switched outlets


Old 01-27-02, 12:00 PM
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Question switched outlets

I have two outlets in my livingroom that are have the top plug switched by a single switch. I replaced these outlets and the switch with new ones. There is also four other outlets on this circuit that I replaced with new ones.

After replacing these, the switch no longer works. In the first outlet there is two white wires pluged into the left side of the outlet, two black wires. One of the black wires is put in the hole on the bottom of the back on the right side and the other black is attached to the screw on the same post. I also have two red wires that have the same configuration as the black except on the upper right side.

The other outlet that shoud be switched by the same switch has white wires in the same configuration as the other outlet. There is two black wires just like the other outlet, but only one red wire which is in the same place as the other outlet.

The switch has a red and black wire in it, the red is pluged into the back of the switch on the upper plug. And the black in the bottom plug.

What is wrong with the configuration?
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Old 01-27-02, 12:51 PM
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Look at the old receptacles then look at the new receptacles that you replaced. Look in between the two brass screws for a strip of metal that has been removed on the older receptacles that you did not remove on the new receptacles. If the old receptacles have this little metal jumper removed between the two brass screws on the old receptacle then remove that same strip of metal between the two brass screws of the new receptacle and test the switch.

Let us know what you find

Old 01-27-02, 12:58 PM
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This mistake is made by people every day, and they always forget the same thing.

If you have not yet discarded your old receptacles, then look at them carefully for comparison. There is a break-out tab on both sides between the screws. In a half-switched receptacle, where both halves are on the same circuit, you need to break out the tab on the brass screw side.
Old 01-28-02, 04:21 AM
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After following Wgoodrich and John Nelson's advice, let us know if it is working OK. Then you should change the backstabbing connections. Come back here and we'll explain.
Old 01-28-02, 05:11 PM
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Thank you for the help. It worked like a charm and made my life a little less stressfull. I would like to hear about the backstabing help also.

thanks again
Old 01-30-02, 10:59 AM
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Backstabbing is notoriously undependable.

Where you have a wire backstabbed into an outlet, identify the closest screw. Remove the backstabbed wire and the wire from the screw.
Cut a 6-inch length of the same color and gauge wire (either buy some or use some scrap) and pigtail the three of them together with a wire nut.
Then attach the other end of your 6-inch piece to the screw. Do this wherever you have backstabbed connections.
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