Master bedroom light switch problem!

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Old 03-01-15, 04:32 PM
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Question Master bedroom light switch problem!

Ok first of all I live in a mobile home built in 97 and the master bedroom is where I'm having the problem. When you walk into the master bedroom there's a switch next to the door for the ceiling light. The light was replaced with a hanging 3 light style kitchen chandelier style light. The light worked fine for over 2 years but I did purchase it used.

From time to time when you would turn the light on it would not come on. It only worked when it wanted to I guess.

My cousin and my sisters boyfriend both said the problem was in the switch. So the plan was to purchase a new switch. My sisters boyfriend picked out a dimmer switch with a slider and a switch on it. I would have to guess it was for a fan and light combo.

One morning the light was working and he decided to switch when I was not home. Next thing I know I have nothing.

When my sisters boyfriend switched the light switch to the slider style it killed the power in the whole room.

Problem 1- Bedroom light did not work the whole time so sisters boyfriend switched the plain switch with a dimmer slider switch with a button switch.

Problem 2- After sisters boyfriend switched the switch there is no power in the whole bedroom. There was only one switch for the bedroom light there is over 6 outlets and none of the work ether.

Problem 3- There is also a light in my master bedroom closet and the light in there dose not work ether.( But in the closet there is a hot water heater and that works fine.)

Problem 4- There is even a problem with the lights and outlet in my master bathroom.And I even tried to rest the outlet with the red and black button in the bathroom. (That's the only outlet in the bathroom and still no fix.)


Could the problem be just the switch was wired wrong or could it actually be with the light it self.

Any ideas please and is there a way to test a few things before more damage happens. I'm tired of not having any power in my room. Please help me out.


Thank you.
 
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  #2  
Old 03-01-15, 05:03 PM
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A connection could have been missed installing the new switch or it could be miswired. Can you tell use the number and colors of the wires at the switch?
 
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Old 03-01-15, 07:09 PM
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Could the problem be just the switch was wired wrong or could it actually be with the light it self.
I suspect PCboss is right and the sister's boyfriend took some connections apart at the switchbox that fed power through to the receptacles and closet light and he didn't get them back correctly.
 
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Old 03-02-15, 10:21 AM
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I think he told me yesterday that the instructions in the switch I purchased that he picked out was red/white/ground. But on the old switch it was black/white/ground. Plus there where little wholes in the back of the switch he took out and then he put the wires onto the screws. I personally don't think he wired it correctly ether.

But I'm not entirely shore about how many wires.

Ok here's what I just did. I turned off the breaker for the bedroom and then took off the cover for the light switch. And in the back of the box for the switch I have this.

There are 2 strands of wires coming into the box. Inside one wire there is a black/white/red. Inside the other wire there is a black/white/ground.

And he has some wires going to screws and some to the wholes in the back of the switch.

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There is even a capped white wire. I can't really see any other caps inside without taking out the switch.
 
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Old 03-02-15, 11:05 AM
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Your going to need to pull the switch out of the box and see what is really there,don't use the holes in the switch,normally the whites should all be wire nutted together, do you know what color wire is connected to the black in the fixture? It should be Red,if so the red at the switch should be on one terminal of the switch,all the blacks should be connected together with a pigtail and connected to the other terminal of the switch.
SHUT THE BREAKER OFF FIRST!
Geo
 
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Old 03-02-15, 11:23 AM
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And he has some wires going to screws and some to the wholes in the back of the switch.
And therein lies the problem. The original connections were splices and now because all of the splices were mixed up things don't work. One of the cables in the box is probably hot all the time. Verify with a multimeter by disconnecting each cable and measuring between black and white. (A non contact tester won't work.)

Do the below only if there is one cable only at the light. Two cables or more stop and post back.

Try hooking one of the cables that isn't hot to the hot cable to see if the light comes on. If not continue testing till you have determined which cable goes to the light.

Just for testing use a standard switch. Connect all whites together. Connect all blacks that do NOT go to the light to the hot black and a pigtail. Connect the pigtail and the light black to the switch. (Use the screws on the switch. Do not use the back stabs. They are unreliable.)
 

Last edited by ray2047; 03-02-15 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 03-02-15, 11:59 AM
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Question

I can't reach the light until my sisters and her boyfriend get back home. They will be here soon.

I don't know much about running power but this part I think I understand.

since there are 2 sets of wires coming into the box 1 wire with red/black/white/ground. And one without the red. Red is the power source for the light. Since the outlets and other things are not running with the switch. Because with switch off or on the outlets should work. But there is no power to anything not even the light. So the red must be for the light. So the red wire is needed. and the white wires run together from place to place. So they are not needed on the switch. And then there is the ground which has a crimp copper piece with a tail which goes onto a screw.

