Can't Get New Combo Switch Outlet To Work - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 01-12-2013, 07:45 PM   #1
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can't get new combo switch outlet to work

housing holds a mess of wires coming/going from top (overhead light?), bottom (power source?) and one side of the housing ( to feed another outlet other side of wall).

bottom housing: white, black and cooper wires. white wire from bottom and top are tied and capped off. black wire is placed onto right lower black screw. copper wire onto right lower green screw.

top housing: two black (separate) wires and a white wire- one single black wire placed onto left upper bronze screw. other black wire is tied/capped and has two black pigtails- first pigtail going out side housing to another outlet on other side of wall and second pigtail placed onto right top black screw. white wire (tied to bottom white wire- capped off)

side housing: black ( pigtailed to the black wire from the top housing), white wire placed onto lower left silver screw and a copper wire that is not attached to anything.

as it is, the switch works to turn the overhead light on/off. none of the outlets work. tab between right black screws is removed.

i used a voltage vac/dc reader. touching each wire to metal housing and repeated touching each wire to copper metal, i got:

black wire to bronze screw ( left top)- no light.
white wire to silver screw (left bottom)- lite up- hot?
black wire to top right black screw- lite up-hot?
black wire to bottom right black screw- no light

is it confusing enough? is there a way to make it work again?

thanks in advance!


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Old 01-12-2013, 07:52 PM   #2
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:36 PM   #3
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combination switch outlet connected to duplex receptacle

i used a new combination switch outlet receptacle with tab in place. hoping it would get a better result.

trying two ways-

1) i got constant hot at duplex but no power at all on combo outlet ( black wire tied into duplex receptacle attached to to right black screw).

2) constant hot on combo outlet but hot to duplex only by switch ( black wire tied into duplex attached to left bronze screw).

overhead light works on switch either way.

i've looked all over bing and google search but can't find a way to keep outlet and duplex hot with switch controlling overhead light.

closest schematic i can find is this one but does not keep all outlets hot:

looking for the schematic to power overhead light via switch and to have the outlet and duplex receptacle stay constant hot.
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Old 01-13-2013, 06:40 PM   #4
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do you have a neutral in that box?
New members: Adding your location to your profile helps in many ways.--M--
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Old 01-13-2013, 06:54 PM   #5
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Very simple first thing first look at your switch box to make sure you have legit netural in the switch box. which it will have two white conductors useally have a wirenut on it.

Second thing you should make a note of all the connection then turn the power source off first and separted each hot conductors and netural and pay attetion to which pair when you do the testing to make sure which one is a supply side and what go to the luminarie or load to other switch box or receptale.

Now to hook it up look at your combo switch / receptale look for two black screws with a tab still on that side. That set of screws is your line source.

The white one is netural you will have to make a pigtail for it to hook it up ( for the receptale side )

Then last screw on oppistie side of switch that is go to the luminaire.

It should work as I described.

Be aware there are few differnt brands will have differnt location of screws so pay attetion where you hook it up.

The answer will be based on NEC ( National Electrical code ) or CEC ( Cananda Electrical code ) or ECF ( Electrique Code France )
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:25 AM   #6
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i have 3 white conductors: overhead light, breaker, duplex outlet. the overhead light and breaker conductors are attached with wirenut. the one from the duplex was/is attached to the original receptacle.

there are 3 black conductors: overhead, breaker and one that has 2 black conductors (overhead and duplex) wirenut with pigtail.

i used a voltage vac/dc reader. touching each wire to metal housing and repeated touching each wire to copper metal, i got:

black wire from overhead light - no light.
white wire from duplex receptacle- lite up- hot?
black wire ( two conductors tied from overhead and duplex with pigtail)- lite up-hot?
black wire from breaker- no light

unfortunately, i did not take note of the original switch outlet arrangement of the conductors. i just remember the copper was doubled up ( on a black screw?) and possibly two other conductors doubled up too. old combo had 3 screws only to which all 5 lines were attached to.

however it was arranged, it worked for years and its killing me that i can't get it to work now
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:52 PM   #7
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still. not.

i bought a digital multi-tester and a receptacle tester and when i read digital ones get ghosting, i bought a analog multi-tester. spent all day testing and switching conductors, still can only get 2 of 3 to work.

1) i re-separated all the lines and turned the breaker on.
there are 5 lines: white (from duplex), black ( pigtailed wirenut connecting overhead and duplex), black overhead, and black below(breaker?)

2) i checked voltage btn each wire and ground (used the metal box) and got 120v for the white and pigtailed black line only.

3) i checked the voltage btn each 2 wires, all combinations. 120v reading between two black lines from overhead light ( one has wirenut from overhead and duplex to pigtail), other 120v black line overhead and white line (from duplex).

4) tested for neutral from each pair that registered 120v using the extension as the ground (round hole). the black line from overhead did not move so that equals neutral????

5) i placed the black line from overhead as the neutral- silver screw. the duplex and outlet (of switch combo) is working but receptacle tester said open ground? the overhead switch does not work no matter changing the other 3 lines. another FAIL.

it worked before i touched it

please help


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