switch problem. Help please.....


Old 11-24-05, 03:06 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
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Cool switch problem. Help please.....

I have a kitchen litght that went out when replacing it I found that it has
one cable coming into it red black white the red and white wires are
connected to single pole.
when testing for hot wire i found when light is switched on it I cannot find any hot wire when switched off the red and white register 120v. the red being the
hot wire what do i do?
Help Please
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Old 11-24-05, 04:42 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Your post does not make sense.

Tell us the wires at the switch and the wires at the light and how they are connected, and how they were connected before you messed with things.
Old 11-24-05, 08:15 PM
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Sorry, guess my discreption was a bit confusing, wrote the post piror to leaving for dinner and was in hurry.

So, here is the low down on my problem. I have two lights in the kitchen one over the sink and one in the center of the room celing, with two switches on the wall entering the kitchen.

One switch operates the sink light and the other operates the celing light.

The light over the sink went out. I tried replacing the bulb, no luck, thought it was maybe the socket so replaced the socket, black wire to black wire and white wire to white wire, no ground that I saw still no luck. Then went to the switch.

OK, here is where it gets crazy, two single pole switches with one incoming cable. A red wire, a white wire, and a black wire.

The red wire was hooked to the celing lite switch, the white wire was hooked to the celing lite switch AND the sink lite switch, the black wire was hooked to the sink lite switch. I removed the sink switch and checked for power. NONE.

I turned the celing lite ON still no power to the sink light wires. But, when I turn OFF the celing light I have power from the red and white wires nothing from the black with the celing light on or off.

I know it sounds really crazy and I am sure its not code, but can you tell me
what is going on that i get power when the switch is turned off and none when its on? However, when the the switch is turned off the celing lite goes off and when turned on the celing lite goes on. But cannot get sink lite to do anything.

I hope I was clear enough please respond if you need more information.

Thank you for your kind help and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.
Old 11-25-05, 07:51 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
There is nothing wrong with the switches. They are wired with a single cable as two switch loops. The white wire brings power to the switches and the red and black wires bring switched power back to the two lights.

Your measurements at the switch are meaningless. And don't tell you anything, especially if you don't know what you are expecting to see.

The other end of the cable is at one of the lights. You need to describe the wiring at both lights. Describe ALL the cables and how all the wires are hooked up.

The wiring at one light will be straight forward, black and white to the light.

The wiring at the other light will be somewhat strange,because a white wire will be hooked to one or more black wires. If you messed this up we will need to fix it.
Old 11-25-05, 03:57 PM
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Hey Thanks for the info. What little you told me about nothing
being wrong helped me fix the problem. After reading your last post
I went to the kitchen to collect the information you requested, In doing
so I ended up in the attic tracing the wires and found the problem.
Well let me start with the info you requested. In my previous reply to you
I gave you the information concerning the wiring of the sink lite which was
a black and white wire, no ground, with the infomation from the switch box
mainly the incoming wires being red black and white, I fully expected to
find the red wire in the center celing lite. However that was not the case
It had two black wires very old at that. So off the attic I went in search of the
wires, which i found and discovered that the red wire was spliced into a black
wire as well as the white wire. The black wire was broken loose at the connection or splice that was put in years ago for the sink lite. Thus my problem. I took the oppertunity to replace the spliced old wire with new
romax and wire nuts taped but not put into a junction box becuase it
would be the only box in the entire attic of splices and knob and tube wiring
I noticed that there was a fire most likely many years ago as some of the roof was replaced and you could see the wiring that was newer than the
old 1920-30's. The whole house needs to be upgraded and rewired but
I am not up to that much work just yet so we will live with it for a few more
days. I did replace both single pole switches just becuase It made me feel
a whole lot better with new ones installed. You telling me about the white
wire being the feed wire and the others being the travellers help me emmensley in troubleshooting and fixing these lights that were driviing me crazy as well as having to listen to the wife everyday about fixing them.
I think I covered all your questions in my reply and I THANK YOU A MILLION TIMES FOR YOUR ADVICE My wife and I would like to extend our sincere wishes for you and yours this holiday season. Feel free to reply if you need
more info conceriing my lights.


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