Mystery Switch in Bedroom

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Old 06-05-13, 04:07 PM
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Mystery Switch in Bedroom

I have a mystery switch in the bedroom near where the bed would likely be placed it is lower than the rest of the switches at a height that could easily be reached from bed.

I had assumed this would control some of the outlets in the room for a lamp but all of the outlets are hot all the time.

Next step was to take the plate off the switch and the nearest outlet to see if it had been bypassed and was at one time wired to the outlet. Switch has one piece of romex running to it white one side black other; it was not bypassed and did not appear to be going to the outlet.

Test with multi meter showed switch was hot but was opposite phase of outlet so on different breaker. Flipping off breakers confirmed that the outlets and lights are on a different breaker than the switch and the switch is on same breaker as refrigerator in the kitchen.

With out having to buy a tone generator any ideas for what this switch might be doing or how to trace it.
 
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Old 06-05-13, 04:20 PM
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Did you check both side of every outlet?
One whould have power all the time the other would be switched.
 
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Old 06-05-13, 04:33 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

Here's a wild guess: A friend of mine wired a switch in, in exactly that location, that switched one or more receptacles in his kid's room(s). When it was time for their TVs to be off, they went off. Funny thing, they always worked fine the next day.

Two things you can do without buying a tracer: Turn the switch off and check every receptacle (top and bottom of every duplex, as Joe pointed out) with a plug-in receptacle tester to see if you find one that's dead. Or just a working, switched-on desk lamp. Or plug a radio in and go flip the switch; this will involve more hiking.
 
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Old 06-05-13, 04:52 PM
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Thanks for the story about the TVs that got me thinking about controlling other rooms I would have not thought about wiring a house like that. I had checked both sides of each outlet in the same room but not other rooms. Turns out to be a single outlet in the kitchen behind the microwave that I have never noticed was dead. I think someone put this in before coffee pots had timers to turn on and brew in the morning.
 
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Old 06-05-13, 04:58 PM
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Wow....how lazy was that? Can't get out of bed when the alarm goes off, hit snooze, go turn on the coffee pot, then go back to sleep for 10 min?

Had to be an engineer owner in the past.
 
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Old 06-05-13, 05:29 PM
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I think someone put this in before coffee pots had timers to turn on and brew in the morning.
That was my first guess!
 
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Old 06-05-13, 07:22 PM
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Thanks for the story about the TVs that got me thinking about controlling other rooms I would have not thought about wiring a house like that... Turns out to be a single outlet in the kitchen behind the microwave that I have never noticed was dead. I think someone put this in before coffee pots had timers to turn on and brew in the morning.
LOL! I love it! I would not have thought of that either, but it makes sense now that I hear your story.

I'm glad you found it, that we could help, and that you came back to let us know the outcome.

Originally Posted by Gunguy45
Had to be an engineer owner in the past.
My friend who installed the "kill switch" for his kids' TVs was a top foreman with our company. He was also the one who installed a couple of dozen receptacles and some timers behind his shrubbery one afternoon, to feed and sontrol his holiday lighting. Bit of an engineer in many of us, I 'spect.
 
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Old 06-05-13, 09:22 PM
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Thanks again for the help, I am going to cap it as digital coffee makers would not work. A true engineer would have put in a double throw switch that turned off the alarm and turned on the coffee maker.
 
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