Switch wiring problem with outlets

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Old 04-11-17, 03:01 PM
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Switch wiring problem with outlets

I've searched and can't find the answer. I just relocated 3 switches in my bedroom and rewired it up. The 3 switches control a lighted fan, a light, and a switched outlet. I took a bunch of pictures and thought I had it right, but after moving the switches all the lights work, but none of the outlets in the bedroom work.

I'm hoping the solution is simple. There are 4 lines of romex coming in, three 12/2's and one 12/3. Is there a simple way that all these should be wired? The switch for the switched outlet appears to be wired independently of the other 2 switches. Is this right or should it be tied in some way? I'll try to draw a legible diagram to further explain.

Thanks in advance!
 
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Old 04-11-17, 04:32 PM
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Are they all in the same box? Did you just splice the cables in the box and run longer ones?
There are 4 lines of romex coming in, three 12/2's and one 12/3.
Best guess is one 12-2 is power in. You need to identify that cable by measuring between the disconnected black and white of each two conductor cable using a multimeter. (Non contact tester won't work.)
 
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Old 04-11-17, 04:33 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

There is no one way to wire things.
You took pictures..... post them. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...-pictures.html

You have four cables. 3) two wire cables and 1) three wire cable.

You think there was a dedicated switch on one two wire cable for the receptacles. That would be a switch loop and does make sense.

I would guess one two wire cable is power in.
One two wire cable would be to the light.
Three wire cable to the fan. Easily confirmed by dropping the canopy.
 
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Old 04-11-17, 06:00 PM
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I'm working on the photos...

As for the wires, you are correct and there is one of the black 12/2 wires is hot. I currently have that as original, split to both switches that work. Should I have that hot wire split to all three switches?

And yes, they are all in the same 3 gang box.

Thanks for the quick replies!
 
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Old 04-11-17, 06:27 PM
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Should I have that hot wire split to all three switches?
Not if there was only a two wire cable connected to the receptacle before.

It sounds like the receptacle is switched with a two wire switch loop. That means only two wires on the switch and no other connections to wiring in the box.
 
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Old 04-11-17, 06:28 PM
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I'm working on the photos
Best way: http://www.doityourself.com/forum/li...rt-images.html

Please do not use Imgur.
 
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Old 04-11-17, 06:45 PM
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Until my I can get my photos downloaded, I'll try and articulate the current setup:

#1 - 12/2
black to switch #1
white to switch #1

#2 - 12/2
black to switch #2
white joined to white #3 and white #4

#3 -12/2 (hot)
black split to switch #2 and #3
white joined with #2 and #4 whites

#4 - 12/3
black joined with #4 red and to switch #3
white joined with whites #2 and #3
red joined with #4 black to switch #3

Switch #1 doesn't currently do anything (not correct, used to activate switched outlet)
Switch #2 turns on a light (correct)
Switch #3 turns on the fan/light (correct)
 
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Old 04-11-17, 07:45 PM
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#1 - 12/2
black to switch #1
white to switch #1
That makes it a switch loop.Power in at the load. Independent of other wiring.
#2 - 12/2
black to switch #2
white joined to white #3 and white #4
So it is powered by a power in cable at the switch box.
#3 -12/2 (hot)
black split to switch #2 and #3
white joined with #2 and #4 whites
That is power in to the switch box.
#4 - 12/3
black joined with #4 red and to switch #3
white joined with whites #2 and #3
red joined with #4 black to switch #3
The three conductor is the fan and the red and black go to the light and motor of the fan are controlled by the same switch.
Switch #1 doesn't currently do anything (not correct, used to activate switched outlet)
Does #1 above refer to that switch? If so I may see your problem. You have wired it as a switch loop but it isn't.
 
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Old 04-11-17, 07:59 PM
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#1 - 12/2 is one of the lines of romex coming from the wall. Switch #1 is one of the switches. Does that help? So how it is now, one line of romex 12/2 goes directly and independently to one switch.
 
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Old 04-11-17, 08:09 PM
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Does 12-2 #1 come from the receptacle? If so and there is no power in cable at the receptacle it is wired wrong.

So to be clear before we proceed:
  • Does cable #1 come from the receptacle?
  • Is there a cable at the receptacle that when disconnected reads a 120 volts measured with a multimeter?
 
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Old 04-11-17, 08:44 PM
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Yes #1 comes from the receptacle and there is only one that is getting 120 which is the #3. #1 by itself is not getting any juice
 
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Old 04-11-17, 08:49 PM
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Then #1 is not a switch loop and is not getting power or switching power at the receptacle.
 
