Need help restoring switch functionality

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  #1  
Old 10-28-18, 03:11 PM
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Need help restoring switch functionality

In our garage we have a switch that controlled a light in the ceiling for a small laundry room. I have torn out that room and, in doing so, removed two lines coming down from the garage attic. When I went up into the attic to pull up those two lines I found a junction box that included the line coming from the switch that was connected to the ceiling light and also to two other lines powering another ceiling light and two other switches on the other side of the garage.

I pulled the wiring from the box and disconnected it all (and didn't take a pic before doing so) so I could remove the new unneeded lines and intended to simply re-wire as found to return everything to working order.

However, after connecting all the blacks, all the neutrals, and all the ground, the switch that controlled the light in the laundry area no longer controls the light. When the switch is in the off position, the ceiling light is on and stays on until I flip off the breaker. The switches and ceiling light on the other side of the garage work properly.

I have tried multiple ways to re-wire the switch and the lines in the attic but to no avail, including installing a new single-pole switch.

I think the problem, in part, is related to the panel hot line and the hot wire on the line going into the ceiling/attic are pigtailed, which I think means that the line going into the ceiling is always powered on.

Appreciate any help you can provide...
 
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Old 10-29-18, 05:01 AM
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You more than likely had a switch loop in the mix.
 
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Old 10-29-18, 05:34 AM
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Maybe this will help.Here are a couple of switch loop variations.

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Old 10-29-18, 02:13 PM
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Thanks guys. What if the power is coming into the switch, though? How does that changes in those illustrations?
 
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Old 10-29-18, 04:09 PM
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What if the power is coming into the switch, though? How does that changes in those illustrations?
You do not have a switch loop. The diagrams don't apply.
 
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Old 10-29-18, 04:48 PM
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I think I'm getting closer to my solution.

As previously wired, the garage switch would control the overhead light and no matter the position of the switch, supplied power to the other wide of the garage (2 white wires on left of second photo) AND supplied power to a line that ran to the front of the garage to another switch that controls 2 outdoor lights. Again, no matter the position of the switch, off or on, there was always power to the other side of the garage and to the front of the garage.
 
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Old 10-29-18, 05:14 PM
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New idea - connect the switch to the additional line and test the not sure line for power.

The not sure line is a single black wire.

If the not sure line energizes when connected this way I think I have a solution...

Connect black from switch to additional lines; connect white from switch to white for light and additional; connect not sure black to black on light.
 
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Old 10-29-18, 05:30 PM
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connect white from switch to white for light
No...... that is incorrect. Many times a two wire cable is used as a switching line. That means the white wire should be taped black or another color as it is not neutral.

However..... the white line (neutral) is never switched and sent to a light as neutral.
 
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Old 10-29-18, 06:09 PM
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Thanks for warning me off of that...I have to think that the single black wire is single for a reason...I wonder if they switched the wires in the ceiling, although there's no black tape or other mark to indicate asmuch.
 
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Old 10-29-18, 06:26 PM
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I can help you if you want but I have questions.

I'm pretty sure there are three cables in the switchbox.
One cable is feed in from panel.
One cable goes up to that junction box.
One cable goes to to other switches/lights in the garage.

Is that correct ?
 
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Old 10-29-18, 06:35 PM
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Yes, I'd appreciate your help.

Yes, there are 3 cables coming into the switch box.

Panel feed coming from bottom left as you're looking at it;
Cable to the ceiling to that old junction box (this cable connects to the ceiling light 14-2 (yellow line in 2nd pic above), another 14-2 to a set of switches/outlets and a light on other side of the garage (marked as additional line in 2nd pic above), and to another 14-2 where the white is cut back marked as "not sure"); and
Cable to the front of the garage and another switch.
 
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Old 10-29-18, 07:09 PM
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By my count you've id'ed four cables.
Is my description not correct ??


This is not that hard. I need to know 100% which cable goes where.
I know the feed in to the switchbox.
If a cable leaves the switchbox and goes to other lights and switches.... it should not be hanging out at that junction box.
There should not be any wires connected to that switch that go to the other lights.
 
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Old 10-29-18, 07:38 PM
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Yes; 4 cables in the ceiling.

When previously connected, all 4 cables in the ceiling were tied together (I should've taken a picture before disconnecting, but...) so no cable was hanging out of the box.

The white cable next to the yellow cable is the switch cable.

The switch is wired as it was when I first started which has the cable going to the front of the garage for the exterior lights connected to it. Am I understanding that you're saying that line should not be connected to this switch?
 
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Old 10-29-18, 09:10 PM
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You said a line leaves that switch box and goes to other switches and lights as that switch was for the ceiling lights.
 
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Old 10-29-18, 09:35 PM
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Yes. In the second pic above, the white cable coming from right-to-left in the pic behind the yellow one is the line coming up from the switch. On the left of that second pic above is a white cable - this is the one that goes to the additional switches, outlets, and light on the other side of the garage.

The yellow line connects to an overhead light in the ceiling on the same side of the garage as the switch. The switch in the 1st pic used to control this light before I disconnected the wires in the ceiling.

I'll snap a few pics tomorrow show where all this stuff is going.
 

Last edited by JMak00; 10-29-18 at 10:09 PM.
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Old 10-30-18, 12:17 AM
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Updated photos:

Of the ceiling light with yellow line indicating that it is the yellow cable in the 2nd pic in the 1st post.



In the following pic, shows the other side of the garage where an additional overhead light, couple of switches, and couple of outlets are located. These devices are connected to the "line runs to additional switches and ceiling light" in the 2nd pic in the 1st post.

 
 

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