Light switches to nowhere/No outdoor lighting?


Old 12-12-09, 09:19 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: United States, Georgia
Posts: 1
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Light switches to nowhere/No outdoor lighting?

I recently purchased an unfinished house from the bank. The builder apparently went bankrupt and abruptly disappeared. The house is only 3 years old and nearly complete, but still in need of light fixtures, outlets, switches, flooring and plumbing fixtures. So far I have had no problems finishing the house and I have installed all of the electrical outlets and switches myself.

Now I have run into a problem I overlooked. There are two switches I installed that seem to do nothing. I tried tracing the wires before I turned on the power but could not figure out where they went. They do not seem to operate any obvious light fixtures or outlets.

One switch is in a 3-switch box at the back door (the other 2 switches in this box operate porch lights and porch fans), and the other mystery switch is in a 3-switch box at the carport door (the other 2 switches here operate the garage lights and the entrance hallway light). Given their locations, I am almost certain that these switches must be for outdoor flood lights that were never installed.

In the case of the front and backdoor porch lights, there were very obvious wires dangling out of the siding where they should be installed. But I have found no such external wires in areas where I would expect the flood lights to be installed (i.e. under eves around the garage).

Am I even correct in my assumption that these switches are for potential outdoor security/floor lights? If so, how should I go about finding where the flood lights were meant to be installed? If not, any ideas on what these switches even operate or how I can determine where they go?
Sponsored Links
Old 12-12-09, 10:02 AM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,312
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
They could go to anything!

You might try contacting you local building or electrical inspector and see if they have copies of the blueprints for the home. This would have electrical on it. Perhaps you could get a copy?

Then you can get a tone generator and inductive pick-up which will allow you to trace wires through walls - like a stud finder. Here is what these look like...
Old 12-12-09, 10:12 AM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 13,631
Received 209 Votes on 185 Posts
Many times when we rough in a houses outside lights we leave a the cable inside the wall untill the siding is up. Then when we come back to finish we cut a hole and use a remodel box so the light will sit properly on the siding. Maybe you can find out what contractor roughed in the house and they will be able to tell you where the cables are in the wall. The electrical contractor would have had to pull a permit 3 years ago so the city or state will have a record of that.
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: