2 switches don't do anything

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  #1  
Old 01-31-15, 05:43 AM
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2 switches don't do anything

Just bought a condominium that was built in the 80's. Upon moving in we found 4 wall switches that did nothing. Through the Internet I found out about the tab and fixed the switches in the two bedrooms. The other 2 are in the kitchen and den it is open format. One switch in kitchen is by 2 other switches while it does nothing one works kitchen over head light the other works ceiling fan over dining area. The switch in den I would think would work plug but they are not wired up like bedroom ones. I checked both switches they work. Both have red wire, black and white wires. There are 4 plugs in room, none have red wire.
 
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  #2  
Old 01-31-15, 05:51 AM
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Those ceiling fixtures may have been wired to operate a fan/light separately but were not connected like that.

There may be a red wire just capped off in the ceiling boxes.
 
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Old 01-31-15, 06:20 AM
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There is no red wire in box with fan. We think the red wire goes fron one switch to another.
 
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Old 01-31-15, 06:21 AM
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I agree with Jim in that the switches may operate items that are not installed. Can you remove the power from the switches and pull them from the box and post pictures so we can tell what wiring you have. Also a picture of the inside of the box with all the switches pulled would help.http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...your-post.html
 
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Old 01-31-15, 07:04 AM
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I think these are 3-way switches. If you don't know what a 3-way switch is, it allows you to turn on and off a device from 2 separate locations.
That device is most likely a receptacle (half receptacle switched/half hot).
A receptacle was probably fixed at some point and was wired wrong.

If you want to find the receptacle these switches were intended to control, it will take some detective work. Places to start looking is a room with no ceiling light, or a light you think was added. Another place to look is a receptacle you think would be a good place to plug in a lamp.
 
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Old 01-31-15, 07:26 AM
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Does the other switch in the kitchen control either your dish washer or disposal?
Geo
 
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Old 01-31-15, 11:17 AM
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Don't have access to a computer just ipad, can't figure out how to upload photos. So I will try to explain what each switch and plug has. The den switch has red wire on top left, black on top right and white on bottom right. The kitchen switch is where it gets confusing. The switch that does nothing has red on top left, black on top and bottom left and ground. The Switch that goes to ceiling fan has white and black only. The switch that works kitchen has 2 blacks one left side and ground. The top black wire goes to a white wire in box. All 3 of these switches are 3 way. Could this be problem? When we had ceiling fan down and were checking the wires we lost all power to plugs unless the three white wires were together that were in ceiling box.
On the plugs one has 2 blacks on right and 2 whites on left. The next plug the one we think should work with switch has a total of 4 black wires on right and 4 white wires on left. The. Next plug has 3 black and 3 white. If this is too much to follow I will try to upload photos when I get home.
 
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Old 01-31-15, 11:52 AM
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For now just halt operations. I or someone will get back. That bottom photo is the worse wiring job I have ever seen.
 
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Old 01-31-15, 12:42 PM
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OK. Please fix that bottom picture switch first. See picture, it's not the best resolution.

Take note of wire positions before removing from switch, it's important.

Remove wires. Strip and bend wire to the right, forming a half loop.
Insert loop under screw and tighten clockwise. The cut end of loop must face the "right" or clockwise position. This is so when you tighten screw, it pulls the wire in tighter. The wire should be completely under screw and tight.

As far as the switches, I still think they control a receptacle. I'll get back on that. This poor wiring is more important.
 
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Old 01-31-15, 05:00 PM
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If you lost power when you had the fan down that would be a great place to start,if that box is as bad looking as the other pics your problem could be loose connection there,check each splice ,take your time and remove one wire nut at a time and twist the wires together with pliers and reinstall a NEW wirenut,send a pic of that box if you can.
Plugs sound right,but probably to many conductors for the number of terminals,a pigtail would be a idea,by the way do those plugs have the tab broken out on the line side?
Geo
 
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Old 04-24-15, 11:57 AM
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Yes tabs are broken on both sides now. They were not when we started, tried tab on right side first didn't fix so broke tab on left to give it a shot still nothing. Everything works just like it did before we broke tabs. Swithes do not work anything. Plugs still all work.
 
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