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Old 04-24-2012, 01:52 PM   #1
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light switch/outlet combo, load issue


I replaced an existing light switch with a switch/outlet combo. The outlet works and switch operates light only, all appears to be working.

I plugged in a 660W device into the outlet and the light starts to flicker when the device is on, when the device is off, light stops flickering.

If I move the 660W device to an existing outlet in the same room, light does not flicker.

I don't think it should be a load issue but couldn't figure out why else the light flickers.

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Old 04-24-2012, 01:55 PM   #2
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light switch/outlet combo, load issue


Make sure the neutral wire is connected correctly on the switch and outlet.

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Old 04-24-2012, 02:07 PM   #3
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light switch/outlet combo, load issue


I unscrewed the wire nut holding all the white wires in the box, connected a new white wire to all the existing ones and hooked up the new wire to the silver screw on the switch/outlet combo. That should be right?
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Old 04-24-2012, 04:55 PM   #4
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light switch/outlet combo, load issue


You have a bad/loose connection somewhere,
that is limiting the available current,
Check ALL connections and redo them all !
Because the light does not use much current
the fault might not be evident, but could still be there.
So check all connnections back to the main panel.

If theres any backstabs get rid of them !
use screw connecttions only.
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:29 PM   #5
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light switch/outlet combo, load issue


when nothing is plugged into the outlet portion of the switch/outlet combo, the light controlled by the switch does not flash.

when device in standby mode (I'm assuming using little current) is plugged into the outlet, the light also does not flash.

only when the device is being used, (max draw of 660W), the light flashes, does this still indicate a bad connection somewhere? Or is the issue somewhere else?

Anyone experience one of these switch/outlet combo unable to handle giving current to outlet and also pass it on to the light without drop in voltage?
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:42 PM   #6
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light switch/outlet combo, load issue


Is power for the lite originating in the switch box or is there a switch loop?
How do you have the black wires connected? Does this combo unit have two brass screws for hot wires?
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:02 PM   #7
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light switch/outlet combo, load issue


Quote:
Originally Posted by xiea View Post
when nothing is plugged into the outlet portion of the switch/outlet combo, the light controlled by the switch does not flash.

when device in standby mode (I'm assuming using little current) is plugged into the outlet, the light also does not flash.

only when the device is being used, (max draw of 660W), the light flashes, does this still indicate a bad connection somewhere? Or is the issue somewhere else?

Anyone experience one of these switch/outlet combo unable to handle giving current to outlet and also pass it on to the light without drop in voltage?
With a bad connecttion,
it introduces unwanted resistance into the circuit,
This has the effect of limiting the current flow !
With the machine in stand by it draws very little current,
Even a light draws only a small current, (60w).
both of these lite loads would result in very little loss of
voltage across the bad joint.
So you would not know its there !
Even thou it is there !
But when you start to draw larger loads,
IE 660w instead of say 60w (light).
Now the losses across the bad joint will become significant,
possibly causing arcing, witch would cause flashing/flickering.

The bad connecttion could be anywhere in the circuit
between the outlet/light to the main panel.

A faulty switch/outlet is another possible cause.
If its got a loose internal connecttion or a dirty switch.
is it a cheapy ???

Last edited by dmxtothemax; 04-24-2012 at 10:04 PM.
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:07 AM   #8
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light switch/outlet combo, load issue


Quote:
Originally Posted by dmxtothemax View Post
With a bad connecttion,
it introduces unwanted resistance into the circuit,
This has the effect of limiting the current flow !
With the machine in stand by it draws very little current,
Even a light draws only a small current, (60w).
both of these lite loads would result in very little loss of
voltage across the bad joint.
So you would not know its there !
Even thou it is there !
But when you start to draw larger loads,
IE 660w instead of say 60w (light).
Now the losses across the bad joint will become significant,
possibly causing arcing, witch would cause flashing/flickering.

The bad connecttion could be anywhere in the circuit
between the outlet/light to the main panel.

A faulty switch/outlet is another possible cause.
If its got a loose internal connecttion or a dirty switch.
is it a cheapy ???
the switch/outlet combo is made by pass & seymour sold at local hardware store, not sure if it's a cheapy. I will try to replace it and see if lights still flicker.
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:22 AM   #9
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light switch/outlet combo, load issue


It is not a device problem so there is no reason to replace the combo unit.
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Old 04-25-2012, 03:38 PM   #10
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light switch/outlet combo, load issue


Quote:
Originally Posted by a7ecorsair View Post
It is not a device problem so there is no reason to replace the combo unit.
Is there a way to test if there's a connection problem without the switch/outlet combo installed?

I checked all the wiring in the switch box and there does not appear to be any loose wiring.
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Old 04-25-2012, 03:50 PM   #11
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light switch/outlet combo, load issue


Quote:
Originally Posted by xiea View Post
Is there a way to test if there's a connection problem without the switch/outlet combo installed?

I checked all the wiring in the switch box and there does not appear to be any loose wiring.
Go back and read post # 6 and answer the questions.
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Old 04-25-2012, 04:06 PM   #12
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light switch/outlet combo, load issue


Quote:
Originally Posted by a7ecorsair View Post
Go back and read post # 6 and answer the questions.
Power comes from black wire in the switch box, it's tied up with other black wires with a wire nut, I did not redo any black wire connection in the switch box, not sure what a loop is.

The existing switch had 2 black wires and 1 ground.

The new combo unit has 2 black screws on the right side for incoming hot, screws connected via a metal tab, which is still in place. I connected the hot black wire to one of the black screws, should be powering both screws using the metal tab according to combo unit instructions.

The left side has a brass screw, which I connected the second black wire (to the light, i think).

The left side also has a silver screw, which I connected to a pigtail wire I made from the existing bundle of white wires. Ground wire connected to green screw.
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Old 04-26-2012, 02:24 PM   #13
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light switch/outlet combo, load issue


I'm looking to eliminate possibly causes one by one.

1. bad switch/outlet combo
2. loose wire connection in the switch box

Anything else to add to the list to troubleshoot?
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Old 04-26-2012, 03:54 PM   #14
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light switch/outlet combo, load issue


Does the combo device you replaced with the switch have a maximum wattage rating?

What is this 660W load you are connecting?
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Old 04-26-2012, 05:48 PM   #15
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light switch/outlet combo, load issue


Quote:
Originally Posted by xiea View Post
I'm looking to eliminate possibly causes one by one.

1. bad switch/outlet combo
2. loose wire connection in the switch box

Anything else to add to the list to troubleshoot?

Please be aware !!!
That the loose/bad connction could be anywhere in the system,
not just in the j box !!!

Just because the light on its own appears to work ok,
that doesnt mean that the fault is not there !!

With bad connections, they will sometimes work ok
with a small load on them, but only become obvious
when a heavier load is placed on them.

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