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Old 05-02-2011, 11:23 PM   #1
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HELP!! I Have a constant feed to a light, even with the switch OFF!


I have an older home built in the mid 60s. I remodeled my den/office and in doing so, moved an inconveniently placed set of light switches a few feet to the right to the other side of the door. Two switches, one for a celling fan and the other for a light. I marked everything carefully before disconnecting any wires (after killing the power) there were four wires in the box..one from the fan, one from the light, one was the hot feed from the other outlets and the breaker box....there was also a single leg to an outlet below the switch box.

The feed wire came in with all four of the neutral wires tied together, and the black HOT wire was tied to the outlet and had a jumper wire going from them to the bottom screw on the light switch and then to the bottom screw on the fan switch. The black wires from the fan and light wires were attached to the TOP screw on their corresponding switches. All four of the ground wires were wire nutted together also.

I fished the wire down the wall on the other side of the door from the attic to the new box. I reconnected everything EXACTLY how it was before I took it off. Now the fan and everything else in the room works fine as it did before....

But the light won't come on and has constant feed to both sides of the switch, even with the switch in the OFF position. I thought the switch may be bad so I replaced it with a brand new one. Still constant hot on BOTH sides and the light still won't come on. What did I do wrong??? HELP!!!!

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Old 05-03-2011, 12:34 AM   #2
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HELP!! I Have a constant feed to a light, even with the switch OFF!


Gunny get you meter out.

Hot feeds, (120v to ground), to both side to a on/off toggle switch could
mean that you aded and extra wire to the Hot Wire that supplies power
to your switch box.

And if you didn't I.D. the black color insulated wire that feeds to a light or
fan, or any other load your trying to switch. You may had wire nutted/
splice your load wire right onto your incoming black insulate conductor.

I don't want to give to much info for now.

Good Luck, that others will be waking soon, and they will also reply to your thread.


Last edited by Ranger31; 05-03-2011 at 12:36 AM.
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Old 05-03-2011, 01:26 AM   #3
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HELP!! I Have a constant feed to a light, even with the switch OFF!


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Originally Posted by GunnyApproved View Post
I have an older home built in the mid 60s. I remodeled my den/office and in doing so, moved an inconveniently placed set of light switches a few feet to the right to the other side of the door. Two switches, one for a celling fan and the other for a light. I marked everything carefully before disconnecting any wires (after killing the power) there were four wires in the box..one from the fan, one from the light, one was the hot feed from the other outlets and the breaker box....there was also a single leg to an outlet below the switch box.

The feed wire came in with all four of the neutral wires tied together, and the black HOT wire was tied to the outlet and had a jumper wire going from them to the bottom screw on the light switch and then to the bottom screw on the fan switch. The black wires from the fan and light wires were attached to the TOP screw on their corresponding switches. All four of the ground wires were wire nutted together also.

I fished the wire down the wall on the other side of the door from the attic to the new box. I reconnected everything EXACTLY how it was before I took it off. Now the fan and everything else in the room works fine as it did before....

But the light won't come on and has constant feed to both sides of the switch, even with the switch in the OFF position. I thought the switch may be bad so I replaced it with a brand new one. Still constant hot on BOTH sides and the light still won't come on. What did I do wrong??? HELP!!!!
Phew. this is a puzzler.....

Call me crazy but....

My theory is that at one point 1/2 of the outlet was switched by the wall switch, so the wires going to the outlet are not the feed for the outlet, but the switch loop for the outlet.

Then somebody came along and converted the outlet to being 'unswitched' and in the process cross connected it to another circuit. Normally the only reason an outlet is connected to a switch box is if it's switched, but the feed for the outlets may be a different circuit.


Then if you mixed up the switch 'outlet leg' with the black wire going to the light fixture, you would be connecting a live hot to a live hot, explaining the power on both sides of the switch. Note that if this is the case, power may be coming from two circuits, a safety hazard.

Last edited by Robo_geek; 05-03-2011 at 01:34 AM.
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Old 05-03-2011, 01:53 AM   #4
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HELP!! I Have a constant feed to a light, even with the switch OFF!


There are a number of ways it could happen, but somehow you have both sides of the light circuit connected to hot. Robo_geek's explanation is a good possibility. Check carefully to verify which conductors are hot and which are actually neutrals - you may have some white hots in there as a result of some switch leg rewiring confusion.
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Old 05-03-2011, 03:01 AM   #5
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HELP!! I Have a constant feed to a light, even with the switch OFF!


I think you have one of the hot conductor transponed { changed } in wrong postion the only way you can really verify the correct postion is get the DVM { digital volt meter } or neon test light one of the two will work and verify the source from the breaker or fuse box first then go from there I know you say all the netural are hook up together however not always the case with older wiring setup some case it can be backward.

Check the switched receptale to see how many conductor you have there at that switched receptale and may have to check other as well to make sure.

Do you have any red conductor in the switch box if so check it out where it goes. { if you have three way switch that can get instering as well so which way you have there }

Merci,
Marc
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