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Old 02-02-2013, 10:10 PM   #16
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Unless you are qualified you shouldn't try to do this yourself. Without knowing where every connection is and where every wire goes you may wind up crossing wires. You may have to open every fixture, every junction box and trace every wire before you start this project.

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Old 02-03-2013, 09:11 AM   #17
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Without knowing where every connection is and where every wire goes you may wind up crossing wires. You may (WILL absolutely) have to open every fixture, every junction box and trace every wire before you start this project.
and take notes as you go along
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:52 AM   #18
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This is a small 2 bed house. There is no basement. There are no junction boxes. My plan is to switch the wires in the main panel then just open every outlet and switch in the house and check it. The stove is the bottom wires in the box and it seems to work fine. I will not change that. I think the things I will do are the same any electrician would perform.

Apparently even though some of the switches are reversed from what they should be like now they still work. The above switch I have works even though it is the neutral connected wires that power it.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:23 AM   #19
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This is a small 2 bed house. There is no basement.
There are no junction boxes.

Every light fixture, switch and receptacle has a junction box.
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My plan is to switch the wires in the main panel then...
just open every outlet and switch in the house and check it.

That's almost what we've been saying... except in reverse.
Disconnecting or changing at the panel is the LAST step.

First identify what each of those breakers controls.
Know EVERYTHING that is on each circuit.

See *how* the lights and switching is done. Understand it.

See *how* the receptacles are done. Understand it.

Then go about fixing what needs to be fixed.
And do that one circuit at a time.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:47 AM   #20
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Ok, so step one is to turn off the power to the house. Step two is to check every switch and outlet and make sure that things like balck is to brass and whites are to silver etc. Step three is to correct things in the main panel.
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:00 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by crescere View Post
step one is to turn off the power to the house. NO
Step two is to check every switch and outlet... NO
Step LAST is to correct things in the main panel.
One out of three ain't bad isn't even a song.

Step one is to trace the circuits:
which lights are on one circuit and which lights are on another circuit
which receptacles are on one circuit and which receptacles are on another circuit
(and so forth)

Step two is to open those several device boxes (and crawl in the attic)
and map out how the several circuits feed from one to another
and then how each lights switch leg ties in.

Step three is to bring in someone with some experience to check your work and assist with Step four identify what is merely "improper" and what is dangerous... including grounds.

Step five is to fix whatever isn't right.
Turn off the breakers -one circuit at a time- and do whats needed for every device and fixture on that circuit ending up back at the panel where you put the black wire on the CB and white on the Neutral bar. Repeat as needed.

Clearer?

Last edited by TarheelTerp; 02-03-2013 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:34 PM   #22
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By the way, your panel is called a Pushmatic. Those breakers, although they're basically safe, have a problem where the lube inside dries up over time. That can cause the pushbuttons to get stuck, and the little window may not correctly identify whether the circuit is on or off. It's also very difficult to get parts for them since that design is long out of production. If you're going to be in that house for a long time, you should think about replacing it eventually.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:12 PM   #23
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Pushmatic breakers are still produced today. They aren't exactly cheap, but they are not that difficult to come by.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:36 PM   #24
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I think I paid around $20 for a single pole about 2 years ago.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:58 PM   #25
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One out of three ain't bad isn't even a song.?
I appreciate your help, but I do not think it is complicated enough to "bring in a pro." I have already traced the circuits to what they control and each does one whole room. It is actually very straight forward.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:00 PM   #26
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With the pushmatic do I hook the wires around the screw or just leave it straight and screw over it like was done by the prior owner?
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:37 PM   #27
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With the pushmatic do I hook the wires around the screw or just leave it straight and screw over it like was done by the prior owner?
You know......in a previous comment you said it isn't that complicated.....then you make an amateur statement like this one. Get a pro before you burn down your home or kill yourself.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:50 PM   #28
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...There are no junction boxes...
FYI -- Never use absolutes in these situations. There may be no junction boxes that you're aware of, but hidden junction boxes are not uncommon (although they are illegal.)
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:27 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Missouri Bound View Post
You know......in a previous comment you said it isn't that complicated.....then you make an amateur statement like this one. Get a pro before you burn down your home or kill yourself.

I am new to the “pushamatic” box, but as a landlord I assure you I have wired many outlets, lights, and switches in my day. I do not always use the same technical terms the electricians do, but that is why I come to this forum. If I wanted to spend the money to hire a pro why would I spend my time here?
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:32 PM   #30
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Because you have put bandaids on cuts, do you think you can perform surgery ?

Your wiring is screwed up. And somebody made changes to it so it appears to work, rather than to fix it properly. So you have no idea of how many other mistakes or shortcuts were made. You will not recognize them because you believe that this is a simple reverse the black and white situation.

If you do it your way, you can set up problems, that may burn the house down at some future time. It isn't always immediately.
An Electrician should go thru the entire system and make sure it is safe for your tenants and to protect your investment.

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