But then there are 2 black wires since one is used to power the switch and then and the red is used to power the light and the whites are used to connect to the rest of the room. How do I used the second black wire. Do I use it behind the same screw as the other black. Or do I put it some place else. After all there's a 4 strand wire and a 3 strand. Ground to ground. White to white. Red to light switch (Bottom Screw Currently) and black (1) black to (Top Screw Currently) but I don't know what to do with the other black wire. (Currently its in the Little Hole Behind the Black Screw Position).


Black has no pig tail as far as I can tell. I have not pulled out the box yet. If I switch out this switch with a fan control switch. Something like this.(Skylark Contour 1.5-Amp Single-Pole/3-Way Quiet 3-Speed Fan Control)
Would this work in the place of a 15 Amp Single-Pole Toggle Switch.
 
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Old 03-02-15, 12:03 PM
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Whites are still connected together and ground as well only thing not connect together is a red which I only have one of those and 2 black. And do I need to cap the ends and use a extra piece of black or can they both be put on the same screw.
 
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Old 03-02-15, 12:49 PM
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Just tell us whats at the light and if there are two switches controlling the light Hold up on following my instructions. I missed the red wire. I thought it was part of the switch. Also do you have conduit or cable?
 
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Old 03-02-15, 01:05 PM
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Also do you have conduit or cable?
Ray, I see a cable in the upper left of the first photo.
 
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Old 03-02-15, 01:18 PM
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Question

Ok there are 2 sets of wires and there is a plastic kind of coating around the wires. Its white. top photo wire in left corner is a black/white/ground. second set of wires also coming from the top of the box but behind the switch are also coated in the same white coating. But has a extra wire a red one. I think the red one goes to the light but not shore I will have sisters boyfriend look. And then the 2 white are capped and the 2 ground are pig tailed. I think that's what they call it when there is 2 wires put together and then a 3rd a short wire is crimped onto them. but the only ones not capped together are the red and the 2 black. Red I think goes to the light and the black goes I don't know where.


I would guess the black powers goes to the switch and so does the red after all the black powers the switch and the the red powers the light. And then the other black powers everything else. After all there are no whites that go to the switch. And if the power to the switch is black then the power to everything else would also be black I think.

And I think its called cable.

EDIT "There is only one switch. When it was removed I lost everything. Master bathroom and closet. Hot water tank is in the bedroom closet but I think they have there own power. Because I never lost that. No lights or outlets work in the bedroom what so ever."
 
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Old 03-02-15, 02:09 PM
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You have cable. I'm guessing you will find a single 3-conductor cable (red, black, white) at the light but I'll wait for verification. If there is ony two cables in the box I suspect power to the dead items comes from the light, or is there a third cable at the light?

I'd try a quick test before removing the light. At the switch box with breaker off remove the switch and connect the red and two blacks together (leave the whites connected to each other). When you flip the breaker on the light and everything else should work.
 
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Old 03-02-15, 03:19 PM
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Question

what would happen if I did the test below.
 
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Old 03-02-15, 04:28 PM
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Connect all the blacks together with a pigtail (short piece of black or red wire) to the bottom screw of the switch.
Geo
 
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Old 03-02-15, 04:31 PM
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The test below would definitely prove that the Red wire is the correct wire to the light fixture,no need to remove the fixture.
Go For It!
Geo
 
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Old 03-02-15, 04:42 PM
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My test was a bit different:
remove the switch and connect the red and two blacks together (leave the whites connected to each other). When you flip the breaker on the light and everything else should work.
Either test will provide information but Geo's test will confirm the red wire goes to the switch. Do it instead.

Explanation: power comes in at the switch but power for those circuits not working comes from the ceiling box. Either the black or red of the three conductor cable caries unswitched power to them and the other non-white switched power to the light. Usually the black would be unswitched and red switched but there is no rule which is which.
 
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Old 03-03-15, 10:04 AM
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Cool Fixed!

My sisters boyfriend said he did not want to try and fix it since hew was the one that messed it up. He did not want to make it worse. So I called my aunt Sandy to see if my uncle Lonnie could fix it for me. He came over about 7:00 P.m. Last night and pulled the switch out and tested the wires there was no power.

So he had my sister turn off the breaker and then turn it rite back on and then he smiled and said well look it there power.

He said there was power going to the switch but the power was not going from the switch to the light because the switch was broke.

So he went to town last night and bought me a new switch and came back over and had it replaced for me last night.

My sisters boyfriend broke the switch that's what the problem was all along plus he never reset the breaker after putting the old switch back in.

So no problems with power to any part of the master bedroom now.

