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Replaced some switches and outlets, now some lights don't work

Replaced some switches and outlets, now some lights don't work

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Old 02-01-10, 03:41 PM
W
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Replaced some switches and outlets, now some lights don't work

We're doing some light remodeling in our kitchen, family room, and breakfast area, and yesterday I replaced 10 outlets, 4 regular switches, and three pair of 3-way switches (6 ttl). This house was built in '89.

Everything seemed to go pretty well, but today, we noticed that three lights in another part of the house don't work.. the utility room, hallway, and front porch exterior light.

Hmm, I checked the breakers, even flipping them all off, and back on again just to be sure. I checked the wiring in many of the new switches, it all looks good too. I checked the three GFCI circuits in our home, they are all reset properly, and work.

The only thing I can think of is that I may have reversed the three way switch wiring somewhere. Unlikely, but possible. There is a red wire, and two black wires. One of the black wires has a loop formed in it, and it goes to the Common terminal on the switch (bottom). This is only on one side of the switch the two instances that I checked.

One of the three way switches is in a double box with another single switch, and has an additional black wire running through (looped through, not terminating there). Maybe I should try swapping the black wires in that switch?

Any suggestions on this could be, or how to troubleshoot most effectively?
 
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Old 02-01-10, 05:40 PM
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Problem solved. It wasn't a 3-way switch; I tried flipping the wiring on those, and it just made the lights stay on in all switch positions.

I turned the three inoperative switches to the on position, and then flipped all of the new switches on one by one, and viola, the new switch by the kitchen sink made all three of the inoperable lights come on!

I switched the wires on that switch, and the problem was solved. There were three black wires attached to this switch, two on the slip-in terminals, and one on the screw terminal. That odd-ball wire wasn't getting the constant ground it needed when the switch was in the off position.
 
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Old 02-01-10, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Wooderson View Post
Problem solved. That odd-ball wire wasn't getting the constant ground it needed when the switch was in the off position.
Glad you got it fixed. However, I just want to point out that a ground has nothing to do with a switch other then to bond the metal parts.
 
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Old 02-01-10, 06:15 PM
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That odd-ball wire wasn't getting the constant ground it needed when the switch was in the off position.
I'm glad you got it but based on what you wrote you really need to get a book such as Wiring Simplified to learn how circuits work. Hot wires never are connected to ground. In fact a ground isn't even need for function, only safety. My guess is you are referring to the common on the 3-way switch. When you change out 3-way switches you always need to note which wire is connected to the common. The common will be the dark colored screw.
 
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