Need help with circuit

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  #1  
Old 06-09-09, 08:14 PM
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Question Need help with circuit

I just bought my first house and am finding all kinds of weird problems. One problem I have is a circuit in my garage.

When I first moved in, the 2 light fixtures worked fine and was controlled by a wall switch. Then one day the lights did not work. A few days later, they worked again. A few days after that, no more.

I tested the 2 receptacles in the ceiling that are for future garage door openers. The tester reports that the Hot and Ground are reversed.

So with my limited knowledge of circuits, I shut the breaker and check to see if there is an obvious problem. Nope, not to me anyway. So I ask you what the problem may be.

Below are links to photos of the items in the circuit. In case it is not obvious in the photo, black is always connected to brass.

Wall switch
<table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/-GEfhRqg59s423yWVJM_VA?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/_nsJM3w64wKU/Si8SBQB4wRI/AAAAAAAAAEo/lHi4k_kH8Hg/s144/IMG_0006.JPG" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/DavperPhotos/GarageWiring?feat=embedwebsite">garage wiring</a></td></tr></table>
The other switch in the box is for an external flood light that appears to work fine.


Light fixture closest to switch
<table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/XCe93BlLDpTQ5JjW9gw10Q?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/_nsJM3w64wKU/Si8SAuYF1iI/AAAAAAAAAEU/-2lGSJc2p2U/s144/IMG_0002.JPG" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/DavperPhotos/GarageWiring?feat=embedwebsite">garage wiring</a></td></tr></table>


Receptacle closest to switch
<table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/JeyAlh0TGfVyPZxcDafw3w?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/_nsJM3w64wKU/Si8SA2FI4qI/AAAAAAAAAEc/rt0UxcHEoVY/s144/IMG_0003.JPG" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/DavperPhotos/GarageWiring?feat=embedwebsite">garage wiring</a></td></tr></table>


Light fixture farthest from switch
<table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/4Ae_Un_Y9zLSoPAQMbqaNA?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/_nsJM3w64wKU/Si8SBK3jlUI/AAAAAAAAAEg/EMUHngDleME/s144/IMG_0004.JPG" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/DavperPhotos/GarageWiring?feat=embedwebsite">garage wiring</a></td></tr></table>


Receptacle farthest from switch
<table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/OK0zpqNiN2VxvSUJy4rIIg?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/_nsJM3w64wKU/Si8SBCu9IVI/AAAAAAAAAEk/J9MJFJOD1o0/s144/IMG_0005.JPG" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/DavperPhotos/GarageWiring?feat=embedwebsite">garage wiring</a></td></tr></table>


Please and Thank You
 
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  #2  
Old 06-09-09, 09:13 PM
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I'd first get rid of the backstab and use the screw terminals, if that is what they are.
 
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Old 06-10-09, 05:29 AM
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Amen on the backstab. I'll put my money on the problem being having a poor connection due to the backstab. Do you have a GFCI in the mix? You should have one at the first receptacle. Also, the "receptacle furthest from the switch" isn't the last in line, so you have one more somewhere. It will only have one cable entering the box.

Larry
 
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Old 06-10-09, 06:21 AM
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Wow, you guys are good. Yes there is a GFCI receptacle. I didn't see that the first time.

The tester reports Open Neutral. The tester can also trip the GFCI.

Here are links to those photos
<table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/ZKxO2SIJPR1m5dCxpQcGLg?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/_nsJM3w64wKU/Si-kIiUM3QI/AAAAAAAAAFY/CJ8ZMMVraHc/s144/IMG_0010.JPG" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/DavperPhotos/GarageWiring?feat=embedwebsite">garage wiring</a></td></tr></table>

<table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/RTZpEalxOaawi30_NhOuzg?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/_nsJM3w64wKU/Si-kK3po-zI/AAAAAAAAAFc/mo_WFFrY2mQ/s144/IMG_0008.JPG" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/DavperPhotos/GarageWiring?feat=embedwebsite">garage wiring</a></td></tr></table>


I will definitely put replacing backstabs on my Honey-Do-List

My original thinking was that the receptacles and Light fixtures were on the same circuit. I guess I am wrong there. So that leaves me 2 problems. The receptacles not working and the lights not working. Ahhh, the joys of home ownership.

Thanks again for the help.
 
  #5  
Old 06-12-09, 09:08 PM
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Problem solved...

Beer 4U2

I changed out all the 'backstabs' and wal'la 'Let there be light'.

Lights & receptacles work. The GFCI does not work yet but there is one more wall switch that probably has backstabs for me to check. It is covered by boxes at the moment.

If these backstabs are so bad, why do they make them?
 
  #6  
Old 06-12-09, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by davper View Post
If these backstabs are so bad, why do they make them?
Why do they indeed! IDK maybe the new ones are better. The sad thing is that they are UL listed so that doesn't say much for UL.
 
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