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kat7598

02:18PM | 08/16/07
Member Since: 08/15/07
3 lifetime posts
Bvelectrical
Here's the scene! Old attic bedroom light fixture had two bulbs and a built-in outlet. The light turned on and off via a wall receptacle which had a toggle switch and an outlet. The outlet worked independently of the light switch.

I took off the old light fixture and this is what is coming out of the box: old black wire, newer black wire, old white wire, newer white wire, thicker separate new red wire. The two black wires are twisted together at the open ends, as are the two white.

The switch had one white wire, one red, one black, all newer.

My new light fixture is a simple two-bulb one, no outlet, and has one white and one black wire coming out of each light.

No matter how I wire this, either the light comes on but won't switch off, or the light comes on but the outlet doesn't work. The old switch looks different from the new switch. I snapped off the metal fin on the new switch, but that didn't help.

Help!

Billhart

04:49PM | 08/16/07
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
"The light turned on and off via a wall receptacle which had a toggle switch and an outlet. The outlet worked independently of the light switch."

Are you talking about a switch and single receptacle on a comom yoke such as this one.

http://electrical.hardwarestore.com/14-53-switch-recepticle-combos/combination-switch-and-receptacle-601168.aspx

(Or a similar one without the ground terminal if you have ungrounded wiring).

"The switch had one white wire, one red, one black, all newer. "

These are all in one cable or conduit and there are not other wires, right?

If so then it is wired as followes.

The black is always hot and connects to the two brass terminals that are together with a bridging tab.

The white is the neutral and connects to the silver terminal by the receptacle.

The red wire is the switched hot and connects to single brass terminal by the switch.

"I took off the old light fixture and this is what is coming out of the box: old black wire, newer black wire, old white wire, newer white wire, thicker separate new red wire. The two black wires are twisted together at the open ends, as are the two white."

The white is the neutrals connect the two together along with the neutral from the new fixture.

The black supplies power to the switch and receptacle. Wire nut them together.

The red is the switch hot. Connect it to the light fixture hot.

kat7598

05:48PM | 08/16/07
Member Since: 08/15/07
3 lifetime posts
Thanks for your help. Yes, the switch/outlet looks just like the image you refer to.

Please bear with me, I'm not the best visualizer! Are you saying that the two neutral wires already coming out of the wall for the light fixture should be twisted together (they already are) and then also twisted with the two white wires from the new fixture, AND the two black wires from the wall (which are already twisted together) should just be capped like that, AND the red wire from the wall should be twisted to the black wires from the fixture?

What should I know about the switch/outlet -- clearly I did that wrong.

Thank you so much. I am being VERY careful about turning off the power at the fuse box at every step. But I did blow a fuse one time, yikes.

Billhart

06:28PM | 08/16/07
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
"Are you saying that the two neutral wires already coming out of the wall for the light fixture should be twisted together (they already are) and then also twisted with the two white wires from the new fixture,"

Yes. make sure that you use large enough wire nut. The ones that come with the fixture are not big enough. The fixture wires are usually #16 and the house wiring is #14 or #12. Look at the package at the store. Prably a yellow one will work, but they do vary by brand.

", AND the two black wires from the wall (which are already twisted together) should just be capped like that,"

Yes.

This is all assuming that the orginal wiring was correct, which it usual is.

The old wiring supply the power, hot-black and neutral white. By tieing the black to black you are continuing the power form the light box down to the switch.

" AND the red wire from the wall should be twisted to the black wires from the fixture?"

"What should I know about the switch/outlet -- clearly I did that wrong."

I am not sure, as you did not indicate what terminals that you connected to what.

Look at the two parts separately.

The switch has two brass terminals. It does not matter which the hot connects to and which the switched hot, in this case the red connects to. But see below.

On the receptacle you have a brass terminal and it is next to the narrow slot. That is for the hot. On the other side is the silver terminal by the wide slot. That is for the neutral.

Note these are used in other ways, such as using the switch to switcch the receptacle.

But in this useage (always working receptacle, switched light) it makes sensse to feed the hot to the side with the common brass terminals. Since you broke the tab between them you need to strip a little more wire from the black and loop it through the 2 brass termials on the one side.

Then for the siwtch operation the red on the other brass terminal to feed the power back to the light.

And a for the receptacle a white to the silver terminal.

kat7598

07:42AM | 08/17/07
Member Since: 08/15/07
3 lifetime posts
It worked! Thank you SO much! We could not get an electrician to come for such a small job. So grateful for your help and for this site!

Kat

Billhart

08:48AM | 08/17/07
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
.

BV001687

08:34PM | 07/28/13
Hello,

I have a similar issue. I didn't pay attention to how the old fixture was wired. What I have is a switch controlled light fixture. Coming from the ceiling where the fixture was is two sets of B/X. Both with black and white wires coming out. The fixture has a single positive and negative wire and a ground. When I wired it back up(incorrectly) the light worked but was not controlled by the switch on the wall.
Can you help?

joechoniski

06:25AM | 07/29/13
Member Since: 07/05/13
5 lifetime posts
Joe_choniski_3
The problem for replacing outlets come from forgetting to reattach a wire or attaching it in the wrong place. The number, color, and function of the wires at an outlet can be confusing if the original connections are lost track of.
Whether the attachment method chosen is screws or with wire connectors insulation must be stripped off the wire for good metal-to-metal contact, and wires should be tugged on to check tightness.
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