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Light Switch, 3 wires,2 black,1 red.Shock if touching plate screws.Please help.

Light Switch, 3 wires,2 black,1 red.Shock if touching plate screws.Please help.

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  #1  
Old 06-16-15, 09:20 AM
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Light Switch, 3 wires,2 black,1 red.Shock if touching plate screws.Please help.

Hello all. Last night when turning off the light in my spare room I received a small electric shock when I touched one of the screws on light switch plate. To be sure it wasnt static shock, I touched it again, still got shocked. Flipped it on and off, touched em again, in both positions, still get shocked, not static, for sure.

When I got up today, I cut the power to that room, and removed the plate. Hoped it was simple like a wire touching something it should'nt be. Not that simple I guess. After taking off the plate, and having a look inside, it appears to be different set up than I was expecting to see. Instead of a black, white, and ground wire. I have 2 black wires, and 1 red.

I'm not sure what to do at this point. The plan was to go buy a new switch and replace it. But this odd setup has me confused. Any help, guidance, suggestions, will be greatly appreciated.

Heres a couple pictures, to give you a better idea of whats going on there.

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The view of the right hand side may look like 1 white and 1 black from the pic, but it is not. I just went and double checked to be sure. Although the top black wire is a bit odd. Here is another pic showing what I mean.

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It looks be a black wire, with a white wire coming out of it,as if the black is just a sheathing.

and some higher quality links to pics, just in case it helps.
http://i.imgur.com/yqAeIqk.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/E6wjY0y.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/Jkkg3Fr.jpg
 
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  #2  
Old 06-16-15, 09:54 AM
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The red is connected to the ground screw. The red color is associated with a hot conductor. Green or bare should be on the ground screw.
 
  #3  
Old 06-16-15, 10:26 AM
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Pull out the switch and show us all the wires.
 
  #4  
Old 06-16-15, 10:35 AM
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Will do. Give me just a few minutes
 
  #5  
Old 06-16-15, 10:54 AM
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  #6  
Old 06-16-15, 12:23 PM
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Wow, what a mess. Ignoring box fill for now. Disconnect the red from the ground screw and cap it. Connect all the bare ground wires together and pigtail to the box and the switch*. It would be best to replace the switch box with a deep old work box. That will give you more room and if you use plastic you will only need to pigtail to the switch.

*With a metal box you can just pigtail to the box but it is better to pigtail to the switch also.
 
  #7  
Old 06-16-15, 12:41 PM
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Thank you for the help and suggestions. As soon as I took the plate off, I had the same thought "What a mess". I've been here for about 8 years, and have never needed to do any work such as this. But I can only assume this has been going on for a while, and none of noticed it, as that room isn't used very often.

I'm gonna try and get this done tonight, but I have to get to work in few hours. Either way, I'll post back with the results just in case it could possibly help someone else someday.

Again, thank you for the help. Happy I found this site.
 
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