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Switched outlet--powered through switch--both red and black are hot

Switched outlet--powered through switch--both red and black are hot

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  #1  
Old 04-17-17, 01:27 PM
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Switched outlet--powered through switch--both red and black are hot

I just moved into a home. I couldn't find any outlet that went off with the switch, so I searched for the one with the brass tab broken off. Through testing I found the power comes into the switch (single pole) with 14-2 service, then is directed to the outlet via 14-3, switching one outlet and leaving the other hot.

I used the normal process of pigtailing the black (power) at the switch (black to black) with the pigtail to one of the switch connections. The red wire was connected to the other side of other side of the switch and directed to the the bottom outlet. All fine so far...

The result of this connection is that both outlets are always hot. What I found through contact/multi-meter testing is that when the breaker is turned on, both the black and red wires are hot even when completely disconnected from each other.

It seems that the red wire must not go directly to the switched outlet, as it is hot when I energize the circuit, so that is why the outlet is always hot...I tried just using the black wire and this worked for the switch but the other outlet (and downstream outlets) of course are off in this scenario.

Any ideas or thoughts about what may be going on here?
 
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Old 04-17-17, 01:52 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

If power for the receptacles comes in at the switch...... when that wiring is open.....all receptacles on that circuit should be dead. Is that correct ?

If not.... then it appears that three wire cable doesn't go to the receptacle you thought it did.
Is there a three wire cable at any of the other receptacles.
 
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Old 04-17-17, 03:58 PM
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Does the switch operate a table lamp plugged into the receptacle?
 
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Old 04-18-17, 06:12 AM
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That is what it is designed to do, yet.
 
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Old 04-18-17, 06:17 AM
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Yes, that is correct--power comes in through the switch and all receptacles on that circuit are dead.

That is the only three-wire cable in the room other than a 3-way switch at the patio door, but this does not appear to be doing anything to this receptacle. Now you make me wonder if this is a case of incorrect wiring where the previous owner replaced a 3 way switch with a single pole and that red wire is actually the traveler...
 
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Old 04-18-17, 06:26 AM
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Do you have only a 3-conductor cable at the switch?

Did you disconnected the red and black before testing?

Did you test to the white of the cable?

Did you test to ground?
 
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Old 04-18-17, 08:45 AM
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Answers:
1. I have a 3-conductor cable at the switch
2. I have disconnected the red and black before testing
3. I used the tester by testing the white and the black (powered) and the red and the black (powered)--both read at 110
4. I did NOT test to ground
 
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Old 04-18-17, 09:26 AM
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Further

What is at the powered switch is:
14-2 which appears to be the power (coming from ceiling)
14-3 which appears to go to the switch

Again, I think the 14-3 may be going to another switch or another outlet, just haven't located it. It's odd, because there is only one red wire in the duplex outlet receptacle, so it would APPEAR that it's coming from the switch.

As side info, I found another 14-3 switch wire in the house where the red and black wires were both hot...
 
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Old 04-18-17, 02:03 PM
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Cool If in reality a 3-way switch--what's the recommended wiring diagram?

As background, in the switched outlet there is only ONE red wire, so if this IS a 3-way switch, the power would have gone from the first switch, with a 3-wire to the second switch and then to the outlet (it seems to me).

If that is the case, what is the recommended wiring diagram...??

Attached is a diagram "as is," which results in both outlets being on all the time. Both sides of the switch are continually powered per testing.[ATTACH]79723
 
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Old 04-18-17, 02:30 PM
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I am lost. Is there only a 3-conductor cable at the switch? Where was the white origionally connected?
 
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Old 04-18-17, 06:25 PM
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Is there only a 3-conductor cable at the switch? Where was the white origionally

At the powered switch there is a 2-conductor cable and a 3 conductor cable. See diagram in last post...make sense?
 
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Old 04-20-17, 05:22 PM
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I guess the issue I still have is that at the powered switch, when I turn on the breaker I have power at both black 2-conductor and red 3-conductor wires. Doesn't that make it sound as if the red is actually a traveler that should be connected to a 3-way switch? I guess I will find out by checking this connection out with a 3-way switch.Yes, there is another switch in the room that I haven't figured out what it is for yet... Would have done it by now, but will not be back home until Friday night. Will advise what I find out...Thanks for your input!
 
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Old 04-21-17, 05:04 AM
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Ray, I can say for certain that the 2-conductor cable IS hot at the switch when disconnected. What I did was disconnect all the wires and then turned the breaker on. I checked both the 2-connector black and 3-connector red and BOTH WERE HOT AT THE SWITCH without being connected to anything else. Does that shed any light??
 
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Old 04-21-17, 06:32 AM
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the 2-conductor cable IS hot at the switch
Yes, that changes things. I deleted my last two posts to avoid confusion. Tell us the wiring at the mystery switch.
 
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Old 04-22-17, 07:32 PM
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Ray, back at home now. THIS time when I tested it at the switch, the 3-conductor was NOT hot, only the 2-conductor. As a side note, I swear on a stack of Bibles that I tested this before and the the 3 conductor at the red WAS hot. Poltergeist? So maybe re-post the stuff you deleted. Just for kicks and giggles, I connected a 3-way switch and what happened was the lights connected to the switched outlet went off for a second only, basically they blinked while I was operating the switch.

I tried connecting just the red wire from the 3-way directly to the power. Inexplicably, at the switched outlet, BOTH outlets were measuring 110 on the multimeter, even though the tab is broken off so I don't really see how that is possible.

Finally, when I did this, I realized the black wire on the 3-conductor is also hot when connected as such...

Help would be appreciated. And thanks for your patience sir!
 
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Old 04-22-17, 09:15 PM
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The most obvious connections in the switch box do not involve a 3-way switch. Usual way assuming not a 3-way and that the 3-conductor cable goes to the first receptacle is all whites connected together, black in and black out pigtailed to one side of the switch and red to the other side of the switch.

I'm not to sure though what your original problem or question was, been a long thread. Please restate your problem.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 04-22-17 at 09:33 PM.
  #17  
Old 04-23-17, 09:01 AM
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Switched outlet is always hot is my problem
 
  #18  
Old 04-23-17, 11:17 AM
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I searched for the one with the brass tab broken off.
Just to verify the obvious the tab is removed, correct?

Here is the basic circuit to the first receptacle I would expect to see. How does your circuit compare?

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If that looks like what you have we will look closer at the first receptacle and how it feeds the rest. For simplicity I did not include that.
 
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