Switch, Outlet, add a light in between

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  #1  
Old 12-31-04, 07:46 PM
jverb8n
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Question Switch, Outlet, add a light in between

I have an outlet controlled by a single pole switch. I wanted to add a light to also be controlled by the switch, I dropped wire to the switch & ran to a new box in the ceiling, wired to the new light fixture and to the switch. Light does not work, outlet still is controlled by the switch. Obviously more complicated that I originally thought -- where did I go wrong?
 
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  #2  
Old 12-31-04, 08:01 PM
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This is one of the most common DIY electrical projects around. And many people make mistakes doing it. To know what to tell you, I need to ask you what wires were in the switch box before you started your project, and how they were connected.
 
  #3  
Old 12-31-04, 08:10 PM
jverb8n
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1 Black wire, 1 white wire, 1 ground; black into the top hole, white into the bottom hole, ground to the green nut.
 
  #4  
Old 12-31-04, 08:14 PM
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The only way to make this work with the cable you have in place is to rewire the receptacle so that it is unswitched. Is this okay? If so, tell me whether the switch use to control both halves of the duplex receptacle or only one half? If you really need the receptacle to still be switched, then you should remove the cable between the light and the switch, and run it between the light and the receptacle instead. Let me know how you want to proceed.
 
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Old 12-31-04, 08:20 PM
jverb8n
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the switch only controls one half of the duplex; and it is fine with me if it is unswitched.
 
  #6  
Old 12-31-04, 08:26 PM
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This will be a bit easier if you buy a new receptacle, but we can make it work with the existing receptacle.
  1. Shut off the breaker.
  2. Pull the receptacle out of the box and disconnect all the black and white wires from it. Leave the grounding wires attached.
  3. If there is a wire nut in the box (other than the one connecting the grounding wires), remove it and disconnect the wires.
  4. Connect the two white wires to the two silver screws.
  5. If you buy a new receptacle, simply connect the two black wires to the two brass screws. But if you reuse this receptacle, use a wire nut to connect the two black wires to two short segments of black wires (pigtails). Connect one pigtail to each of the two brass screws. The reason this extra stuff is necessary is that the tab has been removed between the two brass screws.
  6. At the switch box, connect the two white wires to each other. Connect the two black wires to the two screws on the switch.
 
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Old 12-31-04, 08:45 PM
jverb8n
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got it (I think) -- I'll give it a shot (but tomorrow -- had enough for today.) Thanks a bunch.
 
  #8  
Old 01-01-05, 07:23 AM
jverb8n
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I did as instructed -- I now have a receptacle which is always hot regarldess of switch poistion (a good thing); the wire from the receptacle goes to the switch box, black & ground connected to the switch; white connected to the white on a wire running from the switch box to the light fixture. The light fixture wire black and ground are connected to the switch. The light still dows not turn on. I do get current to the white at the light fixture (I do not have a voltmeter, only an indicator) when the switch is in the off position, I do get current to both the black and white at the light fixture when the switch is in the on position. HELP!
 
  #9  
Old 01-01-05, 08:18 AM
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The words sound right, so let's go back and check things.
  1. Shut off the breaker.
  2. Make sure nothing is plugged into the receptacle.
  3. Go to the switch box.
  4. Remove the switch from the box and set it aside.
  5. Disconnect all the wiring in the box.
  6. You have two black, two white and two bare wires in the box, right? If not, stop here and post back and tell me what you have.
  7. Separate all the wires, chase the kids from the room and turn the breaker back on.
  8. I assume by "indicator" you mean that you have a $2 neon circuit tester with two probes. Right?
  9. Touch the two probes to the old pair of black/white wires (i.e., not the new cable you added).
  10. Does your tester light up?
  11. Shut the breaker back off and post back.
 
  #10  
Old 01-01-05, 08:30 AM
jverb8n
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when I touch both black and white, no light on my probe. I get a faint light touching either one or the other, but nothing when both are touched
 
  #11  
Old 01-01-05, 08:40 AM
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Huh? When you say touching either one or the other, do you mean that you get a faint light with one probe on one of the wires and the other probe hanging in the air (not being touched by any part of your body)?

At any rate, the wiring problem is back at the receptacle. Go back to the receptacle box, check your work, and tell me exactly what wires are there and what you did.
 
  #12  
Old 01-01-05, 08:59 AM
jverb8n
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what I did: bought a new receptacle to replace the old one, I connected the wires to the new receptacle as they were connected to the old.

There are 3 wire sets going into the receptacle box. Black1, Black2, and White3 are nutted together and connected to the receptacle by a pigtail (proper use of that term?). Black3, White1, and White2 all are directly connected to the receptacle. The grounds are nutted together and then connected to the receptacle.

I do get a faint light with one probe on one of the wires and the other probe hanging in the air (not being touched by any part of my body). When I touch the other with my body the light is brighter but not as bright, say, as with a hot receptacle.
 
  #13  
Old 01-01-05, 09:04 AM
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what I did: bought a new receptacle to replace the old one, I connected the wires to the new receptacle as they were connected to the old.
The whole intent of messing with the wiring at the receptacle was to change things. If you connected it as it was before, then you accomplished nothing. Use a wire nut to connect all three black wires to a pigtail to one of the brass screws. Use a wire nut to connect all three white wires to a pigtail to one of the silver screws.
 
  #14  
Old 01-01-05, 09:28 AM
jverb8n
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Did that and now everything works. Thank you very much. My daughter thanks you (her room for the light) and once I get things cleaned up I'm sure my wife will thank you too.

Thanks especially since it was new year's/new year's eve while you helped me.

Awesome job John Nelson. I obviously could not have done it without your help. Thanks again.
 
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