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 DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum Both black and red wire hot at switch
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12-03-2011, 11:24 AM   #1
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## Both black and red wire hot at switch

This is new wiring. I have 2 switches controlling 2 lights and an outlet at the end of one of the runs that should always be hot. The power source goes to the switches first and then on to the lights. I have 12-2 as the source. 12-2 running to the individual light. 12-3 between the switch and light and then 12-2 between this light and outlet.
The first light works fine. The 2nd switch has black from the source and red from the light. At the light the red connects to the black of the light, the white connects to the white of the light and the white of the 12-2 running to the outlet, and the black of the 12-3 connected to the black of the 12-2 of the outlet.

How is it possible that at the switch both the black and red are hot even when disconnected from the switch?

12-03-2011, 11:33 AM   #2
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How are you measuring that and with what test equipment?

 12-03-2011, 03:37 PM #3 Member   Join Date: Dec 2006 Posts: 17,158 Rewards Points: 6,652 You need to put a wiring diagram up showing how the circuit is wired, so that everyone can get a better understanding of what you are seeing.

 12-03-2011, 05:32 PM #4 Newbie   Join Date: Dec 2011 Posts: 17 Rewards Points: 10 With a voltage detector/ tic tester
12-03-2011, 07:09 PM   #5
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## Diagram

I hope this helps
Attached Images

 12-03-2011, 07:38 PM #6 Member   Join Date: Sep 2008 Location: Oregon Posts: 1,497 Rewards Points: 500 Try a multimeter and measure to neutral. Last edited by Billy_Bob; 12-03-2011 at 08:03 PM.
 12-03-2011, 07:45 PM #7 Member   Join Date: Nov 2011 Posts: 83 Rewards Points: 75 Well, your diagram doesn't depict what you said. What is the black of the 12-3 connected to at the switch?
 12-03-2011, 08:31 PM #8 Member     Join Date: Mar 2005 Location: Welland, Ontario Posts: 13,476 Rewards Points: 13,752 Blog Entries: 11 To answer the original question, Are you using a digital meter? If you are then it is likely a phantom voltage. The diagram is correct to have two switched lights and the receptacle that is not switched.
 12-03-2011, 09:11 PM #9 Newbie   Join Date: Dec 2011 Posts: 17 Rewards Points: 10 The black 12-3 at the switch is connected to the power source with a connector Attached Images
12-05-2011, 06:35 AM   #10
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## Fixed

Thanks to all for help. It was phantom voltage. Had a loose neutral.

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