Multiple electrical issues in living room


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Old 01-08-17, 07:31 PM
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Multiple electrical issues in living room

I just recently purchased a house and have a few electrical issues in the living room. There are two light switches together that I have no idea what they control. This may be because the previous owner installed single pole dimmer switches on fixtures with multiple switches. The major concern is that one of the switches instantly buzzes and flips the breaker. Once I flip the switch off I can reset the breaker and everything works without a problem.

The other issue is that there are about 10 outlet boxes with two outlets each. In about half of them only one of the two outlets is working.

I do have a home warranty so I'm wondering if this is something I should have a professional look at or if it's something I can take on myself. (There is a $100 deductible so if I can save money by installing a new switch and some outlets I'm all for it.) I just don't know if this a symptom of bigger issues. The house is relatively new (about 3 years old) and nothing showed up in the inspection. (The light switch in question had a child safety clip and he just happened to hit the outlets that worked when he tested them.) Any input would be greatly appreciated!
 
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Old 01-09-17, 07:54 PM
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I'm wondering if this is something I should have a professional look at or if it's something I can take on myself. (There is a $100 deductible
If all it will cost is $100 to get it all fixed correctly you are getting a deal, but be aware that most home warranty companies hire the cheapest contractor they can find and that in some cases they may not even be licensed. You want to check the credentials on anyone the warranty company sends you.
 
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Old 01-09-17, 10:00 PM
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They may well be switched outlets.
Try plugging something into the outlet that's not working and switch on those switches that you think do nothing.
 
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Old 01-09-17, 10:04 PM
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Welcome.
I don't think it's any coincidence you have non-working switches and non-working halves of duplex receptacles at the same time.
The half-switched receptacles are required in certain rooms that have no ceiling lights.

The sellers of the home probably installed new receptacles and didn't realize they were switched or didn't know how to wire them.
Pretty common error.
 
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Old 01-10-17, 07:59 AM
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Thank you, everyone!

Turns out that they are switched outlets. The living room is one giant room, but in the original plans it was meant to be two separate rooms, a living room and a great room. The switched outlets never crossed my mind. I guess you live and learn.

There still is a second switch that trips the circuit whenever it is flipped. I don't know what it is controlling. It makes a buzzing sound for about a second and then trips. It sounds like it is coming from behind the plate. Could this be caused by a defective switch? Whatever fixture it's controlling is working from another switch as there's no lights in the house that are unaccounted for. My guess is that it's going to either the foyer light or the outside porch lights.

@Casualjoe Supposedly, I can call whichever contractor I want and the contractor then calls the warranty company to get the work approved and then they submit payment. I imagine it's a pain for everyone involved so I figured if it might be a quick $20 fix I'm better off doing it myself.
 
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Old 01-10-17, 08:56 AM
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Sounds like a high resistance short at the switch. Might be worth it to pull the cover and take a look.
 
 

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