/2 cable (internally) to extended power from the side of the house to the front of the house. I successfully added a new outlet to that side of the room; its grounded and works fine by itself.
I added an exterior outlet (waterproof) to the exterior of the house, through the wall and ran 14/2 cable to that box. I want that exterior outlet to be controlled by a switch. The box with the switch is located where I want it and I ran 14/2 cable from the 'power' source (new interor outlet) through the switch, to the new exterior outlet. I tried every possible wire connection from the 'power source' to..and thru the switch to the exterior outlet and nothing works, ie, that exterior outlet is not controlled by the switch. The CB trips.. or if I disconnect the switch, and connect blk-blk, wht-wht..from the new outlet to the exterior outlet, then I have constant power at the exterior outlet.
What am I missing.
Can you assist me with wiring the switch so that it controls the exterior outlet only?. Im at a loss here.
Would certainly appreciate your assistance.
 
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Old 03-27-04, 07:18 PM
ron605
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Splice the 2 white wires together and wirenut. then connect the 2 remaining black wires to the switch
 
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Old 03-27-04, 07:37 PM
Rlfrazee
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Outside outlet must also be a GFCI type recepatacle.....RL
 
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Old 03-27-04, 07:42 PM
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I did that .. and nadda happened... as far as that switch controlling the exterior outlet. Could the ground wiriing be transposed? Could that make a difference?. I thought this was pretty straight forward, but I guess NOT!
From the new interior box, I joined blk-blk, wht-wht, and Grnd-Grnd and ran that line to my switch box, bringing power to the switch box. It is from that point ( I believe), that something had gone wrong.
With power at the switch box, I tried various combinations of connections to the 'new exterior outlet'.. ie, tieing the wht-wht, then the 2 blk lines on either side of the switch with no ground on the switch- but just at the box. - and then grounding on the switch.
I dont know....something isnt jiving....
Please.
and Thanks
. Edit.
Outside will be GFCI protected, but at the moment Im just testing the line/ switch scenario with a regular outlet. When I get the exterior outlet working off the interior switch, Ill replace the reg outlet with a GFCI outlet. At this point, I dont think a GFCI outlet should make a diff, as far as getting that exterior out controlled by the internal switch... -agreed
 
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Old 03-27-04, 07:47 PM
ron605
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How many wires are in the box for the switch?
 
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Old 03-27-04, 07:53 PM
Rlfrazee
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Was just thinking if what ron605 suggests doesnt work then good possibility you are creating short with one of the black wires connected to switch touching ground, box etc. when you install it into switch box. If the breaker trips when you turn on switch then look in box and see if bare part of black wire going to outside receptacle is touching metal box or bare ground wire. Possible bad switch shorting when turned on but unlikely if new switch.....RL
 

Last edited by Rlfrazee; 03-27-04 at 08:03 PM.
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Old 03-27-04, 08:14 PM
Rlfrazee
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Jatco lets dont make this to complicated i.e. outlet works when switch bypassed....doesnt work when switch is installed and trips breaker also. Something is not right with switch installation. You are wiring correctly at the switch the ground (bare wire) will not effect the integrity of the circuit unless it touches bare part of a black wire.....RL
 
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Old 03-28-04, 08:14 AM
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Originally posted by ron605
How many wires are in the box for the switch?
6 in total.. including grounds. Black in - black out, white in-white out, ground in-ground out (pig-tailed in switch box) and grounded in the switch box.
It didnt look like anything was touching, as I didnt even put the switch in the box at this point. It was wired up, but hanging out of the box when I was testing the set up. Its not a new switch. The switch Im using just has 2 brass screws and 1 ground screw. Should the switch be pig-tailed for ground or no? Does that matter? Ive tried it with and without...
I'll double check the wiring in the switch box and see what happens.
Thanks for you input
 
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Old 03-28-04, 11:37 AM
ron605
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If your comfortable testing live , strip and tap the 2 blacks together. light should come on if everything else is correct
 
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Old 03-28-04, 12:08 PM
Rlfrazee
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Is the circuit breaker tripping when you turn the switch on? Thats how I'm understanding things. Also if you bypass switch you are saying the outlet works fine, is that correct? If so try new switch or switch you know is working. The ground is not going to effect the circuit as you explain.....RL
 
