Switched outlet wiring...

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  #1  
Old 02-01-05, 12:59 PM
mygoatboy
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Switched outlet wiring...

Hello,
I recently installed recessed lights in one room of our house and to get the power for them I just tamped into the line for my outlet. But I can not figure out how to wire it back so that only the top of the outlet is switched like it was. There are two cables that come into the box, one has 3 conductors plus ground and then the other one is 2 conductors plus ground. Any help would be great.
 
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  #2  
Old 02-01-05, 01:08 PM
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These cables were here originally? Neither of these is the one you added, right?
 
  #3  
Old 02-01-05, 01:08 PM
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Did you replace the outlet with a different outlet when you made this change, or just unhook everything?

For an outlet to be half switched, half unswitched, the tab between the two gold screws must be removed. If you did replace the outlet, that's the first thing to check.

Otherwise, post back with what wires you have in the outlet box, what wires are at the switch, and how they are connected. Include any wires that are wirenutted together rather than connected to the switch/outlet.
 
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Old 02-01-05, 02:03 PM
mygoatboy
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I did not change the outlet, I only got power from the outlet grid to run the recessed lights. Let me check the wire configuration...
 
  #5  
Old 02-01-05, 02:23 PM
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While you're there looking at the receptacle wiring, also go over and describe the wiring in the switch box to us.
 
  #6  
Old 02-01-05, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by mygoatboy
I did not change the outlet, I only got power from the outlet grid to run the recessed lights. Let me check the wire configuration...
Please Explain "outlet grid". Do you mean that you ran a set of wires into this box for the recessed lights and inserted them into "backstab" holes on the outlet itself? If so, you assumedly also installed a switch someplace to control the new lights.
 
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Old 02-02-05, 07:20 AM
mygoatboy
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Ok the way it is currently setup is that on the top of each out let it is hooked up with a black and red and on the bottom it has a black and white. I have two switches in the switch box. One that will be for the top of the outlets and one for the recessed lighting. I ran a cable into the box for the recessed lights and then there is one cable coming in that is power and then one 4 wire cable that goes out to the outlets. So what should be connected to what?
 
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Old 02-02-05, 08:08 AM
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"Top" and "bottom" is insufficient information. Tell us what is connected to the top brass screw, the bottom brass screw, the top silver screw, and the bottom silver screw. Also tell us whether you are describing the wiring before you messed with it, or after you messed with it. Finally, describe what you mean by "each" outlet. Up until now, we've only been talking about one.

You told us how many switches were in the box and what they were for, but you didn't describe any of the wiring in the switch box. Please do so.

Also, where exactly does the cable from the recessed lights go: to the switch box or to one of the receptacles boxes?
 
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Old 02-02-05, 04:37 PM
mygoatboy
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Top brass in outlet is red wire. Top silver is white wire.
Bottom brass is black wire. Bottom silver is white wire.

Also I was stupid and forgot to note how it was setup BEFORE I took it apart.

The way it was wired was that there was one switch that controlled all of the tops of the outlets in the room. There is one line coming into the box which has the juice so to speak. Then there is one line that goes out to the outlets in the order described previously. What I want to do I get power from the switch box to run the recessed lights. So I had a switch that can take 4 hot wires and 4 negative wires and the on that will do 2.
 
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Old 02-02-05, 08:07 PM
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There is one line coming into the box which has the juice so to speak.
By "the box", do you mean the box containing the switch? By "line", do you mean a cable with a black wire, a white wire, and a bare wire?

Then there is one line that goes out to the outlets in the order described previously
Is this a cable with a black wire, a red wire, a white wire, and a bare wire?

So I had a switch that can take 4 hot wires and 4 negative wires and the on that will do 2
I don't know what this sentence means.

So I assume that you have only been messing with the switch box, and that you haven't changed anything in the any of the receptacle boxes. Here's the answer for the switch box:
  • Run a new black/white/bare cable from the switch box to the first new ceiling light. The other lights will be connected daisy chained to the first, using black/white/bare cables.
  • At the switch box, you wil now have three cables: (1) an old black/white/bare cable that supplies power ("P"). (2) an old black/red/white/bare cable that goes to the receptacles ("R"). (3) a new black/white/bare cable that goes to the lights ("L").
  • Connect all three white wires to each other and shove them to the back of the box.
  • Connect all three bare wires to a bare pigtail to the green screw on the switch.
  • Connect P-black and R-black to a pigtail to one screw on the switch.
  • Connect R-red and L-black to another pigtail to the other screw on the switch.
That's all there is to it.
 
  #11  
Old 02-02-05, 08:54 PM
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You have not told us what colors the wires are in the switch box or which of the wires in the outlet box are hot. Is any wire at the switch box hot? If so, what color. Note: if one is hot when the switch is off then both should be hot if the switch is on. If neither is hot you need to get power to the switch.

OK, lets make some assumptions.

1. Cable 1 = Black, Red, White, Ground [B1,R1,W1,G1]
2. Cable 2 = Black, White, Ground [B2,W2,G2]
3. Cable at switch box is Cable 2

I'm going to assume that B1 is hot.

Bottom Outlet Brass side [B1,B2] - will get power to the switch
Bottom Outlet Silver side [W1] also connect to Top Oulet Silver Side.

Top Oultet Brass side [R1,W2] - provides power from the switch to the outlet

Switch Brass Side [B2]
Switch Silver Side [W2]

Naturally, all of the Grounds need to be properly connected. At the outlet box they need to be crimped together with a pigtail and the pigtail connected to the outlet grounding screw.

If any of the above assumptions is incorrect then the connections will need to be reassessed. If the outlets are of the "backstab" type with 2 connections on each side at both the top and the bottom then the connections should be fairly easy. If not, then you should use wirenuts and pigtails to that there is only one wire connecting to each screw.
 
  #12  
Old 02-02-05, 09:09 PM
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Sorry, Ignore my last post.

I thought you were saying that the 4 wire and 2 wire cables were in the outlet box, not the switch box.

I think John has explained what you need to do. Essentially you supply power to the switch at the brass screw and then route it to the outlets from the siilver side of the switch.
 
  #13  
Old 02-02-05, 09:17 PM
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Most switches don't have a brass side and a silver side. An ordinary single-pole switch (which is what I think--hope--we're dealing with here) usually has two screws of the same color (plus the green grounding screw).
 
  #14  
Old 02-02-05, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by John Nelson
Most switches don't have a brass side and a silver side. An ordinary single-pole switch (which is what I think--hope--we're dealing with here) usually has two screws of the same color (plus the green grounding screw).
Right. I was just thinking of the combo switch/outlet that I was using the other day. Naturally, these are more like outlets than switches and do have the line/common color coding.
 
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