Replacement switch, different wiring.

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  #1  
Old 06-12-07, 08:12 PM
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Replacement switch, different wiring.

Ok, I've just run into a reason not to try even apparently simple wiring jobs when it's getting late. The goal was to replace the old Switch/Outlet in the kitchen. Like with electrical outlets, I swapped each wire to it's corresponding connection on the new switch/outlet. Then I put the fuse back in and it blew. After going a bit crazy with the electrical tape (The old wiring has insulation that will crumble easily) and blowing another fuse, I discovered that when the switch was set to off, the fuse would not blow, and the outlet would not work.

It's thus clear that the old switch/outlet I'm replacing has different internal wiring from the Leviton5225 ISP I'm replacing it with. Fortunately the particular circuit is one of the least used in the house, so I can take the time to try and figure out how the wiring should actually go. (And since I have two fuses left and the stores where I can buy more just closed, I'm willing to wait before I start experimenting)

Ok, the origional had three wires going into the receptacle, with exactly three seperate connectors on the recepticle. The new one has four connectors, with two connected.

Any thoughts?
 
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Old 06-12-07, 08:55 PM
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taking the words from Racraft's mouth....

You need to tell us all the wires in the box, including colors, and how many wires are in each cable entering the box unless they are separate conductors. Tell us how the old switch was hooked up, which wires went to which screws...not the side, but the colors, then we may be able to help you...as of right now, it sounds like you are trying to hook a 3-way switch up when you need a single pole switch.
 
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Old 06-12-07, 10:29 PM
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Ok, sorry for the initial vagueness. First of all, wire color is a guess at best here. It's an old house, with old wiring. The wires are wrapped in a black insulation (Which I have to handle carefully because it falls apart easily) then covered with fabric. I've seen evidence in places that the fabric was origionally painted black and white, but the paint's have faded to the point where I just can't tell which one's supposed to be which color.

Ok, as for the origional wiring, the box had two of the holes in the bottom punched out, each letting in a single pair of wires. One wire from each pair are tied together with a wirenut to a third wire, which goes to one of the three seperate unmarked connectors on the old receptacle. The other two wires each go to another of the seperate connectors on the old receptacle.

Now when I swapped over to the new recepticle, I swapped by their origional position. One of the independent wires goes to one of the independent connectors on the new recepticle. The other independent wire, and the wire linking the two from both go to the two connectors on the opposite side of the recepticle, which are linked by the removable break off fin.

And as I mentioned, in the current setup, when the light switch (One of the wires goes to a fluorescent fixture) is on, there's a short that blows the fuse. When the light switch is off, the outlet has no power.
 
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Old 06-13-07, 03:45 AM
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There should be removable tabs on the new switch/receptacle combo. There should also be tabs on the old switch. Some may have been removed. Identify these by color of screws and post back.

The two wires tied together with a pigtail are _probably_ the neutral (white) wires. Did you land this wire on the silver colored screw of the receptacle section of the combo?

(Added) Does your combo have two brass screws on one side connected by a tab and a brass and silver screw unconnected on the other side?
 
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Old 06-13-07, 07:07 AM
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There was no tab on the old switch, just three screw connections (Where the fourth connection would have been there was nothing.) However looking closer, the origional had one brass colored screw on one side, and seperate brass and silver screws on the other side(Well, the part the screw went into was so colored, the screws were uniformly black). and the silver was where the pigtailed wire landed.

So, the pigtail is probably the white neutral wire. So by the wiring diagram of the new fixture, it should go to the neutral nut, which is on the opposite side of the current. So the question is, which of the other wires is the black, and which goes to the fixture.

This question I suspect would be answered by the fact that the fuse only blew when the switch was on. If the line were the one currently connected to the white with a tab, the fuse would blow whatever the status of the switch. So the common line is currently wired to nut A1 (By the diagram), and the neutral and black from the fixture are both wired to the common screws.

Ok, that seems to be the logical layout (It's actually an exact mirror of the old fixture) Does that seem to make sense to you?
 
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Old 06-13-07, 12:47 PM
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Ok, I redid the wiring following the deduction in my last post and it turned out to work like a charm. Thanks for the assistance in helping me wrap my mind around the problem.
 
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Old 06-13-07, 03:06 PM
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Belay that last post, while the outlet now works, turning on the light switch now causes the fuse to blow. But I'm not sure that that's a problem with the recepticle. The fixture has been off for some time, often taking up to an hour to actually activate on warm and humid days (And replacing the ballast had no effect on it) It's quite possible that the wiring in the light has always been an accident waiting to happen, but now that it's connected to a properly grounded switch, it's blowing the fuse.
 
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Old 06-13-07, 03:08 PM
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Check the wiring at the light, and use your tester to verify that you have the switch wired properly.
 
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Old 06-13-07, 03:12 PM
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BrendanK Wrote: If the line were the one currently connected to the white with a tab, the fuse would blow whatever the status of the switch. So the common line is currently wired to nut A1 (By the diagram), and the neutral and black from the fixture are both wired to the common screws.

Glad it worked but just to clarify the silver screw provides the neutral for the receptacle. The remaining screws or for line and load. All should in this case be black. There is only one neutral connection and the receives only a white wire never a black.

The two wires at the pigtail are the neutral coming in from source and neutral going out to the light. The pigtail provides the neutral for the receptacle. Your explanation is a bit unclear is that how you wired it?

The reason I ask is sometimes on K&T the switch is wired across the neutral. This is wrong and if so must be corrected for safety.
 
  #10  
Old 06-15-07, 02:45 PM
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Well, it's hard to tell with the old wiring, but both of the wires going into the pigtail look to have originally been painted white. So yes, the switch was never wired across the neutral (And I didn't make any move to change it either)
 
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