Convert light switch to "always on"

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  #1  
Old 03-26-18, 01:45 PM
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Convert light switch to "always on"

Hey all!

I am probably not using the exact right terminology here but here we go:

I was replacing my ceiling fan / light fixture in our master bedroom and the old one has a double switch on the wall. One is the light switch which turned on the light on my ceiling fan and the other was a knob where I could turn it for fan speed settings.

The new fixture only needs one switch to control both light and fan so I took the old switches out and put the new one in. The one that had the light switch, I disconnected the wires that were going to it and just put a cap on them with some electrical tape around them individually since I didn't need to use them.

The new switch called for 3 wires: 1 to the power, 1 to the fan and a ground.

It specifically said do not hook up anything to the white neutral wire and luckily there were some white wires in there already meshed together with a wire nut so I didn't touch them.

My first attempt didn't work but then I switched one of the black wires and it worked! I was thrilled and put my wire nut caps on, electrical taped them and stuffed it all back in the box,

2 hours later, I realized that by taking off the wires that were connected to the switch, now I have quite a few outlets that don't work in our bedroom. There is one outlet where the top plug works but the bottom one does not. Then there are 3 other outlets that do not work at all. In fact, there's an outlet in the net room that shares a common wall with our bedroom that also now doesn't work!!

In the little research I have done, I saw where you could make half of the outlet hot all the time and the other be controlled by the switch. I want to make it simpler than that. Can i just have all the outlets hot in both plug holes all the time??

I assume the answer is yes and if so, do I just need to hook some wires to each other to "complete the circuit" maybe?

Besides the white wires that are coiled with each other and not being used, the other wires that are taped off by themselves include 2 red wires and another black wire.

Hope this makes sense and any help is appreciated, thank you!!
 
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  #2  
Old 03-26-18, 04:02 PM
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Before you replaced switch, was any of the outlets controlled by the switch?
If not, replacing the switch shouldn't have caused any problem with outlets.

How was the switch wired up before?
By double switch, do you mean a switch with 2 levers on top and bottom?
If so, did it have 4 wires, without counting ground, connected?

If that was it case, your non-working outlets were powered via feed-through (live side) of the switch. This side usually have black screws. One of these wires will be live (the one you have hooked up to the new switch right now) and the other will feed other outlets. You will have to find this wire and wire nut to the live wire.


You said you have 2 red and one black remaining in the box.
A remaining black wire is the most likely wire that you need to connect.
Was one of the red wire ever connected to any of the switches before?
If that wire runs to a outlet, it may need to be connected as well, it may be or may have been for a switched outlet (half switched outlet you mentioned)
 
  #3  
Old 03-26-18, 09:14 PM
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It would be really helpful if you could pull the switch (don't unwire it) and extra wires out of the box and post a picture or two for us to see.... How-to-insert-pictures
 
  #4  
Old 03-27-18, 09:45 AM
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I wish I would have taken the pics before taking off the light switch but that was one of the first things I did to clean it up and try to see which wires I needed to use for the new fan. In any case, I will try to pull the wires out and take a pic of the box which should help but it may take me a day or 2.

To answer your questions lambition:

- I was unaware that the light switch controlled any outlets. I thought it was just the light switch for my old ceiling fan light. Obviously though, this is not the case.

- I am probably using the wrong terms to describe it but when I said a double switch, I meant where you turn the light on in a room, sometimes there is just one light switch, sometimes there are 2 (heck I think some have even 3 I have seen). But this had 2 - one for the light switch and one for the fan speed knob.

- As far as how the light switch was wired previously, I didn't take a picture but I am 90% sure I remember the layout. One side of the light switch had 2 screws to connect wires to. The top screw had one of the red wires connected to it and that was it. The bottom screw had the other red wire connected to it, plus it also had a 1 inch piece of black wire that was connected to it. The other end of the 1 inch black wire was connected to the other black wire I mentioned in my first post that is connected to nothing now. Those 2 black wires (and maybe a 3rd wire) where coiled together with a wire cap on them. ON the other side of the light switch, it was just a copper ground wire attached.

That's as best as I can remember and I will take pics when I can.

Thanks again for any and all suggestions/advice!
 
  #5  
Old 03-27-18, 09:58 AM
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A light controlled from more than one switch is a three way.

