DIY Home Improvement Forum banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a newbe, new home owner 2 weeks:no:. I tried to take out a small night light in the light switch. I disconnected the two wires to the switch and saw a third wire, which seemed to be disconnected and not used for anything but after close inspection I noticed that this 3rd wire came out of the second pipe in the same hole as the pipe that contained the two wires that connected to the light switch. Also there are two white wires one going from the pipe containing the two black wires to the second pipe containing the loose third black wire. Maybe this is connected to the second bedroom switch whic is also now not working?

Both light switchs in the two bedrooms four feet from each other seem to have no eclectricity as well as plug recepticals on one side of one bedroom and also one side othe the second bedroom.

I checked the breakers which never flipped ;seem fine. They are not loose etc. Could it be that a breaker is bad and this could cause no electricity to the two bedrooms? Help please!:)
 

·
Mad Scientist
Joined
·
951 Posts
A picture would be worth a thousand words here, as I'm having trouble visualizing what you're looking at.

Exactly how many wires of each color are in the box? How are they grouped as far as which conduit they come out of? How where they connected to the original switch? Was this a lighted switch, or a switch and separate pilot light in the same box?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
light switch

Thankyou so much for getting back to me. This is a light switch. There are two pipes in the box. One contains 2 blk wires and one white. The two black are the ones for the light switch that wrapped around the posts or screws. The second pipe contains the one blk wire that is loose and also contains one white. The white wires are not loose and they just loop from one pipe to the other.:mad:No electricity at this switch and the switch in the other bedroom. I still do not know what to do?
 

·
Mad Scientist
Joined
·
951 Posts
Ok. Do you have a multimeter or voltage detector? One of the black wires should be the power from the breaker box, and the other two are power out. One should be for whatever the switch used to control, and the other should be power for the rest of the circuit that's not working anymore.

Was the "loose" black wire from the second pipe capped with a wire nut or something, or just a bare wire loose in the box? Did the old switch have holes in the back to insert wires into along with the screw terminals on the side? Is it possible that wire was originally inserted in a hole on the back of the switch, and popped out when you removed the switch?

I think I know how this should be fixed, but I want to be sure of the situation first.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
switch problem

Yes steve now that you mention it the black wire could have been in one of the holes on the top or bottom of the switch because it was not capped and just a little of the wire exposed not enough to wrap aroound anything. If that wire detached could that cause no current?Thankyou.
 

·
Mad Scientist
Joined
·
951 Posts
This is how it (probably) should be: The constant hot black wire in the first pipe should be joined with a wirenut to the black wire from the second pipe, and also to a short length of wire connected to one of the terminals on the switch.

The other black wire in the first pipe should be connected to the other terminal on the switch.

You're going to need some way to check for voltage to figure out which wire is the constant hot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Excuse my ignorance but there are two posts one for each of the black wires on the side of the switch. They were on each post just as another light switch is set up in my house. I opened that one to check. But that one did not have any white wires and only one pipe. Maybe the both bedrooms are conncected somehow hence the two pipes? So that leaves the other black wire. Does it just stick in the back of the switch? Do I just shave some of the plastic off the wire and push it in the hole in the back of the switch?
 

·
Mad Scientist
Joined
·
951 Posts
You're on the right track, I'm thinking that power for the other bedroom is fed through this switch box. I don't like to use those push-in holes, because they tend to fail over time, which is why I suggest using a wirenut. You still need to figure out which wire is which in order to wire this back up, though.
 

·
Mad Scientist
Joined
·
951 Posts
Well, I can't really endorse that as a testing method :eek:, but that makes this much easier now.

First, TURN OFF THE POWER.

Then, connect the constant hot to one of the other black wires with a wirenut. Turn the power on, and see if the light is on, or if the rest of the circuit is working now.

Whichever wire brings power to the rest of the circuit needs to be wirenutted to the constant hot, and also to a short length of wire connected to a screw on the switch. The other black wire should be for the light, and should be connected to the other screw on the switch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
How would I figure that out? The two wires fit pretty well back around the posts. I guess that have been wrapped around for some time. Now they are screwed in. So that leaves the third wire, judging the length etc. It seems to go in the top hole in the back but I am not absolutely sure? If the breaker is off would the electricity be off on that constant wire or does the electricity have to be off for the whole house? If I make a mistake and put the wire in the top on the back of the switch when it was supossed to go in the bottom what can happen besides a breaker flipping when I turn the electricity back on? Sorry for all the trouble and time this is taking. Thank you
 

·
Mad Scientist
Joined
·
951 Posts
If you can tell which of the wires was on the top screw of the old switch, then that wire should probably be joined to the constant hot.

If you get the wires mixed up, the worst that should happen is you'll find that the light is always on, and the switch controls the power to the rest of the circuit.

Assuming you're flipping the correct breaker, there should be no power at all in that box with the breaker off. I'm repeating myself, but you should really invest in at least a non-contact voltage detector, to be sure that things are dead before poking around in them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
light works but

The light works but the fan on the light makes this weird noise and the light in the other room still does not work. I put the hot wire together with the top black wire. Could it be to get it to work properly the hot wire has to be connected to the bottom wire wnd the top to the post on the switch?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I tried to push the hot wire into one of the holes and it does not stay in. It says to release the wire if in ; to push on a metal part. How do you get the wire to stay in? I am trying everything?
 

·
Mad Scientist
Joined
·
951 Posts
I'm not entirely certain how you have this wired. Let me try to clarify:

You should have the constant hot connected with a wirenut to one of the two black wires in the first pipe, and also to a six-inch length of wire connected to one of the screws on the switch. The other black wire in the first pipe should be connected to the other screw on the switch.

I can't recommend using the push-in holes on the back of the switch. They make a very weak connection and have a habit of falling out or burning up, especially if there are outlets on this circuit that a vacuum or something might get plugged into.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I understand, so to by pass putting the wire in the back of the switch which is very hard to do I will buy some extra wire to make the six inch one to attach to the hot wire and black wire and then to the switch. Is that correct? Thanks for all your time.:)
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top