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After replacing, light switch does not operate wall outlets.

After replacing, light switch does not operate wall outlets.

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  #1  
Old 01-03-11, 06:11 PM
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After replacing, light switch does not operate wall outlets.

My living room has 1 light switch and 4 wall outlets. One outlet socket (I think the top) was operated by the light switch. The other socket was always On. I replaced all outlets and the light switch. Now all my outlets are always on and the switch does nothing.

I called a local hardware store and he said to break the metal tab on the side of the hot wires on the outlet. So I broke the tab between the red and black wires of one outlet. Didn't fix it. So I did the same on the other 3 outlets. Still didn't fix it. Any ideas of what I did wrong? My theory is that I might have switched up the 2 white wires on some of the outlets. Could that be the problem? Thanks, -Troy
 
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  #2  
Old 01-03-11, 06:21 PM
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I might have switched up the 2 white wires on some of the outlets. Could that be the problem?
As long as the white wires are on the silver screws they should be ok. There is one exception that may or may not apply depending on how the switch is wired.

Tell us how many 2-conductor cables and if any 3-conductor cables in the switch box. Tell us how they are connected.

So I did the same on the other 3 outlets
Those will probably have to be replaced or the black wires pigtailed. Replacing is probably easier. It was the tab on the brass side you broke correct?
 

Last edited by ray2047; 06-10-12 at 06:18 PM.
  #3  
Old 01-03-11, 07:13 PM
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One outlet socket (I think the top) was operated by the light switch.
This is the only receptacle where you should have removed the brass colored tab between the red and black wires.
 
  #4  
Old 01-04-11, 06:51 AM
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I turned off the power and unhooked all 4 outlets. On 3 of the outlets there are two black wires coming from the wall and they join together so that one black lead goes to the outlet. On those same 3 outlets the same is true for the red wire. Two red wires come out from the wall and join together so that one red lead goes to the outlet.

However, on the 4th outlet there is one black wire coming from the wall that connects directly to the outlet. There is another black wire coming from the wall that joins with a red wire coming from the wall to make a red lead that connects to the outlet.

The 2 wires that connect to my wall switch are 1 black and 1 red. The light switch seems to control the black wire on the outlets.

So, what to make of this? Do I need to break the tab on the brass side of the outlet on all 4 outlets? Currently 3 of the outlets have the tab broken and 1 has it non-broken.
 
  #5  
Old 01-04-11, 08:32 AM
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Didn't get any feedback and I was pretty confident I was correct, so I removed the tab on that last outlet and that fixed it. It seems the problem was that the wall switch controlled the bottom socket(black lead) on all 4 outlets and by having 1 outlet with the tab still connected caused it to be one large circuit with the top socket and always On. By removing the tab on that last outlet it broke it into 2 circuits and the wall switch controlled the bottom socket circuit. Thanks, -Troy
 
  #6  
Old 01-04-11, 08:41 AM
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Very good, Troy. You solved a problem that might have even caught a pro. Normally only one receptacle has the switched half. Thanks for letting us know.

Following is opinion only. I would not want half of the receptacles switched. Too many things today that need constant power. I'd probably wire it so only one was half switched.
 
  #7  
Old 06-10-12, 06:01 PM
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Thumbs up Thank you Troy!!!

I could not figure out why my switch wasn't operating my outlets and it was indeed the fact that ALL the tabs on the hot side for EACH outlet in the room was not snipped... thanks again for helping me figure it out!

Jim
 
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