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Old 01-31-2009, 11:19 PM   #1
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So I am scared to death of electrical so this was a big deal for me. I am refinishing my office and replaced all the ivory outlets and switches with WHITE. so I killed the power and replaced everything, everything went great. I flipped the power back on and tested all the outlets and everything worked! One problem, The light switch operates one plug on one outlet and at the moment, that plug is always on, weather the switch is on or not. There was 2 black wires, one white and one ground to just that plus. I am now frustrated, I have broke wires off in 3 new outlets now trying to switch the wires around, I am loosing my nerves and running out of new plugs to try. Any suggestions??

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Old 01-31-2009, 11:38 PM   #2
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There is a tab in between the two hot screws, that will have to be broken. This allows the top half and bottom to work indivually on that plug.

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Old 01-31-2009, 11:40 PM   #3
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I think some pictures may help understand your situation. Can you snap a few of both the switch and the outlet in question?
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Old 01-31-2009, 11:56 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by darren View Post
There is a tab in between the two hot screws, that will have to be broken. This allows the top half and bottom to work individually on that plug.
I do not see what your talking about, let me say again I have not had any experience with this kind of stuff so this is all new to me

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Originally Posted by perpetualjon View Post
I think some pictures may help understand your situation. Can you snap a few of both the switch and the outlet in question?
ok, couple others things worth mentioning, the switch did NOT have a ground wire connected when I removed the old one so I kept that off to keep consistent with what was there.


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Old 02-01-2009, 12:00 AM   #5
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Any reason why these wires are breaking inside the outlet when I go to pull them back out to switch things around? I didnt have a problem pulling the wires out of the old plug. Just operator error?
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:02 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darren
There is a tab in between the two hot screws, that will have to be broken. This allows the top half and bottom to work individually on that plug.

I do not see what your talking about, let me say again I have not had any experience with this kind of stuff so this is all new to me


There is no way to make it any more clear.

Use you needle nose pliers and pry the brass colored tab between the screws on the recep off.


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Any reason why these wires are breaking inside the outlet when I go to pull them back out to switch things around?
Yeah...because they are not designed to be just pulled out. Think about it and understand the mechanism that holds the wires in place. If you pull them out, you compromise the connection and may cause a loose connection. Loose connections cause fires.


Switch should have the ground wire hooked to it in this case.

Last edited by 220/221; 02-01-2009 at 12:07 AM.
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:27 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by jpfreak33 View Post
So I am scared to death of electrical so this was a big deal for me. I am refinishing my office and replaced all the ivory outlets and switches with WHITE. so I killed the power and replaced everything, everything went great. I flipped the power back on and tested all the outlets and everything worked! One problem, The light switch operates one plug on one outlet and at the moment, that plug is always on, weather the switch is on or not. There was 2 black wires, one white and one ground to just that plus. I am now frustrated, I have broke wires off in 3 new outlets now trying to switch the wires around, I am loosing my nerves and running out of new plugs to try. Any suggestions??
On the receptacle (outlet) there are two brass colored screws and two silver colored screws. The two brass colored screws are connected via a connecting plate. This plate has a small tab in between the two screws. If you break this tab then the top half of the receptacle will be separated from the bottom half. The black wire from your switch needs to go to either the top or bottom brass screw. Which ever half you connect your switch wire to will be the one that you can control from the switch. You do not need to break the tab between the two silver colored screws.
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:35 AM   #8
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Any reason why these wires are breaking inside the outlet when I go to pull them back out to switch things around? I didnt have a problem pulling the wires out of the old plug. Just operator error?
I believe you may be attaching the wires to the receptacle by pushing them into the little holes in the back of the receptacle. If you are doing this you can not just pull them back out. You need to release them by pushing a small flat blade screwdriver into the slot next to the wire. Push in on this and pull the wire at the same time and it should come out.

Oh and if this is the way you are connecting the wires I recommend that you connect the wires using the screws instead. The screw method is much more safe and reliable.
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Old 02-01-2009, 11:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by darren

There is no way to make it any more clear.

Use you needle nose pliers and pry the brass colored tab between the screws on the recep off.
Sorry I dont want to sound ignorant, I wasn't sure if you were talking about the metal tab or the plastic tab, I know now that its the metal tab.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steelhead View Post
On the receptacle (outlet) there are two brass colored screws and two silver colored screws. The two brass colored screws are connected via a connecting plate. This plate has a small tab in between the two screws. If you break this tab then the top half of the receptacle will be separated from the bottom half. The black wire from your switch needs to go to either the top or bottom brass screw. Which ever half you connect your switch wire to will be the one that you can control from the switch. You do not need to break the tab between the two silver colored screws.
Perfect thanks!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steelhead View Post
I believe you may be attaching the wires to the receptacle by pushing them into the little holes in the back of the receptacle. If you are doing this you can not just pull them back out. You need to release them by pushing a small flat blade screwdriver into the slot next to the wire. Push in on this and pull the wire at the same time and it should come out.

Oh and if this is the way you are connecting the wires I recommend that you connect the wires using the screws instead. The screw method is much more safe and reliable.
I was pushing the wires in the hole, I thought when I pushed them in the hole I was suppose to tighten them with the screw to make then snug, now I understand whats going on.
Thanks for everyone's help I think I can get it from here
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Old 02-01-2009, 05:04 PM   #10
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got it!
thanks guys, I also went out and bought a little 3light plug in tester and found out that I switch the hot wire on one of my outlets so I fixed that as well. Now I can start doing things I am better out, like building a desk for my office

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