Two electrical issues in home ... driving me nuts!


Old 08-18-14, 06:31 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: USA
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Two electrical issues in home ... driving me nuts!

The first issue is in our piano room. The room was not wired for overhead lighting. The wall switch has the white wires tied off in the box and the two black wires running to the light switch, as well as the ground wire. The way it should work is the light switch should control the second receptacle plug of every receptacle in the room, whereas the first plug of each receptacle is always hot. Recently, the switch stopped turning on the second plug of every receptacle in the room, they are cold whether the switch is on or off. I have replaced the switch and am now at a lost as to what to do next. I considered undoing the white wires and reconnecting, but doubt that would be that. The only other thing I can think of would be to call an electrician.

The second issue is our sun room. None of the receptacles work in this room. We have an exterior GFCI receptacle that is outside, on the other side of this room. The GFCI breaker is off and cannot be reset. The receptacles in the sun room must all be wired off of the GFCI that is apparently damaged. The problem is, this is the second GFCI that has been installed, with the same outcome. Could it just have been wired incorrectly? Why would they both go out? They both worked for a little while and then went out for no apparent reason.

My main theory at this point is we have Gremlins in the house, which would explain several other issues. For real though, any help is most appreciated!

Thanks in advance - Roger
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Old 08-18-14, 06:41 PM
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Problem #1: If any of the receptacles are back stabbed move to the screws. Be sure only the brass tabs not the silver tabs are broken.

Problem #2: GFCIs fail. Check for signs of water intrusion and replace GFCI. (Note: the above instructions on back stabs do not apply to GFCI receptacles. They are back wired or side wired not back stabbed.)

Last edited by ray2047; 08-19-14 at 08:57 PM.
Old 08-19-14, 08:18 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 10
Thank you, I will rewire the piano room. As for solution 2, how do I check for water intrusion? It is an exterior box, but it's in a waterproof casing.

Now that you mention it, I recall my wife had our boys doing some work outside before a gathering one morning. One of them had a 50ft orange extension cord plugged in, with the other side unplugged and on the porch floor. While another one of the boys was watering with the hose sprayer, that's when the GFCI triggered and was unable to reset. I bet he sprayed the extension cord (scary thought now that I think about it). I will replace it again, hopefully that will fix the issue.

Thanks again!

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