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Old 02-06-2013, 06:31 PM   #1
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Putting an outlet in the attic


So I thought I would attempt a simple task of putting a duplex in my attic. There was already a switch and a light up there, so I cut the 14-2 off before it got to the switch and wired up a duplex, and then connected the other side of the 14-2 to the other terminals on the duplex. I tried using it and nothing worked. The ground in the switch junction box isn't attached so do i need to pigtail it? Also the terminal with the x next to it is just stuck in the back, ive never seen that before is it anything to worry about? I'm thinking maybe I need a 14-3 or something? I'm obviously very new to this so any help would be greatly appreciated.

Heres a diagram of what im working with. http://imgur.com/PSQ1CcX

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Old 02-06-2013, 06:54 PM   #2
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Putting an outlet in the attic


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Originally Posted by ksullan View Post
So I thought I would attempt a simple task of putting a duplex in my attic.
There was already a switch and a light up there, so...

I cut the 14-2 off before it got to the switch...
Did you verify that the 14/2 at the switch was "always hot" (the feed)
and not just a switch leg which is far (far!) more common in older homes?

Take another look to see if any other wires are at the light fixture.

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Old 02-06-2013, 07:01 PM   #3
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Putting an outlet in the attic


I checked the light fixture; there is one 14-2 going into it from the switch. How do i tell if its a switch leg?
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Old 02-06-2013, 07:22 PM   #4
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Putting an outlet in the attic


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Originally Posted by ksullan View Post
I checked the light fixture; there is one 14-2 going into it from the switch. How do i tell if its a switch leg?
I asked because if all is as you show in that drawing...
it will (should) work. Check it again.

One point: is the receptacle brand new?
If not... look on the side to be sure the tabs are there.
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Old 02-06-2013, 07:34 PM   #5
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Putting an outlet in the attic


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Originally Posted by TarheelTerp View Post
I asked because if all is as you show in that drawing...
it will (should) work. Check it again.

One point: is the receptacle brand new?
If not... look on the side to be sure the tabs are there.
So does this mean it's not a switch leg? And the receptacle was bought today. The only errors I noticed in my diagram were the black and white wires are actually spliced between the duplex and the switch, although that doesn't exactly change things up too much.
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Old 02-06-2013, 07:35 PM   #6
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Putting an outlet in the attic


Aren't* (sorry not sure how to edit my post)
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:40 PM   #7
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Putting an outlet in the attic


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Originally Posted by ksullan View Post
The only errors I noticed in my diagram were the black and white wires are actually spliced between the duplex and the switch...
The layout as shown is fine.
A new receptacle should be fine.
All that's left is the integrity of the several connections.

black ----> Recept ----> Switch __. /.__ ----> Light
white ----> Recept ----> Light
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:42 PM   #8
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Putting an outlet in the attic


Maybe I just need to re-re-recheck my splices.
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:56 PM   #9
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Putting an outlet in the attic


Oh I may have left out a detail that I didn't realize could have effected it until now. When Initially cutting into the wire it caused a spark because I turned off each individual fuse on the fusebox instead of just turning off the main. (pretty dumb right? did I say this was my first electrical excursion?) Could this possibly have shorted something out?
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:17 PM   #10
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Putting an outlet in the attic


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Originally Posted by ksullan View Post
Oh I may have left out a detail that I didn't realize could have effected it until now. When Initially cutting into the wire it caused a spark because I turned off each individual fuse on the fusebox instead of just turning off the main. (pretty dumb right? did I say this was my first electrical excursion?) Could this possibly have shorted something out?


Then you probably blew a fuse and that's why you don't have any power,check your fuse's.
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:25 PM   #11
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Putting an outlet in the attic


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Then you probably blew a fuse and that's why you don't have any power,check your fuse's.
Oh man that seems too obvious now. Sorry for wasting everyone's time. So I just flip all the fuses back and forth?
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:16 PM   #12
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Putting an outlet in the attic


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Oh man that seems too obvious now. Sorry for wasting everyone's time. So I just flip all the fuses back and forth?
If you are flipping fuses, you have another whole set of problems! If you don't know the difference between fuses and circuit breakers (which you obviously have if you are flipping them), you would probably be much safer calling for a professional electrician.
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:32 PM   #13
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Putting an outlet in the attic


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If you are flipping fuses, you have another whole set of problems! If you don't know the difference between fuses and circuit breakers (which you obviously have if you are flipping them), you would probably be much safer calling for a professional electrician.
Oh right fuses are the glass pieces.. I know I don't have those, I just get my terminology confused. Do you really think a professional is necessary if all I have to do is flip my circuit breakers?
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:43 AM   #14
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Putting an outlet in the attic


Don't worry too much about the terms used, not everyone knows the difference between lighting outlets and receptacle outlets either.
What one area calls something isn't always the same somewhere else.

When I tell my guys to "go pull the main" they know I just want the main breaker turned off.
Yes check your breakers, sounds like you may have tripped one.

Just two quick questions, did you install the duplex receptacle in a box? and is it a GFCI receptacle?
Most of the time when a wire is cut in the middle, there is not enough wire to bring into a box and make connections, I obviously do not know your setup and there may have been plenty to use.
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:47 AM   #15
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Putting an outlet in the attic


I added an outlet in my attic. I had power at the current light in the attic. The switch for the light is not in the attic but was down below so a switch loop is run. The black line in the photos below is the switch loop.
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Putting an outlet in the attic-rrrrrrr.jpg   Putting an outlet in the attic-sssssss.jpg   Putting an outlet in the attic-ttttttt.jpg  


Last edited by rosem637; 02-07-2013 at 07:51 AM.
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