Ceiling light/switch mystery

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Old 05-21-14, 08:47 PM
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Ceiling light/switch mystery

We took out a wall between our dining room and kitchen. The switch for the dining room light was on that wall. I moved it to a piece of wall we did keep- on the other side of what was a doorway. Of course, now I can't get it to work. But this is weird.

I have power going to the switch box, and then another wire going to the light fixture (each of these are black, white, ground). I hooked up the hot on the switch, connected the grounds and the neutrals.

Currently I have the b/w/g wires hanging from the ceiling, each wire-nutted alone. (the fixture didn't work- I'm in trouble shooting mode).

When I flip the switch on, both the white and black make the detector light up and beep. When they are connected to a brand new light socket, or the light fixture for that matter, the light bulb will not come on, even though the detector detects power inside the light socket.

When I flip the switch off, the power is off at the light.

It is a brand new switch. In fact I've tried two of them. The 3 bulbs I've tried all work.

WHAT ON EARTH AM I MISSING? I am completely mystified and frustrated.
 
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Old 05-21-14, 09:12 PM
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When I flip the switch on, both the white and black make the detector light up and beep.
Yep, and if you are using a non contact tester it is useless for real testing. You need to use a multimeter, preferably analog.
WHAT ON EARTH AM I MISSING?
A real way for testing for meaningful voltage.

At the switch box the two blacks should be on the switch and the two whites connected to each other.
 
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Old 05-21-14, 11:23 PM
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WHAT ON EARTH AM I MISSING?
You sir are missing the neutral.
 
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Old 05-22-14, 07:35 AM
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So what can I do now?

It does sound like I'm missing a neutral. What can I do to fix it?

I don't understand why the white wire at the ceiling shows juice when I flip the switch. I thought that only the black would.

I am no expert, obviously, but I thought I had a complete circuit. 3 wires at the ceiling box. 6 wires at the switch. Whites are nutted together, blacks are on the switch. Grounds are connected to the switch.

Please help me make this work.
 
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Old 05-22-14, 10:11 AM
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How would I use a multimeter to fix this problem?
 
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Old 05-22-14, 10:14 AM
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I don't understand why the white wire at the ceiling shows juice when I flip the switch.
Asked and answered. You don't have a meaningful way of testing for voltage if you are using a non contact tester. Do you have two 2-conductor cables at the switch?* If so disconnect all wires. Using an analog multimeter measure the voltage between the black and white of each cable. If no reading for either cable try black to ground for each cable.

*If you don't have two cables at the switch or the light then it won't work. Note ground wires aren't relevant so no need to include them in wire count. I don't include grounds in wire counts I write unless I specifically mention them.

(All you need for testing is a $8-$15 analog not digital multimeter.)
 

Last edited by ray2047; 05-22-14 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 05-22-14, 11:01 AM
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Sounds like the wiring is correct. Can you connect the fixture to another location to test the fixture?
 
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Old 05-22-14, 12:26 PM
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Sounds like the wiring is correct.
And I agree but so far Burrif is refusing to say if he has two 2-conductor cables at the switch. His failure to tell us how many cables leaves us guessing.

Burrif, please answer the questions asked ans perform the tests PCBoss and I have requested. If you just can't afford a multimeter. Connect a receptacle to one of the cables at the switch and plug in a lamp. If the lamp doesn't work try the other cable. If one of the cables lights the lamp reconnect the switch. Then replace the fixture at the ceiling with the receptacle and again try the lamp test.
 
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