switch mystery


  #1  
Old 04-03-04, 10:29 AM
Sandy W.
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Question switch mystery

I replaced an old single switch that controled one outlet and also repleaced the outlet. Now the lamp plugged into the outlet has power and stays on constantly whether or not the switch is in the on or off position. I bought a second switch thinking perhaps the first one was faulty. No luck. I reinstalled the original switch and still have the same problem. I tried reversing the wires to the terminals on the switch but nothing seems to work. Why is the circuit complete even with the switch installed and in the off position? How can I get the switch to function properly?
 
  #2  
Old 04-03-04, 10:41 AM
J
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 17,733
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
Very common problem.

Answer these three questions:[list=1][*]Were both halves of the receptacle previously switched, or only one half?[*]Is there a red wire at the receptacle?[*]Are you still in possession of the old receptacle you removed?[/list=1]
 
  #3  
Old 04-03-04, 01:58 PM
Sandy W.
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
switch mystery

answers to your questions:
1. Only one half of the receptacle was previously switched.
2. There is/was no red receptacle wire.
3. I am in possession of the old receptacle but I replaced 4 at the same time, all four look identical, and I am not sure which one came from that spot.
 
  #4  
Old 04-03-04, 02:29 PM
J
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 17,733
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
At any point in this project did you accidentally trip the breaker, such as when you flipped the switch.

Examine the four receptacles. Look carefully at the brass-colored screw side. Do one or more of them have a brass-colored tab that connects the two brass-colored screws, and one or more not?

How many wires of each color are present in the switch box? Is there just one switch in this box?

How many wires of each color are present in the receptacle box?
 
  #5  
Old 04-04-04, 04:31 PM
Sandy W.
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
No, I didn't trip the breaker.

Three of the receptacles do have a brass tab connecting the brass screws but one has the tab knocked out. I think you are on to something.

The receptacle box has two black, two white and one ground wire. I cut and then reconnected one wire at a time to make sure I got them in the correct postions.

There was only one switch in the switch box. It has one black, one white and one ground wire. The original switch did not have a location to hook the ground wire so it was just stuffed into the box. My new switch does have a ground screw so I'm assuming it should be connected. Is this correct?
 
  #6  
Old 04-04-04, 06:37 PM
J
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 17,733
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
You "cut" the wires? Why?

Please confirm that there are only two black wires and two white wires in the box (no more tucked behind the receptacle), and all four of these wires are connected to the receptacle.

And on that one old receptacle, is the tab broken out on just one side, or on both sides, of the receptacle?

The solution will likely be to break out the tab(s) to match the old receptacle. To test this theory, you could temporarily reinstall the old receptacle. If that works well, then the tab(s) can be broken out by bending them back and forth a couple of times with a pair of pliers.
 
  #7  
Old 04-07-04, 07:58 PM
Sandy W.
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Smile

Problem solved. I broke the tab connecting the two brass screws on the receptacle and the switch now controls the outlet. Thanks for your help!
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: