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Old 08-14-2010, 04:57 PM   #1
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series of 1/2 switched outlets


Hello. I have 6 1/2 switched outlets. I changed them out in color. I wired them exactly as they were...traveller as the hot on the switched 1/2. I broke out the connector on the hot/copper side of all the outlets. The power source is at the switch. They are all hot all the time..the switch has no effect. What did I do wrong?
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Old 08-14-2010, 05:25 PM   #2
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series of 1/2 switched outlets


Did you do anything in the switch?

Did you take apart any joints in the plugs?

Did you break off the proper side(the brass screw) and is it broken off completely?

Its difficult to troubleshoot without seeing it but check the above items first.

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Old 08-14-2010, 05:31 PM   #3
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series of 1/2 switched outlets


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Hello. I have 6 1/2 switched outlets. I changed them out in color. I wired them exactly as they were...traveller as the hot on the switched 1/2. I broke out the connector on the hot/copper side of all the outlets. The power source is at the switch. They are all hot all the time..the switch has no effect. What did I do wrong?

Thanks
Do any wiring changes at the switch box?

Explain what wire and its color is on the switched hot of the switch, then go to the first receptacle and explain how you connected the wires to that receptacle ... pictures would be great.

Did you check the half of the receptacle that isn't supposed to be switched to make sure it isn't being controlled by the switch??

Are you using the term traveler for the switched Hot from a single pole switch not a 3-way??
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Old 08-14-2010, 06:10 PM   #4
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series of 1/2 switched outlets


The switch has a red traveller and a black wire with insulation out of it so it can wrap around the screw and travel on...it was done like this before.

The old outlets did not have pigtails. They had both the red wire from the switch and the red wire that travels to the next outlet on the same copper screw. I connected a pigtail from the two red wires in the box to the copper screw... Could this have messed things up?
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Old 08-14-2010, 07:09 PM   #5
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series of 1/2 switched outlets


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Originally Posted by chiefsfantrish View Post
The switch has a red traveller and a black wire with insulation out of it so it can wrap around the screw and travel on...it was done like this before.

The old outlets did not have pigtails. They had both the red wire from the switch and the red wire that travels to the next outlet on the same copper screw. I connected a pigtail from the two red wires in the box to the copper screw... Could this have messed things up?
Thanks
Nope the pigtails are fine. Black should be your constant hot to the receptacles and red should be your switched.

Sounds like you have conduit not sheathed cables is that correct ?

With the switch off test the red wire at the screw see if it stays hot....shouldn't be.

Be sure that black and red are not on the same screw or the red is not in a backstab hole and the black around the screw next to it. Could be the red is not in the correct backstab on the switch. Meaning both red and black are connected. Move one or the other to an unocuppied screw.
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Old 08-14-2010, 10:18 PM   #6
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series of 1/2 switched outlets


It only take one receptacle with the tab still on to make all of them unswitched. Check them all again for a missed tab.
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Old 08-14-2010, 10:22 PM   #7
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series of 1/2 switched outlets


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It only take one receptacle with the tab still on to make all of them unswitched. Check them all again for a missed tab.
Good call.
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Old 08-14-2010, 10:48 PM   #8
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series of 1/2 switched outlets


Thanks for taking the time to answer...
I checked all the connectors on the hot sides of the outlet and they are broken off. I also checked to make sure that only the red wires are on the top half/switched half of the outlet and all is okay.

I am really stumped here. Do I need a special switch for that many outlets? Does it matter where the neutral is on the last outlet in the series (top half = switched half)?

I am grasping at straws.

Thanks again,
Trish
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Old 08-15-2010, 03:17 AM   #9
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series of 1/2 switched outlets


Trish

Did you change out the switch when you changed out the receptacles?
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Old 08-15-2010, 07:35 AM   #10
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series of 1/2 switched outlets


Yes. I changed it out again yesterday just in case. It only has two wires going to it so I don't think the wiring issue is there.
Thanks
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Old 08-15-2010, 12:15 PM   #11
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series of 1/2 switched outlets


Do you have a voltage tester? Do you know how to use it?

Be safe turn off the breaker for the circuit till you get the switch where you can test the red wire then turn the breaker back on. Do not touch anything in the switch box at that point except with the voltage tester probes. Stay focused. Turn breaker off after testing then tell us the results.

If so I want you to test the red wire at the switch screw. Toggle the switch to 'off' and test the red wire for voltage ... touch the screw with the voltage probe and the other probe to ground with red wire connected to screw....shouldn't be hot ..ie.. show voltage.

Alternate method ...You can disconnect the red wire if it is easier .. do nothing at the switch .. and test the red wire to ground should not have voltage.

Might as well test the black while your at it ... it should be hot no matter what position the switch is in.

Can you post any pictures of the switch box ??

In the switch box I'm picturing a black and white bringing neutral (white) and power (black) into the switch box then the black connected to one screw of the switch. Leaving the switch box to the receptacles is the black, then a single red connected to the switch (not onward connected like the black) and the white ... any other wires please let us know.
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Old 08-15-2010, 02:18 PM   #12
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series of 1/2 switched outlets


The switch has no whites...it is tied off with the other whites for the other 3 switches in the box.
Thanks
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Old 08-15-2010, 04:25 PM   #13
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series of 1/2 switched outlets


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The switch has no whites...it is tied off with the other whites for the other 3 switches in the box.
Thanks
Well we are starting to open up other possibilities. Were you able to do the tests I mentioned?

Also at the receptacles how did you connect the black wire and red pigtails are they connected to screws or holes in the back of the receptacles ?

Did you check to see if both top and bottom were hot? Plug a lamp into both top and bottom and see if it lights up.

Trish you need to answer the questions... all... of them and do what we ask....
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Old 08-15-2010, 09:49 PM   #14
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series of 1/2 switched outlets


Stubbie:
thanks for sticking with me! I was working earlier so wasn't able to access the box and then I had to find a working voltage meter.

Okay. The switch box has 4 switches. I had forgotten that there are two switches for outlets.

Switch No. 1: Has pigtail feed off power source black wire. Has traveller (red wire) connected. Red wire is always hot, regardless of switch position. Black wire is always hot.

Switch No. 2: Controls lights directed at fireplace. Has black and white. Functions properly.

Switch no. 3: controls overhead fan/light: Has black and white and functions properly.,

Switch no. 4: controls only 1 one half switched outlet. Has a red wire that is only hot when switch is on, black wire is always hot. But, outlet is always hot.

The last outlet in the series of switched outlets has only 3 wires, a white, a black and a red. It doesn't work we just found out. It doesn't work when the switch is on or off.

again, all the connectors on the copper side have been broken off. All the travelers, the red wires, are all hooked to the top screws. There is a wire nut connecting the entering red and the exiting red wires and the connection also has a pigtail to the screw of the outlet. Same with the black wires.

I swear that the only thing I did differently was add the pigtails!

Thanks, Trish
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:10 PM   #15
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series of 1/2 switched outlets


Okay, a bit more information. The end of the line of the 1/2 switched outlets: The top copper has red. The bottom has black. The bottom on the other side has the white/neutral.

The top is always hot. The bottom plug does not work on that outlet. The copper side connector has been broken out.

Thanks.
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