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Old 04-11-17, 08:52 PM
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So do i just splice it into the hot wire and call it done?
 
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Old 04-11-17, 10:37 PM
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So do i just splice it into the hot wire and call it done?
Do you want it switched? If not then yes, connect white to the neutral group and black to to the group of black wires.
 
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Old 04-12-17, 03:35 AM
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And if I do want it switched is there any easy answer?
 
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Old 04-12-17, 04:14 AM
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if I do want it switched is there any easy answer?
Yes.
  • Pigtail the hot black to one side of the switch.
  • Connect cable #1 black to the switch.
  • Connect cable #1 white to neutral bundle.
 
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Old 04-12-17, 07:47 AM
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Just did that and as soon as I turned the switch on the lights came on for a half second then the fuse tripped
 
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Old 04-12-17, 08:38 AM
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Then that may have been a switch loop. As previously asked: Is there a cable at the receptacle that when disconnected reads a 120 volts measured with a multimeter?
 
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Old 04-12-17, 09:22 AM
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Yep. Sorry if I was unclear, I meant to say that earlier. When all wires are disconnected from each other and the switches, there is only one cable that reads 120. In my terrible written diagram in post 7, it's the #3 12/2 that is labeled hot.
 
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Old 04-12-17, 10:10 AM
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Yep. Sorry if I was unclear, I meant to say that earlier. When all wires are disconnected from each other and the switches, there is only one cable that reads 120. In my terrible written diagram in post 7, it's the #3 12/2 that is labeled hot.
No...you were clear. You said there is no power detected on cable #1.

For cable 1 to be a switch loop there would have to be power on it. You'll need to find out how that cable is connected at the receptacle.

I'm guessing the receptacle is dead right now ?
There should be two cables at the receptacle.
Quite possibly someone switched the neutral to the receptacle which would cause no voltage to be measured on cable 1.
 
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Old 04-12-17, 07:46 PM
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Sorry, you lost me - I'm a total rookie. When you say receptacle are you referring to the outlets or the wall switch gang? There are several outlets in the bedroom which are all dead which is my issue. I pulled out one of the outlets and it was wired with three wires - black, white, and ground.
 
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Old 04-12-17, 08:21 PM
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When you say receptacle are you referring to the outlets or the wall switch gang?
By NEC definition an outlet is anywhere power can be tapped, a switch, a light, or a receptacle. A receptacle is where you insert a plug.

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What I was asking was to check for a 2-conductor cable that reads ~ 120 volts when disconnected in the box that the receptacle is in. Which receptacle is probably the one closest to the switch.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 04-12-17 at 11:55 PM. Reason: Clarification of info.
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Old 04-12-17, 08:35 PM
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Thanks for clarifying and I'm sorry for my poor electrical vocabulary. I checked two receptacles and both were dead. I did not check the one closest to the switch. I'll do that first thing in the morning and let you know. Thanks again for all your help.
 
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Old 04-12-17, 09:43 PM
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I checked two receptacles and both were dead.
The receptacle will be dead if it is a switch loop. You must open it up and check the black and white of any 2-conductor cables in the box. (A 2-conductor cable is any cable that has only a black and white wire [and possibly a ground wire]).

This is a very basic switch loop. Yours may vary. Notice that the receptacle will have no voltage till the switch is closed. When the switch is closed (on) the voltage flows through the switch back to the receptacle.That is why you have to test the individual cables not the receptacle. Note the power in cable entering from the bottom of the diagram. That is what you are looking for. It will only be at one receptacle if there is a power in cable. Of course the actual power in cable in your case may enter from anywhere. In the diagram location is chosen for ease of illustration only.)

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Also we need to know if any of the receptacles have a red wire (indicative of a 3-conductor cable black, red, white.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 04-13-17 at 12:07 AM.
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Old 04-13-17, 07:46 AM
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Crap I just checked the receptacle. I'll check them all tonight when I get home.

This just seems weird because everything was working fine, but then I pull the wires out of the wall through the attic, extend them, and drop them down on the other side of the door and now they don't work (I was just trying to relocate a switch panel). I'm thinking it has to be something I did wrong in the switch box.
 
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Old 04-13-17, 09:57 AM
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I'm thinking it has to be something I did wrong in the switch box.
May be but we have to understand the receptacles to figure it out. Your best bet may be to hire an electrician.
 
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