Mystery Switch


Old 01-28-06, 08:23 PM
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Mystery Switch

I have a 3 gang box by my front door. One switch is for the porch light, one for the foyer light, and I have no idea what the other is for. It has power running to it, and there is definitely a wire that leaves the box but goes who knows where. I checked just about every outlet downstairs to see if it worked those with no success. Any suggestions on how to figure out what it is for?
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Old 01-28-06, 08:35 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Indianapolis, IN
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Can you think of anywhere else where there might have logically been a light before? (or still there but hidden) A second set of lights outside? Flood lights, driveway, sidewalk, or possibly a second light in the entry or an adjacent hallway? Do you have any access from above or below to see which way the wires go, from the attic or the basement?
Old 01-28-06, 08:37 PM
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Do you have an outside plug-in box? I have one and it is controlled from my inside block. Used for Christmas lights and such. Good luck.
Old 01-29-06, 05:52 AM
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When you checked receptacles, did you check both top and bottom half of those receptacles?
Old 01-29-06, 06:18 AM
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I vote for outside flood lights. If you have vinyl soffiting, you may can pop a piece out at the front corners of the house to see if the contractors just forgot to cut the soffit and install the lighting. Of course crawling up in the attic is another way to find it.
Old 01-29-06, 09:22 AM
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I second racrafts suggestion to check both the top and bottom half of each receptacle....especially in the living room or dining, whatever is the closest adjacent room.
Old 01-29-06, 11:31 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions. I actually went under the house to see if the wire came downfrom the switch, at which point I discovered a junction box that the wire went in. When I opened the cover, the wires were just capped off. I guess it really was a switch to nowhere.
Old 01-29-06, 11:38 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
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since you have power in the switch box identify the circuit breaker and shut it off. the circuit is now off and isolated which means any light or outlet that is dead is on that circuit. open all devices on that circuit and use a continuity tester. instead of disturbing the vinyl siding, you can use a tone generator to try and find the wire. not that expensive and avaiable at most supply houses. it will find the wire through rock, siding, insulation, etc. checking both halves of outlets is an excellent suggestion.
Old 01-29-06, 11:39 AM
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Most likely a provision for a future post-light

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