Converting switch to plug, burned wire?

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  #1  
Old 09-05-15, 11:32 PM
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Converting switch to plug, burned wire?

Hi all! In my garage, there are two switches with two lights. I would like to convert the switch at the far end to a half hot outlet if possible. I wrote a diagram to show my current situation and am a stand still tonight since I left my multi meter at work!

The note of burned wire was that in the first light the black and white pig tail down to the light were obviously burned, and that light has never worked in the year and a half we've been here, as you can tell in the picture, I noticed the bare ground was quite green, I can even photograph the wires at the back of the light, it shorted quite nicely!

I would like to convert the second switch, at the bottom of the diagram, to a half hot plug if possible. What in the heck do I gotta do?!

Thank you all in advance!

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Last edited by PJmax; 09-06-15 at 12:04 AM. Reason: reposted diagram
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  #2  
Old 09-05-15, 11:39 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

A little confused here.....
I would like to convert the second switch, at the bottom of the diagram,
What diagram ? I see a picture of a round box.

A copper wire turned green means it's gotten wet.
 
  #3  
Old 09-05-15, 11:49 PM
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I had to resize that image to get it posted. The confusing part to me is in the junction box for the first light is where the burned wire was, I sure hope it didn't get wet in the ceiling! But yes in that junction box the white wire is nutted to a black that continues on to the second junction box, does that mean the switch I am replacing with a plug has black and white neutral and red hot?
 
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Old 09-06-15, 12:07 AM
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I resized and brightened your diagram.

However it doesn't make sense as drawn. You show the neutral/white from the panel going to the top switch ? I don't think the circuit is drawn correctly.
 
  #5  
Old 09-06-15, 12:19 AM
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Here's a photo of the first switch and junction box

You can see the ground and white continue on to the junction box for the first light where things get weird


Edit: In the photo in the top post, the junction box with all the wires in the box for the first light. On the diagram, the connections just to the left of the first light are those in that photo.

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  #6  
Old 09-06-15, 07:03 AM
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It looks like you have a switch loop. Anyone else?
 
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Old 09-06-15, 10:22 AM
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We need to see the wires pulled out and both connections to the switch. If one connection is a white wire I agree a switch loop but the red wire is puzzling.

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  #8  
Old 09-06-15, 10:49 AM
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I can get photos here in a moment, I tested the wires at the switch I am replacing with a plug. The black is my neutral, white is 120v and the red wire had 28v across it?

With the other switch flipped, the red gains 120v and white turns to 28v
 
  #9  
Old 09-06-15, 11:06 AM
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The black is my neutral, white is 120v and the red wire had 28v across it?
Black is never neutral. Why do you say it is?
the red wire had 28v across it?
How did you determine that. From red to what did you measure. Did you use a digital multimeter?
 
  #10  
Old 09-06-15, 11:14 AM
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In the junction box for the first light fixture, the white wire coming from the panel box is nutted to a black wire that goes to the switch I am replacing with an outlet.

Yes I am using a digital multi meter. It was measured to the bare ground
 
  #11  
Old 09-06-15, 11:20 AM
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the white wire coming from the panel box is nutted to a black wire that goes to the switch
Are you sure it isn't the black wire from the panel connected to the white wire to the switch. Disconnect the black wire and measure to ground. Do you get ~120 volts?
 
  #12  
Old 09-06-15, 11:32 AM
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I reset the whole thing back to square one to check every wire with the multimeter. I can type up those results but mostly I'm curious why the second switch, the one I would like to replace with a plug, has no neutral?



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Last edited by Youngunbd; 09-06-15 at 12:18 PM.
  #13  
Old 09-06-15, 12:37 PM
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That is a three way switch in your last picture. Did I miss where you were working on a 3-way circuit?

Basic dead end 3-way with power at the first switch. You may have power in at the light but the principle is the same.
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I'm curious why the second switch, the one I would like to replace with a plug, has no neutral
That is because no neutral is needed for it to work. Note by code the white wire was supposed to be recolored on both ends some color other then white, gray, or green.
 
  #14  
Old 09-06-15, 12:41 PM
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Inexperience takes the cake on that one! Is it possible to replace that switch with a plug then? It would be quite nice to have it there but not something that can't be worked around!
 
  #15  
Old 09-06-15, 12:54 PM
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Is it possible to replace that switch with a plug then?
Maybe if you no longer want a 3-way switch. You need to disconnect the 2-conductor cables and measure between black and white to see which cable is power in. (Meaningful readings can't be taken with the wires connected.) Once we know for sure where the power in cable comes in we can go from there.

Easier solution find another source of power for your receptacle, change the switch box to two gang, run a power cable to the box and install a receptacle alongside the switch or even easier just put the new receptacle in a separate box.
 
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