But thank all of you for all of your help with helping me figure out the problem...
 
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Old 03-03-15, 11:34 AM
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Thanks for letting us know the outcome.
 
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Old 03-04-15, 06:50 PM
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Question New problem but same place. Master Bedroom.

My uncle fixed the messed up switch my sister dumb-ass boyfriend messed up. The night he fixed it I had lights and outlets in my bedroom and closet and master bathroom.

But the next day nothing again. And this time it was not the switch.

Ok here's what happened.

The night my uncle came over he took the switch cover back off and tested all teh wires except the ground. He tested both black and both white and the red also. And there was no power and the breaker was turned on. So he asked my sister to turn it off and then back on. And after doing so we had power in the room to switch and to outlets. The breaker just needed to be reset. But we had done that many times before the only thing different this time was that morning I told my sisters boyfriend to reset the bathroom outlet. Which has a red and black button on it.

He reset the switch that morning. Since I have not had power in the room for 2 days again I had my sister reset the outlet in the bathroom and then the breaker again. And still no power.

And the night we had power I never plugged anything in and I never left the lights on to long. I had the bedroom and bathroom lights on for maybe 2 hours just to see if it was going to shut off or not. And it did not so when I went to bed I turned off the lights. And when I turned the light on last night in the bedroom there was no light.

I was told if it was the breaker it would kick off once turned on. The breaker never pops. There has never been a problem with the outlets or switches before.

And since the power goes from the breaker to the switch then to the light I don't think the problem could be the light since power only goes to the light and not from the light.

(*Also my uncle told me that the power dose not run from the switch to anything else. It just goes from the breaker to the switch and then to the light.)





1.So I guess the problem is not with the switch anymore. Could it be some place else and how would I find out.

2.And how could I test the breaker to find out if that's where the problem is at.

This is getting vary frustrating.
 
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Old 03-04-15, 07:17 PM
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To start testing things you will need a multi meter. A cheap analog one will do just fine, about $10-$15.

You also mentioned there is a red wire. That could add some fun to the problem. Please take a picture with the switch removed and post it here, or describe what cables are in the box, and what wires are in the cables.
 
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Old 03-04-15, 07:20 PM
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If he tested for power at the switch..... and there was no power there..... it wasn't the switch.
Are you telling us that the lights and receptacles in your bedroom are controlled by the GFI receptacle in the bathroom ?
 
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Old 03-04-15, 07:29 PM
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Question

I'm not shore if the GFI receptacle actually had anything to do with it or not because there is only one button on it. And that's a test button not a reset button. So I guess the problem is from somewhere else.

And my understanding of the GFI receptacle the red button is a test not a reset button.

So I guess using that did no good.

So I don't know what the heck gave me power that day.

I had no power in my bedroom for over a month.

And now no power again.

I guess the red when to power the light from the switch.

Can a none used outlet be causing the problem. I am currently not using any outlets or switches in my bedroom or closet or bathroom.

Any ideas please. And I don't currently have a tester of any kind.


Edit(*The cable going the the switch was black/white/ground. and going to the light was black/red/ground.*)

Wiring to and from switch is not the problem.
 
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Old 03-04-15, 07:47 PM
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I have merged your threads. Please perform one of the tests discussed in posts #12-#16 and tell us the results.
 
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Old 03-04-15, 08:59 PM
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If the gfi has a test button it needs a reset also.

Perhaps you can borrow a meter or have family more familiar with electric stop back over.
 
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Old 03-05-15, 10:09 AM
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Question Weird Question about Safty1ST outlet plug caps.

My sister or her boyfriend put white safety caps inside my bedroom outlet next to my bed. And I was wondering if there was maybe a problem with the outlet since they put the caps in is rite around the time as the problem.

So I pulled out the top cap and it was broken off inside and the back side of the cap looks like a lightly roasted marshmallow. on the broken side. And the outlet looks a little roasted inside of it also.

Could a cap like that cause a problem in a outlet. And can one outlet be causing all the problems.

Because since my uncle had the switch removed and the other outlet worked and now there's no power in the room I no its not the switch.
 
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Old 03-05-15, 10:30 AM
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the back side of the cap looks like a lightly roasted marshmallow. on the broken side. And the outlet looks a little roasted inside of it also.
Open the receptacle and check the wiring inside. Look for poor connections, burnt wires. Move any wires inserted in the back to the screws. Check the voltage with an analog multimeter.

I think you need to call an electrician. To many people with too little skill stirring the pot.
 
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Old 03-05-15, 11:30 AM
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The safety cap would not be a problem as it is an insulator. However it may be showing signs of a loose connection from high current flow creating heat. I second Rays suggestions.
 
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