Power - receptical - switch - light

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  #1  
Old 05-04-04, 01:56 PM
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Power - receptical - switch - light

I have an existing circuit which runs through a receptical and terminates at a single throw switch: the switch controls the receptical -- both the white and black from the receptical were connected to the switch.

I want to extend the circuit from the switch to an overhead light. I don't care if the switch controls both the light and the receptical, i.e., they both come on at the same time.

What is the wiring going to look like? I ran the light's wiring into the switch box; connected the whites together; pigged tailed both grounds to the switch; and connected both blacks to the switch. I thought in this way I would control the circuit. The overhead [low voltage] flickers but will not come on.

What am I doing wrong?

Thanks
 
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Old 05-04-04, 02:39 PM
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Very common mistake.

You can only extend this circuit from the switch if you are willing to make the receptacle continuously hot and unswitched. Otherwise, it is impossible with the current cable between the receptacle and switch. This is because the white wire in the switch box is not a neutral.

Or you can wire your new light by extending it from the receptacle instead of from the switch.

Tell us which of these two paths you would like to pursue. Either way, before replying, investigate whether the switch controls both halves of the receptacle or only one half.
 
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Old 07-12-04, 04:05 PM
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Sorry for the delay

John,

I am sorry for not getting back to you on this. Believe it or not, I thought that I had this licked but I still can't make it work.

I have replaced the receptacle in the outlet so the bridges are not broken. The receptcale is now hot all the time. I have a black and a white coming out from the bottom of the receptacle to the switch. The black is hot at the switch.

I took a black and white from the switch box to the light.


At the switch, I connected the white from the receptacle together with the white to the light and ran the blacks through the switch. I would assume that the switch now completes the circuit for the light but no deal.

What am I missing? Is there no neutral to the light?

Thx for the help

Michael
 
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Old 07-12-04, 04:28 PM
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Well, there are a lot of ambiguities in your post, but it does sound like you did it right.

Can you put more detail behind, "I have a black and a white coming out from the bottom of the receptacle to the switch."
 
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Old 07-12-04, 06:27 PM
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Sounds correct. Could the bulb have been burnt out? Defective light fixture?
 
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Old 07-12-04, 07:04 PM
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Here goes

Okay, (ignoring the grounds) I originally had power coming into the receptical: a black and white coming into the top and a black and white coming out of the bottom of the receptical. I believe that this is the power out to the switch. The receptical had broken bridges; so the switch controlled the receptical. I replaced the receptical with a new one and kept the wiring the same. i.e., black and white into the top and black and white coming out of the bottom. The switch no longer controls the receptical. It is hot all the time.

The switch originally only had a black and white coming in from the receptical. I tested the black and it is hot. I dropped a black and white in from the light into the switch box, connected the whites and ran the blacks through the switch. I assume that the switch will complete the circuit to the light.

One other thing, the light is a low voltage light. I will check to see if the black is hot at the light.

Thx
 
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Old 07-12-04, 08:48 PM
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Still sounds right. Where is the transformer?
 
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Old 07-13-04, 09:25 AM
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It is part of the fixture. Interestingly enough, before I replaced the receptical, the light would "sorta work", ie it would glow really low. Of course, I thought that the switch was controlling the circuit to both the receptical and the light by "spliting the juice" and that by keeping the receptical hot all the time would solve the problem.

I have a book -- SUNSET Complete Home Wiring and on page 94 there is a similar diagram with a power - light - switch - receptical diagram. I just have the power coming into the receptical. The other difference is that that the diagram shows a 3 wire cable going from the switch to the light.

I still have to check the light itself to see if the black is hot in the ceiling. I will also substitue the low wattage and put on a regular light to eliminate the possiblity that I fried the transformer.

thx again for the help.

MVT
 
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Old 07-13-04, 11:08 AM
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I suppose it's possible that this is still in series with the receptacle. I am still a bit unclear about, "I have a black and a white coming out from the bottom of the receptacle to the switch." Top and bottom have no meaning. Does this mean that you connected the two black wires to the two brass screws on the receptacle, and the two white wires to the two silver screws, and that you did not break out either tab?

Spend three bucks on a simple naked bulb fixture and install it in place of the fixture you are trying to get working. See if you can light a simple light bulb.
 
  #10  
Old 07-13-04, 12:54 PM
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Did you replace the receptacle? Did you leave the tabs intact on the new receptacle? Do both 1/2s of the new receptacle work?
It should be 1 black wire on each gold screw and 1 white wire on each silver screw. The tabs should be intact connecting the gold and silver screws.

Try installing a receptacle at the light fixture location and plug something into it as a test. It could be you damaged the light fixture by wiring it in series.
 
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