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power at switch and outlet, but lights won't turn off with switch

power at switch and outlet, but lights won't turn off with switch

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  #1  
Old 02-06-16, 06:03 PM
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power at switch and outlet, but lights won't turn off with switch

Hello. So i read through a couple posts in hopes to see where I might be running into problems, but can't seem to pin it down. Hopefully someone can help me out because I'm at a complete loss, but this seems like a common problem. In each case I wrote down the configuration of every outlet and light switch so I wouldn't in theory change anything. I didn't know about the brass tabs until I surmised it had to be broken in order for the remaining circuits that are piggybacked from this outlet to be continuously hot.

We're remodeling our house and I simply replaced my outlets and switches for cosmetic reasons so all of them worked fine before. Everything works correctly after replacement. Except...

Now each of our 2 rooms have a receptacle commanded from their light respective switches - pretty common right? There are no room lights installed, just a receptacle tied to the switch. For each room the recptacle powered by the switch is the farthest from the switch so half the room contiues to piggyback from it. I broke the brass tab so half the receptacle is always hot and the circuit continues to the other receptacles. There are both black and red wires in the switch box and in the receptacle boxes that are controlled by the switches.

Using the side screws instead of the holes in back. The receptacles that are powered by the switches now stay on continually even with the switches in the off position. I've removed the piggyback circuit to try and isolate what's going on with the switch receptacle.

Both red and black read hot at the switch even when the switch is off. I've tested other single pole switches in the house and the lower post circuit has no voltage when switches are in the off position. Makes sense to me. But not at these particular switches. This seems like such an easy DIY but now I'm at the verge of having to call the electrician and would like to avoid that if at all possible. Any suggestions are extremely appreciated. I've included images. Top is the box. bottom is the receptacle (before tab is broken - right side goes to other receptacles, left side comes from box, note the black wire disappearing out of view, that's the hot wire for the piggyback outlets). I left the wires off the receptcale since it didn't seem to work with the original config or any other config for that matter. Power stays on regardless and both wires are hot at the switch. Cheers.

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  #2  
Old 02-06-16, 06:26 PM
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  #3  
Old 02-06-16, 06:33 PM
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that's an old photo. I removed the tab and it still isn't working...or working, just not turning off from the switch.
 
  #4  
Old 02-06-16, 06:36 PM
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Post a picture of the wiring at the switch.
 
  #5  
Old 02-06-16, 07:00 PM
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here is a photo of the wiring at the switch. red is top. black is bottom.

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  #6  
Old 02-06-16, 07:23 PM
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Do you know for sure that it used to work before?
If so, wiring should be correct.

May be you have a defective switch?
Remove wires from the switch and test switch with multimeter or test if you still get hot on both red and black wire.
 
  #7  
Old 02-06-16, 07:40 PM
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@lambition yes the switch worked before hand. i was thinking that the switch might be bad but i have another room with the same problem so the chances are low, but possible. i don't have a multimeter, so i will have to buy one. i only have a fluke voltalert and both wires read hot even when the switch is off.
 
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Old 02-06-16, 08:46 PM
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i only have a fluke voltalert
Non contact testers are best given to the kids to play with while you work. When you buy a multimeter get an analog multimeter not digital. Their lower impedance of an analog meter is far less likely to give false readings than a digital. A cheap $8-$15 one is all you need
 
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Old 02-07-16, 04:59 PM
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i only have a fluke voltalert and both wires read hot even when the switch is off.
No, you don't know that they are hot, you just know there is voltage somewhere in the area. Those are high priced little toys, you could just about have bought a real meter for what you gave for it.
 
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