What could be wrong with this switch and outlet

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  #1  
Old 11-16-04, 05:06 PM
Pabs
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What could be wrong with this switch and outlet

I have a toggle light switch at the top of my basement stairs that controls the flourescent lights in the basement . I also have an outlet on the outside of the basement stairway wall , also at the top of the stairs . The problem is that when I plug a lamp with a 60 watt bulb into this outlet , and with the switch for the flourescent lights off ,I turn the lamp on and the flourescent lights in the basement start to dimly flicker,but the lamp works fine. If I on the other hand have the switch for the flourescent lights on and then also turn on the lamp from the outlet , the lamp just glows very dimly and the flourescent lights work fine. It sounds like a short ,but the breaker at the fuse box hasn't blown. What else could be causing this . It sounds like a fire hazard. Thanks
 
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  #2  
Old 11-16-04, 05:39 PM
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You have tapped into a switch loop. Tell us how the switch and receptacle are wired. You might be able to fix it.
 
  #3  
Old 11-16-04, 06:24 PM
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Yes, this does dound like you tapped a switch loop.

Did you simply try to connect the white and black wires that connect to the switch to the receptacle? That would be incorrect, and would account for your problems.
 
  #4  
Old 11-17-04, 06:53 AM
Pabs
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I connected the white and black wires

yes ,I believe the switch is wired simply with black and white wires connected off to the outlet .
 
  #5  
Old 11-17-04, 03:18 PM
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You cannot do what you did. You have no neutral.

You must find another power source for your receptacle.
 
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