Replacing receptacle but now light switch won't work!

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Old 07-23-13, 10:33 PM
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Replacing receptacle but now light switch won't work!

Hello: I live in an 80s era home. I have a (lighted) single-pole rocker switch that has been controlling the top half of a local dedicated receptacle. I replaced the receptacle, but now both halves are hot, with the switch doing nothing - and it's no longer lighted. I have two white and two black wires, with a ground. I tried swapping the wires to see if that would make a difference. It didn't, and both halves remained hot (and still no light in the switch). I can plug in and use lamps, etc., but only with their own switches. I then broke the tab on the hot side of the receptacle (after noticing that the original receptacle I replaced also had it removed), and now half the receptacle tests as an "open ground" while the other half is hot. Still no lighted switch... Any thoughts? Thanks so much!
 
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Old 07-24-13, 02:59 AM
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Welcome to the forums! If you still have the old receptacle, you will note the tab between the two hot screws was removed. This separates the two halves of the receptacle allowing switch controlling on one half and always hot on the other. Just use a pair of needle nose pliers and give it a couple of twists. It will break off. Power off, of course
 
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Old 07-24-13, 05:44 AM
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Breaking the tab on the hot side should not have caused an open ground.

since breaking the tab, does the switch control the receptacle? What color wires are connected to the switch?
 
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Old 07-24-13, 05:53 AM
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This may be wired as a switch loop. Were all four wires connected to the old receptacle, or were two of them spliced together with a black pigtail added? Were two of the wires together on one of the hot terminals with one of those pushed into a hole in the back of the receptacle?

With the power off, pull the switch out of the wall. If there is only one 2-conductor cable in the box, and the white and black wires from that cable are connected to the switch, it is a switch loop. If there are two cables in the box, and the two black wires are connected to the switch, then it isn't a switch loop.

Let us know what you find there. The fact that you have a switch that was lighted, and now isn't, is a bit puzzling.
 
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Old 07-24-13, 12:01 PM
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Breaking the tab on the hot side should not have caused an open ground
Yeah, I was trying to solve one problem at a time. Open grounds could emanate from non continuous feeds through porcelain fixtures, etc, so I figured we'd get the power straightened out, then we'd stab at the ground thingy.

We'll have to wait on a response as to the switch status.
 
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Old 07-24-13, 01:20 PM
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Breaking the tab on the hot side should not have caused an open ground.
There's nothing that can create an open ground on just one of two devices sharing the same yoke, with the possible exception of internal damage. My bet is that the OP's plug-in tester is seeing something that's confusing it and reporting "open ground" because it doesn't have a code for "double hot" or whatever.
 
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