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mjm 01-15-2011 11:00 AM

Switched Outlet Issue
I recently replaced a functioning switched outlet (top was switched) since it was no longer holding plugs well. The outlet is in the middle of a run and the switched outlet is controlled by a single switch. When I replaced the outlet, I broke off the brass tab and attached the wires to the outlet the same way the outlet was wired before (I think), but the outlets downrange didnít work and the switch has no affect on the switched outlet or anything down range. When I replace the outlet without breaking the tab, all outlets work but of course the switch still doesnít work. I have the top outlet wired red wire to the hot terminal on the outlet (the black wire is pigtailed to the other two black wires for the other runs), the white to the neutral terminal of the top outlet. The bottom outlet has one black wire off the pigtail connected to the hot terminal and two whites to the neutral. Iím fairly certain this is how the outlet was wired previously. I want to go back to the top outlet being controlled by the switch and of course all downrange outlets working continuously. Whatís wrong?

gregzoll 01-15-2011 11:09 AM

Loose wires in the pigtail maybe. Post a picture of said outlet.

jbfan 01-15-2011 11:59 AM

How is the switch wired?

joed 01-15-2011 01:49 PM

Did you only break the brass tab. If you broke the silver side as well that is your problem.

mjm 01-15-2011 04:09 PM

1 Attachment(s)
The silver tab is in tact. The switch had the red and white wires, the black pigtailed and I never messed with the connections on it, other than to look at it. Hope the picture is visible.

gregzoll 01-15-2011 04:24 PM

Is that a "Backstab" connection, or did you use the screws on the sides? The commercial outlets allow for the wires to be placed into the body like GCFI outlets, and the screws then tighten down a clamp to hold the wires, unlike residential outlets that do not have the same setup. Only thing I can think of, take the outlet back off, inspect the Silver tab to make sure that it did not get broken. Also, check the wire nut for the blacks, just in case it came loose when you where doing the new outlet.

joed 01-15-2011 07:45 PM

I just went back and reread your original post.
With the switch hooked up and the tab broke nothing works?
Did you do anything in the switch box? What are wiring connections in the switch box?

mjm 01-15-2011 09:47 PM

Correct, when the tab is broken off, the switch in up position, the switched outlet is dead, the bottom outlet is live, and outlets downrange of the outlet go dead.

Ref earlier post, I am using a back connect outlet however it is the type that use the screw down clamp to get a tight connection. The silver side is definitely intact. In fact, I went out and bought the same outlet, didn't break the tab, wired it the same and have that in place. All outlets work but the switch of course does nothing.

The switch is red wire and white wire on the switch, black pigtailed to black. I never disconnected or messed with the switch (that worked prior to outlet replacement) other than to pull it out of the wall to look at it.

joed 01-15-2011 11:24 PM

If you have a red and white on the switch then you need to have a white connected to the blacks to bring power to the switch.
You say you two black connected at the switch? Where is the second white wire? Sounds to me like you should have two whites connected to each other and not the switch. The two black should be connected to each other and the switch. The red should be connected to the switch.

mjm 01-17-2011 10:08 AM

I went into the switch box and looked again at the wires. The switch for the outlet I am wanting to control is still connected the same way it was pre-outlet change out. The red wire is connected to the switch, there is a black wire pigtailed to the other black wires. All the white wires are pigtailed together.

joed 01-17-2011 11:50 AM

So the switch has a red and a blck wire connected to it? That would be expected.
If that is the case then the proper wiring at the switched receptacle is
All black together and to the the lower gold terminal.
All whites together and to either silver terminal.
Red wrie to the upper terminal.

Tab broke off on the gold (hot) side only.

mjm 01-23-2011 07:41 AM

Thanks for the vector that all wires were right. I went and reconnected the pigtail in the outlet box, used the outlet with the broken off tab, double checked the connections and all is now working.

bobbulmash 06-14-2015 07:09 PM

I am truing to install a gcfi outlet with 2 white wires and one black. where does the 2nd white wire go?

AfterShockews 06-14-2015 07:56 PM


Originally Posted by bobbulmash (Post 2159322)
I am truing to install a gcfi outlet with 2 white wires and one black. where does the 2nd white wire go?

2011 called, it wants it's thread back.

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