Outlets working but lights are not

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Old 04-25-19, 03:22 PM
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Outlets working but lights are not

Hello, my hallway lights, bathroom lights and second bedroom lights are not working. In the beginning neither were 5 outlets, 3 master bedroom, 1 hallway and 1 childs bedroom. Isolated the breaker at panel (arc fault). Found main power line that connected to outlets, were wired funny to chain a light switch in my panty, so I connected it the way I thought they should be and got the outlets to work. Used my digital vom meter and checked all outlets tested ok. 7 light switches not working. Tested all switches and showing ok.2 hallway, 3 bathroom, 1 child room, 1 pantry, I swapped arc fault breaker with one that is fully working to no success, even thu the original tested good. Now the outlets are controlled by the switch in the pantry. Also, when testing the switches with power on at breaker im getting odd readings i.e. 120v on both connections top and bottom no matter if switch is open or closed. Also just to ensure the switches were good I connected switch to a known good circuit (bathroom outlet) and the light came on. When I went to shut it off it popped and flipped the breaker. All wires seem in good condition no breaks or melting, all switches 2 post (single pole) with common ground rocket (deco)style. Any ideas?
 
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Old 04-25-19, 05:04 PM
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Having 120V on both terminals of the light switch could be due to a floating neutral line that is connected to multiple light fixtures. This neutral might be being pulled up to 120V by one of the lights that is turned ON or any other load that is powered up on that branch circuit. If this circuit is on an AFCI/GFCI breaker then the connections to the breaker's line side and load side neutrals should be checked.

More details are needed about the funny looking wiring that you changed, preferably including a picture.
 
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Old 04-25-19, 05:29 PM
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Pics

Probably a easy thing but how do I add pictures to this?
 
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Old 04-25-19, 05:42 PM
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The circuit was working. Then it stopped working. Then you rewired it. Could be trouble now.

At the top of every forum is this link......... How-to-insert-pictures.
 
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Old 04-25-19, 05:52 PM
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Pics of funny wiring

Non switch pic is the funny wiring, originally it was main to yellow romex and outlet wire was twisted together. Which I believe the main is running from the pantry switch. I placed the main to the outlet romex and that's what got the outlets working but being controlled by the pantry switch

Name:  w1.jpg
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Name:  w2.jpg
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Last edited by PJmax; 04-25-19 at 06:05 PM. Reason: reoriented/cropped/resized/enhanced pictures
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Old 04-25-19, 06:12 PM
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That method of stripping the cable and "adding on" a ground wire is not acceptable. The grounds must all be solidly twisted together.

We see the #12 yellow cable. We see what looks like a #14 cable with main on it. We see another what looks like #14 cable with no readable ID.
You need to identify which cable is hot between its white and black.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In the second picture there is a two wire and a three wire cable. Typically both whites would be connected together and wirenutted off. Both blacks would be connected together with a short piece of wire (a tail) to go to the switch. The red would go to the other switch terminal.
 
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Old 04-25-19, 06:12 PM
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Just a quick update, I put the wiring back in original configuration and now the outlets are not being controlled by the pantry switch
 
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Old 04-25-19, 08:45 PM
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I agree it not acceptable lol, that's why I called it funny. That's the why it was when I found it. The original configuration for the " funny wiring" was, the #12 yellow (which runs directly to a light fixture) connected to the #14 labeled main, black wire on main is hot and is only hot when breaker is on, and the #14 (unreadable) labeled outlets, were lead (black)and neutral (white) twisted together which is now it's current configuration. I will reconnect switch in the configuration you explained and see if that makes a difference with the light switches, also just for general info everything worked a couple days ago switches and outlets then one night I went to turn on my son's light and nothing came on, no popping and no breaker tripped
 
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Old 04-26-19, 06:04 AM
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Hi, the white connected to the black is not a neutral but instead a switchleg which should be going to a light fixture.
Geo
 
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Old 04-28-19, 12:46 PM
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Ok so I removed the pantry light fixture completely from the equation, connected all whites and blacks together now the outlets are not working going to call then (east outlets) from now on. Only one cable showing hot when breaker is on (labeled) main. It appears that the #14 shown before was added after the fact and spliced into the main to add a pantry light fixture (removed it) now east outlets are not working and east light are still not working
 
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Old 04-30-19, 06:32 PM
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First and foremost I would like to thank all of you for your input and expertise. Got it fixed!!!. I ended up starting from the beginning and working my way back. Which the primary hot line ran to the bathroom light then to kids bedroom than to hall then to master bedroom outlets then to pantry with switches tied into each area. Turns out the main hall light switch was wired incorrectly causing a short. Thanks again for all the input.
 
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