Help! Door Jamb Switch Saga Continues!!! - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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


Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-29-2012, 05:03 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 19
Rewards Points: 10

Help! Door jamb switch saga continues!!!

The door jamb switch saga continues. You all helped me sort out a ground problem on a fluorescent fixture last night (Thanks!!). So, of course, I decided to also replace the switch this morning, and have more weirdness.

The Gardner Bender switch I am trying to install is arcing – a slight light blue/green flash you can see through the plastic switch body - about every fifth time the plunger on the switch is depressed. It is a 16 amp 125 v switch. I called Gardner Bender and the guy was helpful, but indicated my wiring sounded so weird I should be tripping breakers.

So I need you guys again. Here is what I have:

1) A single romex cable going into the switch box. When the switch is “out”, my current sensor shows nothing on either the black or white wire I have connected to the switch (just like I found it) and the light is on. Depress it, the light goes out and the sensor shows hot on the black wire in the switch box.

2) Two romex cables go into the light fixture. White are nutted together. Ground are also nutted together. I added a ground to the light fixture last night based on your advice.

3) In the light fixture, one black is tied to the black wire in the fluorescent light (this was the way I found it when I removed the old light - I marked it and used the same one). This black goes to the ballast, and is showing hot on the sensor whether the switch plunger is depressed or not.

4) The other black is tied to white in the light fixture (again, the way I found it). This black only shows hot with the plunger depressed, and the light out.

The Gardner Bender guy indicated I should see two black wires going to the switch. And that because there is a white neutral involved, I am seeing arcing. Again, it does not arc every time, and just does a faint flash every fifth time or so the plunger is depressed.

Any thoughts or help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks folks!

(You all helped me figure out an open neutral last week:

Light only works when lead is wired to ground?

....really hoping this is not something similar!)


Last edited by dhartlein; 08-29-2012 at 05:20 PM.
dhartlein is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2012, 05:15 PM   #2
Licensed electrician
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Maryland
Posts: 10,861
Rewards Points: 1,876

With only one cable at the switch you need to wire it as a switch loop. The black incoming power at the fixture needs to splice to the white going to the switch. The incoming white goes to the white from the ballast. The black returning from the switch goes to the ballast black.

The white should be re-identified as a hot with black tape or magic marker.


Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.

Last edited by Jim Port; 08-29-2012 at 05:24 PM.
Jim Port is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2012, 05:20 PM   #3
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Hartfield VA
Posts: 34,587
Rewards Points: 14,306
joecaption is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2012, 05:24 PM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 19
Rewards Points: 10

Jim and Joe, that makes sense to me. Thanks, I will wire it up that way in the morning, and really appreciate the help. How in the world has it been working like this for 10 years? Can you all make sense of the wiring that is there? Thanks!

Last edited by dhartlein; 08-29-2012 at 06:43 PM.
dhartlein is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
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
Wiring in a 4-way Switch RickSene Electrical 6 05-13-2017 04:29 PM
Generator Transfer Switch Trouble wgramer Electrical 23 11-12-2011 07:23 PM
1 pole + 3 way switch momof2labs Electrical 1 05-22-2010 10:37 AM
3-way light with a twist Jeepsail Electrical 14 05-18-2010 01:24 AM
4 way switch confusion Richo Electrical 10 04-09-2009 07:11 AM

Top of Page | View New Posts


Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1