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kahuna46

05:18PM | 08/09/04
Member Since: 08/07/04
6 lifetime posts
Bvelectrical
I just moved into my new (old) condo. I decided to change all the outlets as part of the painting and general fixup. I was very careful to wire the outlets exactly as the old ones were wired, but neglected to pay attention to which ones were controlled by a wall switch, nor did I break off any tabs between upper and lower screws. Each main room has at least one outlet, of which one plug was switched by a wall switch. Now, the outlets are all live, but the switches have no effect.

All the outlets seem to have two black wires on the hot side and two white wires on the other side and one ground wire. Some of the outlets also have a red wire in there. I tried installing an outlet with a clipped tab on the hot side on 3 of the outlets in one room, one of which had to have been the switched one. In each case, the outlet either died (and in one case an outlet in another room died) or half died. The wall switch still makes no difference.

Anybody have any suggestions? Thanks in advance for all advice.

Win

joed

06:40AM | 08/10/04
Member Since: 09/17/02
524 lifetime posts
The red wire is probably the switched wire. You should connect the 2 blacks together and pigtail to one screw. Connect the red to the other screw with the tab removed.

kahuna46

12:15AM | 08/11/04
Member Since: 08/07/04
6 lifetime posts
That sounds right, but I tried outlets in two rooms. One had two white wires, two blacks pigtailed on one screw and a red on the other. I clipped the tab on the hot side and nothing changed. Both are still hot, regardless of switch position. The other outlet has one white, two blacks pigtailed on one screw and one red. Same result.

Like, Twilight Zone?

Win

doug seibert

06:35AM | 08/11/04
Member Since: 08/10/02
842 lifetime posts
.....and SEE what the wireing is........

Does the circuit Feed thru the switch

or is it a switch loop (colors please)

Where is this ? .......cables not conduit?

report back with each room.....

Do you have a meter ?

joed

11:42AM | 08/11/04
Member Since: 09/17/02
524 lifetime posts
If the switch controls more than one receptacle, a tab on any one of them will power all the rest.

Tell us all the wires in all the boxes including the switches and how they are connected.

kahuna46

11:32AM | 08/12/04
Member Since: 08/07/04
6 lifetime posts
....and they are one black, one white, no other wires pigtailed. Each one has a two wire cable going into a conduit by itself. In each case, there are other wires going thru the switch box, but not connected to the wires going to the switch.

This house must be wired like a Christmas tree. I left the tab off the outlet in one room and now the light on the stairway is out. That seems to be the only other thing affected. As I mentioned before, one of the outlets in another room that I tried using a broken tab, killed an outlet in the adjoining room.

I do have a meter and a clip on line tester. It appears that the switches only control one receptacle. All the other boxes have two white wires and two black wires, plus a bare ground wire.

Win

doug seibert

03:31PM | 08/12/04
Member Since: 08/10/02
842 lifetime posts
So at the outlet the "WHITE wire to/from the switch" is really a BLACK.....

calibur4u

02:41AM | 08/15/04
Member Since: 11/24/01
9 lifetime posts
Open all outlets and dis-connect the blacks. with the switch off, if it is a single pole and not a 3-way, check with meter and find the constant hot, then cap and set asside. next turn on switch and see which black become hot. that will be your switched leg. mark snd set aside. the tabe on that outlet will be cut. now if any other back wires remaining are not hot tnat is the feeder to the light. It is just being feed fron a constant hot outlet.

kahuna46

11:35AM | 08/15/04
Member Since: 08/07/04
6 lifetime posts
You are saying to disconnect the black wires on each of the outlets, while the switch is in the "off" position, see which black is still hot, cap that,then turn on the switch to see which wire is carrying current (they are single switches, btw), mark that one and cut the tab on the hot side of that outlet?

Win

calibur4u

08:49AM | 08/17/04
Member Since: 11/24/01
9 lifetime posts
Yes, that should be the return leg from the swith to the outlet..

kahuna46

02:35PM | 08/29/04
Member Since: 08/07/04
6 lifetime posts
Sorry to take so long, but I have lost patience with this project a couple of times. I removed all the black and the red wires and turned the juice on and off at the switch. It made no difference whatever, except on one outlet. I got an original schematic of my unit (which has been modified over time) and the one outlet that went on and off is the one shown as the switched outlet. It also is the only one now in the room that has the tab broken off on the hot side, which is the way it originally was. However, when I hooked the other outlets back up, the switch no longer functions at all and the outlets are live all the time. As mentioned earlier, something I've done caused the power to my stairway light to go out and one of the outlets on my living room string has lost power on one set of plugs. Both of these were functioning after I originally replaced the living room plugs. Does it sound like there is any hope, or should I just hire an electrician?

Win

calibur4u

02:58PM | 08/29/04
Member Since: 11/24/01
9 lifetime posts
unfortunately at this stage of the game I would get an electrician in and he should solve your problem in no time. Keep an eye out on what he does so you can see where you went wrong.As an electrician I have a lot of thing going through my head which is hard to explain to someone step by step without an onsight view of the situation.Good luck and keep me posted on how you made out.

kahuna46

09:53AM | 08/30/04
Member Since: 08/07/04
6 lifetime posts
I'll keep you posted.

Win
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