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Old 09-23-2009, 01:21 AM   #1
 
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light switch unresponsive


one of my bedrooms has a lightswitch that doesnt do anything. it's the only lightswitch in that room and i've tried all the sockets. i dont have many electrical skills, is there an easy fix?
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Old 09-23-2009, 04:50 AM   #2
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is there a fixture on the ceiling?

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Old 09-23-2009, 04:58 AM   #3
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Well first make sure there is power at the switch. Second the switch could go to a whip in the ceiling. The electrician might of prewired for a future ceiling fan/light. It really could be anything.
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Old 09-23-2009, 05:01 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pollybest View Post
.......and i've tried all the sockets.......
Polly, Welcome to the Forum

Duplex Receptacles are made so that they can be configured upon installation so that one of the Outlets is Switched and the other always has power.

Turn the switch OFF and try ALL the Outlets (top & bottom). Usually only one of the Outlets in a room without a mounted light fixture will be Switched.

Report the results

.
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light switch unresponsive-duplex-receptacle-tab.jpg  
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Last edited by PaliBob; 09-23-2009 at 01:33 PM. Reason: added 'TAB' to pic
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Old 09-23-2009, 10:31 AM   #5
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Is there a fireplace in the bedroom? Sometimes the builder will install a switch in the plans when there is an option for a blower, but the homeowner does not select that option.
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Old 09-23-2009, 12:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaliBob View Post

Polly, Welcome to the Forum

Duplex Receptacles are made so that they can be configured upon installation so that one of the Outlets is Switched and the other always has power.

Turn the switch OFF and try ALL the Outlets (top & bottom). Usually only one of the Outlets in a room without a mounted light fixture will be Switched.

Report the results

.

And that receptacle would have tab braken off between the two gold scews. If someone replaced the receptacles and didn't remove the tab on the receptacle, the switch would do nothing. The recepatcle would always be on now.
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Old 09-23-2009, 01:37 PM   #7
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Joed, Good point on the Tab. I annotated my pic to show the Tab location.
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Old 09-24-2009, 09:31 AM   #8
 
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ok, i tried plugging it into every outlet and one of them worked. thank you so much for the input.
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Old 09-24-2009, 03:20 PM   #9
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Joed raises an interesting question (without hijacking the thread as the issue has been resolved), but say all the receptacles have been replaced w/o tabs broken (as it appears with me... I have a "switch to nowhere" I've been trying to disgnose), would there be any clues on the wiring incoming to that receptacle to look for?
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Old 09-24-2009, 03:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeviDIY View Post
Joed raises an interesting question (without hijacking the thread as the issue has been resolved), but say all the receptacles have been replaced w/o tabs broken (as it appears with me... I have a "switch to nowhere" I've been trying to disgnose), would there be any clues on the wiring incoming to that receptacle to look for?
One possibility is a red wire along with the black and white.
Another is a white wire coded with black tape and connected to the black wire of the incoming power.
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Old 09-24-2009, 04:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeviDIY View Post
....... would there be any clues on the wiring incoming to that receptacle to look for?
Starting at the receptacle most likely to be switched i.e. an outlet close to where the bed might be placed:

  1. Remove the trim plate
  2. Check to see if there are two wires on the side marked 'TAB' in the pic
  3. If so, and the wires are different colors e.g. Black & Red then you've found it
  4. If the wires are the same color, check out the next most likely receptacle
This won't be as easy if the switch leg and AC are the same color but it will still help isolate the culprit outlet, because if you go around the room and only one receptacle has two wires on the side marked TAB in the pic then you’ve found it.
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Old 09-24-2009, 04:07 PM   #12
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I"m not even home and I think I have an idea which one it is... thanks!
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