Replaced Switch & Outlet..Now Always On?


Old 09-13-05, 11:30 PM
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Question Replaced Switch & Outlet..Now Always On?

I recently replaced an outlet and switch for the outlet in my living room. After replacement the outlet is now always on (regular outlet, switch will not shut off).

I followed the wiring exactly on the outlet and the switch. Wiring is as follows:

Red Wire: Top Right Input
Black Wires (2): Bottom Right Input
Neutral #1 (with red wire and one black wire): Top Left Input
Neutral #2 (with other black wire): Bottom Left Input

Red Wire: Top Input
Black Wire: Bottom Input

The only thing I can think of is that there is no ground on the switch. Do I really need one? All help is appreciated.

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Old 09-14-05, 01:56 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
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If your in the US, the colors of your wires are strange/wrong.
The neutral wires are white sometimes gray. not red. not black with the exception of very large wires marked white.

Your plug, left or right ?
If the plug is rotated 180 degrees which is right or left ?

The neutral wires go on the silver screws.
The hot wires go on the darker screws.

On a switched plug they remove a brass tab that connects the upper brass colored screw to the lower brass colored screw. The hot side screws.
Old 09-14-05, 05:36 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
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You forgot to break the tab between the two brass screws. Look at the old receptacle to see what I mean. The red and the black wires connect to the brass screw terminals. One of them (the red wire usually) is switched, the other is always on. However, by not breaking the tab between the two brass screws, they are electrically connected and you have eliminated the need for a switch, as you found out.

By the way, do not use terms such as top or bottom or right or left when referring to a receptacle (or a switch for that matter). Receptacles can be installed either end up, making these terms unclear.
Old 09-14-05, 10:26 AM
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Oh yes! You are correct...I can see how that would be confusing.

To clarify the hot wires (black) are on the brass screws with both wires located on the lower outlet screw. The red wire for the switch is located on the top outlet brass screw.

The white neutral wires are located on the silver or nickel screws with each wire connected to its own screw.

Also to further clarify I did connect the ground wire on the ground outlet screw. I didn't state that in my original post.

I will look for the tab tonight when I get home and remove it. Thanks for the help!
Old 09-14-05, 11:11 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
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It is against code to place more than a single wire under a screw. If you placed two black wires (or two white wires) under a single screw, you have violated code and created an open circuit waiting to happen. The proper manner for multiple wires is to use a wire nut and a pigtail.

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