Based on the colors, type of cables and number of cables we can usually figure out the circuit.

If I was to take a guess at what you have there I would say there are 2) two wire cables and 1) three wire cable. One two wire cable is power in. The other is power out to somewhere else. The three wire cable goes to the fan.

If this were true.... all three whites would be connected together. The two black wires from the two wire cables would be connected together with a short tail to the switch. Then you would pick red or black of the three wire cable depending on which color was used for the light. The other wire gets capped off.
 
  #6  
Old 04-15-18, 08:46 AM
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Sorry for the delay! Got busy, had a death in the family and now back at trying to get the electricity working in my outlets again!

I went ahead, shut then power off and pulled out all the wires and drew a diagram in Photoshop to better identify where everything is going to.

Here is the diagram and there are notes you can read below the diagram.




This is a diagram of the double switch on the wall. The Fan Controller at the bottom is for one side and the other side will be nothing since the fan controller controls both the fan and the light on the fan.

Inside the box, there are basically 3 places where wires are coming from and here is my best guess at what each are:

top left: this is the power supply
top right: this goers to the fan
bottom left: I am guessing this goes to the other outlets in the room?

So the way it is set up right now is the fan controller had 2 black wires coming from it labeled for one top go to the power supply and the other to go to the fan and there was a ground wire which I tied to the other grounds.

All 3 white wires are tied together and capped - this is the way it was before and I did not touch them.

The red form the power supply is going nowhere, just capped
The red from the fan bunch of wires goes nowhere, just capped
The black from the bottom left goes nowhere, just capped

The only other thing I want to point out is that there is a copper ground wire on the fan bunch of wires too and its not connected to anything, just hanging there. Should it also be connected to the other grounds or does it even matter?

That's pretty much it./

Do I need to connect the reds together to get my outlets working again or what configuration do I need?

Thanks in advance!
 
  #7  
Old 04-15-18, 09:01 AM
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hmm, looking at my own diagram, maybe I just need to connect the red from power supply to the black wire going to the outlets? (if that's what those wires are going to). Because right now, the black is capped off and usually black is the positive or hot wire so that would make sense, but I will wait to hear first form someone who knows better than i..

thanks!
 
  #8  
Old 04-15-18, 11:08 AM
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well, I tried to connect the black wire at the bottom left in with the black power supply wire but no go...still no outlet power.

any ideas?

thanks!
 
  #9  
Old 04-15-18, 11:48 AM
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It would make sense that the black from the two wire cable needs to be powered.
At one time.... the receptacles may have been switched. That would mean the red wire wire from the hot cable would need to be connected to black also.
 
  #10  
Old 04-15-18, 11:50 AM
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so are you saying to try the red wire from the power supply and connect it to the black in then bottom left (presumably powering then outlets)?
 
  #11  
Old 04-15-18, 11:54 AM
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Good diagram. Please post a similar diagram of the first receptacle.
 
  #12  
Old 04-15-18, 12:09 PM
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Thanks but I am not sure what you mean about the diagram of the first receptacle. I did not change any wiring in any of the outlets at all. Just the wiring in the double switch on the walls (my diagram). They used to all work before I switched out to the new ceiling fan.
 
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Old 04-15-18, 12:14 PM
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Try connecting the red wire of the three wire hot cable to the black wire of the three wire hot cable.
 
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Old 04-15-18, 01:17 PM
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not sure what the "3 wire cable" means but I will try connecting red to black!
 
  #15  
Old 04-15-18, 01:36 PM
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Try this...................................

Name:  d.jpg
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Size:  30.7 KB
 
  #16  
Old 04-15-18, 02:00 PM
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I am not sure what you mean about the diagram of the first receptacle. I did not change any wiring in any of the outlets at all.
The wiring at the first receptacle will probably show how the switch should be wired. For now though just follow PJ's instructions.
 
  #17  
Old 04-15-18, 03:06 PM
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Woot, that worked!

I dont have the copper wire from the fan (3 wire) connected with the other 3 grounds because it''s kind of too short, hopefully that doesn't matter.

But I connected the red and black to the other 2 blacks like in your diagram and now everything works!

I imagine that's safer to do it that way? AM i good to go??

Thanks again!
 
  #18  
Old 04-15-18, 05:55 PM
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The fan ground should connect to all the other grounds for safety .
 
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