3-way, Two Switches And One Outlet - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


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Old 07-16-2014, 07:19 PM   #1
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3-way, two switches and one outlet


The outlet just stopped working. The house was built in 1942, so the electric wiring is the old type with cloth wrap. The outlet originally didn't work and after replacing the hardware and checking all the wiring-thought I had it right. Alas, about 3 months later the outlet stopped working. I have taken apart the outlet ( and to confuse matters more the white wire connects to the outlet in the room behind it, which works perfectly fine and somehow powered by a different breaker). Problem one:had a 20amp in the breaker box-replaced with a 15amp...Please correct me if I am wrong, but this would be the reason the outlet stopped working without throwing the breaker?. Problem two: the black wire stays hot to half the ampage even when the switch is off??? At least I'm thinking that is what the problem is to cause the outlet to stop working....All that is connected to this outlet is the black(marked with blue tape)---which stays hot all the time at two levels---and the white that is connected to the outlet in the room behind which is on a different breaker and newly added ground. See attached. Please keep in mind that it worked as it should have for several months.
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3-way, two switches and one outlet-lr-outlet.jpg  

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Last edited by Mary0999; 07-16-2014 at 07:37 PM.
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Old 07-20-2014, 07:30 AM   #2
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3-way, two switches and one outlet


If the black wire (with blue tape) is hot and belongs to one circuit, it should not be using the neutral (white) from another circuit. What is that white wire (taped and wire nutted) in the back of the box? If you changed the breaker from 20 to 15 amps and did it correctly, it shouldn't have affected the outlet. If you didn't, probably more than just one receptacle wouldn't be working.
One example, if the wire to the outlet broke, the outlet would no longer work and not trip the breaker. I'm not saying that's what happened here. It's one scenario.
Your description of problem two is confusing. "Problem two: the black wire stays hot to half the ampage (?) even when the switch is off??? At least I'm thinking that is what the problem is to cause the outlet to stop working....All that is connected to this outlet is the black(marked with blue tape)---which stays hot all the time at two levels (?) ---and the white that is connected to the outlet in the room behind which is on a different breaker and newly added ground."
Lemme back track here. You have an outlet that was controlled by two three-way switches. You replaced the outlet and it worked fine for several months. Now it does not.

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3way , electrical , outlet , switch , wiring


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