Unhooking power outlet from dual light switch

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  #1  
Old 09-15-13, 02:59 PM
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Unhooking power outlet from dual light switch

Hi all,

I have a double light switch in the bathroom. Bottom switch is connected to the fan (good). Top switch is connected to the vanity light (good) but also the power outlet (bad).

When I pulled the switch out of the housing, and I'm looking at the back of the switch, I see a beige wire connected to a black screw on the top left. A green ground is connected to the centre-back of the switch. A red wire is connected to the top right screw and a black wire is connected to the bottom right screw. (Remember, I'm describing these locations looking at the back).

Here's a super-rough illustration (note that I used grey to illustrate the beige wire).

When I check which wires are live, the only one carrying any current with the switch off is the beige wire/black screw.

So, I'm a little confused if there is any way I can disconnect the power outlet. Advice?
 
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  #2  
Old 09-15-13, 03:16 PM
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You have described a three-way switch. Is there another switch that controls the light? Is the receptacle that is also controlled by this switch part of the light fixture?
 
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Old 09-15-13, 04:10 PM
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There are two switches on the unit, just as described. the top switch controls the light and power outlet, and the bottom controls the fan. And no, the receptacle is not part of the light fixture.
 
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Old 09-15-13, 04:16 PM
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No, Furd was asking if you had another switch in another location (across the room) that also operated the lights? What you have is a three way switch. OR do you have a tandem over under switch set up?? A picture would be great!!http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...your-post.html
 
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Old 09-15-13, 04:18 PM
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There are two switches on the unit, just as described
No, he said three way. The second switch would be in a different location.

And no, the receptacle is not part of the light fixture.
But if it is wired to the light and only a single 2-conductor cable (black,white, bare) in the switch box there is no way to do it except run a new cable.

A green ground is connected to the centre-back of the switch.
A very odd place for a ground wire. What is the screw color? Can you post a picture.
 
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Old 09-15-13, 05:26 PM
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Until we get the pix of the switch, I will lay my bets on a tandem, over under switch with the ground in the back. I have seen them before.
 
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Old 09-15-13, 05:54 PM
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does the switch look like this?

[ATTACH=CONFIG]17828[/ATTACH]
 
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Old 09-15-13, 06:42 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

If you've described all of the cables in the switch box - one 3-conductor cable with a black, a red and a white (not "beige") conductor - it sounds like you have a tandem switch wired as a switch loop. Especially since you say the power comes in on the white wire.

You should be able to separate the receptacle from the switch control. To get started, pull the receptacle and tell us what wires and cables you have there, and how each wire is connected or spliced, just as you did for the switch.
 
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Old 09-15-13, 09:35 PM
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Thanks for the replies everyone.

It's a tandem switch. I wasn't familiar with the terminology, but the switch matches the photo posted by Ray2047. I described the white wire as beige, because that's the actual colour. I now realize that it is a "white" wire for electrical purposes.

Chandler: you're right, the ground is in the back.

Nashkat1: The power receptacle has one white wire and one black wire attached.

Furd: there is no other switch in the room.

Sorry I can't post pics right now - too late - so you'll all have to take my word for it on the ground wire. I'll pull it apart tomorrow if more information is needed.
 
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Old 09-15-13, 09:45 PM
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The power receptacle has one white wire and one black wire attached.
And a ground wire? Is the receptacle a GFCI device?

Please describe all of the cables and wires in each box, whether they are connected to any device or not.
 
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Old 09-16-13, 04:10 AM
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And those boxes include the light.
 
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Old 09-16-13, 10:47 PM
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Hi all, pics tomorrow.

Just finished work and studies and my baby is asleep. Another 12 hour day tomorrow, so I likely won't be able to get pics up until Wednesday at the earliest. Bear with me and thanks for hanging in there.
 
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Old 09-17-13, 05:01 AM
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We're here.....we don't sleep...............
 
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