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Old 02-12-2008, 05:22 PM   #1
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Kitchen outlet/switch dillemma? Need help troubleshooting


Hey All,

Let me start off by saying I will post a picture of the wires with my camera later tonight. This will hopefully explain in better detail.

To the right of my sink i have two switches that were mis-re-wired by a relative (mistake number 1) and he cant remember how he wired it in the first place.

We were slowly changing out the beige outlets/switches with white ones.

One of the switches turned the disposal on and off and the other controls the light over the sink.

Now after my uncle screwed things up, the dishwasher will only turn on if one of those two switches is flipped. My assumption is that one of the "hot wires" shouldn't be going to the switch (needs to be capped off instead)?

How can i diagnose how to fix this? My electrical skills are only limited to electrical 101!

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Old 02-12-2008, 06:49 PM   #2
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Kitchen outlet/switch dillemma? Need help troubleshooting


The switch that turns on the dishwasher has two wires connected to one of the terminals. Switch one of the wires to the other terminal. If the light won't turn off then swap the other wire.

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Old 02-12-2008, 07:30 PM   #3
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Kitchen outlet/switch dillemma? Need help troubleshooting


Are the lights incandescent or fluorescent?
If they are incandescent, it is easy to find out which wire goes to the lamp.

1) TURN OFF POWER AT THE BREAKER !!
2) Disconnect all of the wires in the box from the switches
3) With an ohmmeter, measure either from a white wire to a black wire, or from the ground to the black wire, one at a time.
You should get a low resistance when you are on a wire that goes to a lamp.

4) Unscrew one light bulb at a time. The ohmmeter should now read open on the same wires that read a low resistance in the last measurement.

5) You may be able to find which wires go to the dishwasher in the same manner. If your dishwasher is not microprocessor controlled, it should show a resistance change when it is turned on.

7) You can find out which wires are the mains, if there is something else on the same breaker.
With the breaker still turned off, unplug and turn off everything else on the circuit.
Make ohmmeter measurements from black to white wires (which you have not identified as connecting to the lamps as in steps 3-4). You should read an open circuit (infinite or very high resistance) if you are on the mains with nothing else plugged in or turned on.

8) Now, turn on a light or plug in a lamp with an incandescent bulb, on the same circuit.
Go back and measure the black to white as in step 7, and you should now read a low resistance for the light bulb.

I hope this doesn't confuse you. It is safe and usually effective, as long as the lamps are incandescent.
If the lamps are fluorescent, you will never read a change in resistance because fluorescent lamps contain a gas that will remain at high resistance until it is fired by an electrical current.
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Old 02-12-2008, 11:10 PM   #4
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Kitchen outlet/switch dillemma? Need help troubleshooting


Quote:
Originally Posted by lyonrt View Post
Hey All,

Let me start off by saying I will post a picture of the wires with my camera later tonight. This will hopefully explain in better detail.

To the right of my sink i have two switches that were mis-re-wired by a relative (mistake number 1) and he cant remember how he wired it in the first place.

We were slowly changing out the beige outlets/switches with white ones.

One of the switches turned the disposal on and off and the other controls the light over the sink.

Now after my uncle screwed things up, the dishwasher will only turn on if one of those two switches is flipped. My assumption is that one of the "hot wires" shouldn't be going to the switch (needs to be capped off instead)?

How can i diagnose how to fix this? My electrical skills are only limited to electrical 101!

Are you 100% positive that the switch did not turn the dishwasher ON/OFF? I dont see how a splice gets remade while changing out devices...
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Old 02-13-2008, 01:38 AM   #5
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Kitchen outlet/switch dillemma? Need help troubleshooting


Quote:
I dont see how a splice gets remade while changing out devices...
Come on now. I'm sure you've seen what DIY's can do. I can totally see this happening.


A pic would really be helpful as there are many possibilities depending on the age of your house and the wiring methods used.

If not a pic, please describe EXACTLY how many and what color wires/cables are in the box. A 2 wire cable will have a black and white. A 3 wire will have a black, red and white. (not considering the bare grounds for this situation)

Last edited by 220/221; 02-13-2008 at 01:43 AM.
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Old 02-13-2008, 07:12 AM   #6
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Kitchen outlet/switch dillemma? Need help troubleshooting


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Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post
Come on now. I'm sure you've seen what DIY's can do. I can totally see this happening.

You made a good point... My advice, if you don't know what your doing, then leave it alone....
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Old 02-13-2008, 10:18 AM   #7
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Kitchen outlet/switch dillemma? Need help troubleshooting


I didnt get in until about 11 last night. I will post a picture tonight as I should be in well before then.

Thanks for the support! Ill annotate the picture as well so that can help.

Thanks!

Tyler

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