Dont know what a switch is for?

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  #1  
Old 05-24-04, 03:27 PM
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Dont know what a switch is for?

I have a little problem in my new home. There is a switch on the wall that I have no idea where it goes. I have accounted for all the lights in the house and even checked all the receptacles to see if it controls any of them. I checked it with a multimeter and it is live. Is there any kind of tester that can help me trace the wire or should I just remove the switch and cap the ends off
 
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  #2  
Old 05-24-04, 04:35 PM
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Did you check both 1/2s of the receptacles in the room. Sometimes only 1/2 is switched.
It might help of you know what breaker controls the power to the switch. With that breaker turned off what else is off?
Could it be for an outdoor receptacle?
 
  #3  
Old 05-24-04, 06:12 PM
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There a number of possible explanations for this situation. The one Joe mentioned is probably most likely. A clue as to where this switch is might help focus our guesses. Perhaps it controls an outside light that is also on a photocell. If it is in a double-gang box where the other switch controls a ceiling fan or light, then perhaps the switch is a prewire for a fan with a light kit that you don't have. Perhaps it is for some mechanical system, such as a attic or crawl space exhaust fan, which might also be on a secondary control such as a humidistat or thermostat.
 
  #4  
Old 05-24-04, 06:28 PM
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Another possibility is that the switch used to control a receptacle outlet, but the previous owner didn't want that particular outlet to be switched, so he or she changed the wiring at the outlet to by pass the switch. This might be the case in a room where there is no ceiling light, and where all the outlets always have power, and there is still a switch inside the door.

As John said, tell us where the switch is located, what other switches are nearby and/or in the saem room, etc. The more information we have, the better our answer can potentially be
 
  #5  
Old 05-24-04, 06:44 PM
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Bob reminded me of another likely possibility. Many times a homeowner will replace a receptacle without any clue about the tabs on the side. So they will make the receptacle unswitched, not on purpose, but by accident.
 
  #6  
Old 05-24-04, 09:08 PM
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I checked both the top and bottom of the receptacle. The light switch is right in the living room. It has 2 wires wrapped in string going into a conduit headed upward. My guess iit was to a light that was plastered over Any way to tell if this is the case without ripping up all the walls
 
  #7  
Old 05-26-04, 12:36 PM
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If there is an attic, go up and see if you can find & follow the conduit. If the conduit is metal a stud finder might be able to follow it. They do make tracers for circuit breakers. Could you install a receptacle and use one of those to may track the wire. The conduit might sheild it though.

http://www.zircon.com/SellPages/Scan...CF12/CF12.html
 
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