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Old 08-04-2008, 11:05 AM   #16
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Lights stay on


Thank you for the link on 3 way switches. After reading that I know this circuit is not a 3 way switch. Only one switch controls the one set of lights. I'm going to try to follow the AC source wire back to the breaker panel in the basement, I suspect they mis-wired the white as line voltage because the AC source in the wall box doesn't come from a fixture. Also I do have a 3-way switch in the house and when I opened that up I noticed that there they did label the white with some black tape to indicate the hot wire.

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Old 08-04-2008, 01:18 PM   #17
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Lights stay on


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Originally Posted by wsixsmith View Post
Thank you for the link on 3 way switches. After reading that I know this circuit is not a 3 way switch. Only one switch controls the one set of lights. I'm going to try to follow the AC source wire back to the breaker panel in the basement, I suspect they mis-wired the white as line voltage because the AC source in the wall box doesn't come from a fixture. Also I do have a 3-way switch in the house and when I opened that up I noticed that there they did label the white with some black tape to indicate the hot wire.
Well, at least you know that you can control the light from that switch box.
Keep in mind that white neutral will have 118v measured when the neutral feed is disconnected. This voltage comes via a device such as a light bulb.
Electricians are always getting 'poked' form neutral voltages, we assume that its the blacks that are hot, and get careless around the whites.
When I use a volt-meter, I always use the box ground as a reference. Measuring to neutrals can be confusing.
The first thing for you to do is establish the 'true' neutral.
Measure for voltage on all the whites. Then check for a ground on the ones without voltage. (using the ohms scale to the box ground)
Once you know exactly, which cable is the feeder, connect all the whites together.
Then connect the hot feeder to the switches by bridging.
Finally, connect the out-going black wires to the switches.
You mentioned previously that you measured a low voltage across a switch that was in the ON position. This means that there is fault with the switch and it must be replaced.
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Old 08-05-2008, 07:20 PM   #18
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Lights stay on


I did manage to find one of the problems. One of the lights outside had been shorted out by someone pulling on the light and the insulation on the wire was stripped off. So Once I fixed the short I reconnected everything the same way it was previously, which was all the whites connected together and all the blacks connected together and then everything works. Thanks for the help. I do have one other issue now but I think I'll open it in a new thread.

Thanks again
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Old 08-05-2008, 07:39 PM   #19
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Old 08-05-2008, 07:43 PM   #20
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Lights stay on


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Originally Posted by wsixsmith View Post
I did manage to find one of the problems. One of the lights outside had been shorted out by someone pulling on the light and the insulation on the wire was stripped off. So Once I fixed the short I reconnected everything the same way it was previously, which was all the whites connected together and all the blacks connected together and then everything works. Thanks for the help. I do have one other issue now but I think I'll open it in a new thread.

Thanks again
Summary:
Do you believe all the problems were caused by this short?
Is everything fixed now?

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