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Old 03-29-04, 12:26 AM
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...Well, I went to the box to remove that switch..and for the hell of it, I decided to wire my exterior box to the wires in the switch box to see if the outside box got power or to indicate that something was wrong with the wire in the switch box. Nothing happened. No power to the outside. - Ummm. So I took out the outlet to access that junction, and I noticed the grounds were a bit loose..and not 'locked' tight by the wire nut. So I stugged them up, got a different switch (older w/no ground screw) and wired that up to its box. Wht-Wht in wire nut and each blk on each of the 2 brass screws on the switch. Turned on the breaker....and -- VOILA.. She works. Power at the outlet/juction box and the switch controls the outdoor waterproof, GFCI outlet. I'm so thrilled... I guess the loose ground..and maybe a faulty switch was the problem. Anyway...THANKS..for all your feedback and help. Really appreciate it. ..
I got so motivated, I replaced a branch line off another circuit at the other end of this wall. I have access to the back of the J-box so I was able to replace a 2 wire/cloth covered cable w/no ground feeding an old '3' outlet. Yea.. 1 outlet plate for 3 plugs. So I replaced that line with 14/2 - brought it to a new location and put in 4 outlets that are now grounded and controlled by a switch in the hall. - So thats pretty cool I thought. Now, theres another 3 wire cable (and ground) teeing off that J-box which leads down the wall and outside, across the front steps in conduit to an outlet on the other side of the house. I want to get rid of that conduit, and run that 3wire up, across the top above the door, to the other side (diningroom) where it must meet up with an outlet opposite the exterior outlet. So once I open that wall, I'll be able to see what cables are doing what. Interesting stuff... learning and upping your own electricity.
Was wondering.... does the upgrading 'benefit' your power supply/usage? ..or is that just wymsical......
Sorry this was kinda long...
Jatco
 
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Old 03-29-04, 06:28 PM
Rlfrazee
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jatco, glad you have your outside outlet working as planned. You must have had a bad switch as the bare ground wires are non current carrying wires in ac systems and do not have any effect on the circuit loop. I think you are confusing AC with DC as far as your thinking on ground wires. The ground wire you have in your wiring is called the equipment ground and is there only to carry current back to the panel in case of a short to ground. There should be no voltage on it ever unless there is a fault. If your outlet started working because of a bad connection in the bare ground wire then you have big mistake in your wiring. Second you should install a switch that has ground screw, very inexpensive.
Upgrading as you have done with grounded recepatcles and switches only improves safety not power usage. Now as far as adding wiring with ground, this is only going to work if you are connecting it to other grounded wiring and this ground wire has an uninterupted path all the way back to the service panel grounding bar.....GL....RL
 
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Old 03-30-04, 08:23 AM
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Thanks RL.
- Prehaps that switch was bad, since the loose grounds have no effect. I'll replace that switch with one having a ground screw. I didnt have one on hand at the time.
That new wire I added is grounded to the J-box, where circuit #4 comes in at the door light (J-box). I presume its ok to ground that new line on a different screw in the J-box? I am getting 'ground' indication when tested.
- There's another line (3 wire w/grnd) that comes down the wall and out thru a conduit that runs under the front door and feeds another ext. outlet (switched) and the lamp post (switched, but on a timer). I plan to replace that too, as I want to move that ext. outlet and remove the conduit by running that line internally, up around the door frame to the other room. So that's my next move on that circuit. Is it normal, that the red wire is the 'traveler' wire to feed downline from that ext.outlet to the lamp post?
I havent removed the ext.outlet yet to see how its wired, but its from that ext.outlet, that a burried wire (thru conduit) leads to the lamp post. 1 switch controls the outlet and another switch controls the lamp post. So once, I remove that ext.outlet, Ill have a better idea on how that scenario is wired.
Thanks again for your reply(s).
Thomas
 
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Old 03-30-04, 03:17 PM
Rlfrazee
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Jatco, what you want to do at the J-box is put all the ground wires coming into the box from your cables (romex) in a wirenut then pigtail to one screw in the box. If you are getting good ground on your tester great.
The three wire cable feeding the exterior outlet and lamp post probably has the red wire as a switched conductor either to the outlet or lamp post , will need to now how the switches are wired to be sure. The term "traveler" is usually related to 3-way switches.......GL....RL
 
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Old 03-30-04, 05:07 PM
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Will I?? (have to pull the switches).
Im not changing the switching arangement, just rewiring that outlet/lamp combo, from an exterior conduit across the steps set-up, to an interior, thru the wall scenario...to eliminate the conduit.
I want the switches to work as they do now. Im just re-arranging how the wire gets there! When I get the cable to the other side of the door, I plan on putting in a new ext.outlet box about a foot from the old one, then run a feeder line back to the conduit that feeds the line leading down to the lamp post.
Where the old, now vacant box was and gap to the downline conduit, I was thinking that maybe 1 of those 45degree conduit connectors with the screw-on plate (for access) would work... Wouldnt it?
This is cool.. Great info.
Thanks again
Jatco
 
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Old 04-04-04, 01:11 AM
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Originally posted by Rlfrazee
Jatco, what you want to do at the J-box is put all the ground wires coming into the box from your cables (romex) in a wirenut then pigtail to one screw in the box. If you are getting good ground on your tester great.
The three wire cable feeding the exterior outlet and lamp post probably has the red wire as a switched conductor either to the outlet or lamp post , will need to now how the switches are wired to be sure. The term "traveler" is usually related to 3-way switches.......GL....RL
.
I took note on how that 3wire cable was wired in the j-box..and at the outlet. Yes, RED is switched. So, I re-ran that cable, thru the studs, above the door frame to the other side, then down and out the wall thru conduit to the orig. box. Connections as originally done and all works just great. Didnt need to remove the switches to see what did what, as I wasnt changing that.
Thanks for the lead on the Red...
Now to the Kitchen..and adding 2 new 20A lines - minimal attic space to the the lines where theyre needed... Now what???
 
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