Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-27-2011, 12:22 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 5
Share |
Question

Changed switches, now no power to switch


We have a 15 year old house, new to us. We have 4 light switches in one box that we are replacing. Two of them are 3-way switches, which work fine after replacing. The other two are both single switches (one is a dimmer) and after replacing them, they do not work. We tested and can see that when the breaker is on, there is no power coming to the wires for those two switches (they are next to each other).

They were originally wired such that one of the black wires went to both of the switches, so we duplicated that when we replaced them.

We are trying to figure out what could have happened that would make them suddenly not even get any power to the wires on that side of the box. There don't seem to be any loose connections anywhere, although there are a mess of wires in the box. We have a voltmeter so are planning to test the actual breaker. Beyond that, what can we do?

OrchardHouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2011, 12:50 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Central Indiana (USA)
Posts: 1,316
Default

Changed switches, now no power to switch


How are you testing for voltage at the switches? Are there ground wires in there? Are you using a white neutral for the test?

sirsparksalot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2011, 01:14 PM   #3
Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 5
Default

Changed switches, now no power to switch


Quote:
Originally Posted by sirsparksalot View Post
How are you testing for voltage at the switches? Are there ground wires in there? Are you using a white neutral for the test?
We have a voltmeter, with one lead against the ground and one against the black wires connected to the switch itself - both black wires had nothing. We just tried the white wires, and they have nothing. They are all just bundled together back there, which I assume is right because we didn't do anything to them.

I also just tested with a little non-contact voltage tester that looks like a pen, and the two switches that work have power to the black wires, the white wires have nothing, and the two non-working switches have nothing. I guess we might try replacing the switch, but that wouldn't explain why there's no power in the actual black wire going to the switch....
OrchardHouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2011, 01:23 PM   #4
Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 5
Default

Changed switches, now no power to switch


We just took off both non-working light switches to test the wires with nothing attached. With the voltmeter, one lead on the ground and one on the black wires, they each get .17 or so. Not even zeroing out. The two working switches get 120 on each black wire when the switch is on, and zero out when it's off. Ground to ground zeros out. I'm not sure what else we can test.
OrchardHouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2011, 01:58 PM   #5
Electrical Contractor
 
jbfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Newnan GA
Posts: 5,736
Default

Changed switches, now no power to switch


Are these switches on the same circuit?
If not, then try to reset the breaker and try again.
__________________
Yes I am a Pirate, 200 years too late. "Jimmy Buffett"
jbfan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2011, 02:15 PM   #6
Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 5
Default

Changed switches, now no power to switch


Quote:
Originally Posted by jbfan View Post
Are these switches on the same circuit?
If not, then try to reset the breaker and try again.
Yes, and we've reset it and no dice.
OrchardHouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2011, 02:43 PM   #7
Newbie Bill
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,056
Default

Changed switches, now no power to switch


Remember that I too am a noob with little to no electical experience. So just thinking out loud.

Can you see where that ineffective black wire is coming from? Is it coming from a marette where other black wires are attached together or a direct feed from the wall?

Are there any other switches/outlets in the general area that you recently changed out, or are no longer working?
__________________
Bill

A DIY Noob that knows just enough to be dangerous.
drtbk4ever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2011, 12:18 AM   #8
" Euro " electrician
 
frenchelectrican's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: WI & France { in France for now }
Posts: 5,369
Default

Changed switches, now no power to switch


Is anyway you can post the photo what it look like ?? somecase it may help us a bit when we try to find this troubleshooting on this one.

Merci,
Marc
__________________
The answer will be based on NEC ( National Electrical code ) or CEC ( Cananda Electrical code ) or ECF ( Electrique Code France )
frenchelectrican is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2011, 07:16 AM   #9
Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 5
Default

Changed switches, now no power to switch


I think we figured out what is going on. We should have taken a picture before we removed the existing switches, because the wiring was funky and we missed a piece when putting it back together.

It turns out that one of the working switches was powering 2 of the other switches. They had hijacked the hot wire from the first working switch and brought it over to power the last two switches as well. I think the builders did it, because we could see where there used to be a red wire coming out of the bundle for the last switch, and they cut it - we think that was the hot wire and they screwed up, so they had to steal power from the working switch.

So we did the same thing, and they are all working now.

OrchardHouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
3 way switch with pass through power connection issue ccmbee Electrical 2 09-28-2010 02:38 PM
Two switches between power and lights HooKooDooKu Electrical 4 04-19-2010 04:14 PM
3-way switch help amit Electrical 17 02-15-2010 03:17 PM
Manual transfer switch to power an existing sub-panel joestewart Electrical 10 11-23-2009 02:30 PM
no power going to the light switch baseballfan Electrical 18 09-08-2008 05:35 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.