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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is probably a stupid question but here goes.

The bathroom light switch failed, so I replaced it. New switch and still no go.

After killing the power and pulling the switch from the box I noticed there is a disconnected black wire just hanging around and I have no idea where it goes.

This is an old house and there was no ground on the old switch.

So , please where does this loose wire go??
 

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What does your electrical tester tell you?

In old houses, wire color does not help you trouble shoot--just a tester will.
 

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It is possible that that box has only switch wiring and the power is at the light fixture opening----

We have a bunch of electricians here--one will be along soon.
 

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After killing the power and pulling the switch from the box I noticed there is a disconnected black wire just hanging around and I have no idea where it goes.
From your post, sounds like a broken black wire like you mentioned. Again pics could be deceiving.

Agree with yodaman, turn off power and investigate further. Verify where it broke from.

An electrician will be along soon to tell you the best way to fix it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Looks like a broken piece of black wire caped off with the neutrals. Again pics could be deceiving.

Is the black wire coming off the switch just dangling there?

Agree with yodaman, turn off power and investigate further.
No, the black wire attached to the switch is wire coming from the wall and through the box.

I was thinking the loose wire was capped with the red capped wire.

Thanks guys
 

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No, the black wire attached to the switch is wire coming from the wall and through the box.

I was thinking the loose wire was capped with the red capped wire.

Thanks guys
Could be. Makes sense. May have broken off under the wire nut. Turn off power, pull out red wire, uncap it and find out.

An electrician will respond soon. Thanks.
 

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Is the red wire with the wire nut attached to anything? If not that SHOULD BE where it goes. Check the black wire that's broken against the ground wire then check the other black wire against ground wire you should see around 120v on one of those two you won't see anything measuring against other wires. Also you really need to clean up your wires to your receptacle, should be no tails sticking out which is a safety issue and the wires should be fully seated under the screws. I don't want to come off sounding like a prick but I also don't want to hear about a fire or anything else that could go wrong.

Sent from my XT1097 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Is the red wire with the wire nut attached to anything? If not that SHOULD BE where it goes. Check the black wire that's broken against the ground wire then check the other black wire against ground wire you should see around 120v on one of those two you won't see anything measuring against other wires. Also you really need to clean up your wires to your receptacle, should be no tails sticking out which is a safety issue and the wires should be fully seated under the screws. I don't want to come off sounding like a prick but I also don't want to hear about a fire or anything else that could go wrong.

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Well, I checked again and the loose black wire is live. Apparently I was only touching the black casing and not the actual wire.
The red wire with the nut doesn't appear to be attached to anything.
 

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I'm not telling you what to do however if it was me I would switch power off to the outlet and connect the broken black wire to the red with the wire nut make sure the switch is off and flip the breaker seeing if the switch works.

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That red wire should be wrapped around the screw the other way, CW not CCW.

Have you checked for a tripped GFCI ? A tripped GFCI upstream of the switch/light would kill the power to them, even with the breaker on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
That red wire should be wrapped around the screw the other way, CW not CCW.

Have you checked for a tripped GFCI ? A tripped GFCI upstream of the switch/light would kill the power to them, even with the breaker on.
There aren't any GFCI's installed. They will be installed once the bathroom is remodeled.

The house was built in 1957 or 1958.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'm not telling you what to do however if it was me I would switch power off to the outlet and connect the broken black wire to the red with the wire nut make sure the switch is off and flip the breaker seeing if the switch works.

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Ok I cleaned up the mess in the box first of all.
Ok I hooked the 2 red wires with the loose black wire and the switch worked but I can't shut it off.
 

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OK so then the broken black wire then gets connected to the black wire on the switch. If u can't shut it off u just bypassed the switch. Unless it was a 3 way switch. Is there another switch that controlled the light too?

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
OK so then the broken black wire then gets connected to the black wire on the switch. If u can't shut it off u just bypassed the switch. Unless it was a 3 way switch. Is there another switch that controlled the light too?

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Nope, just the one switch.
So, I have 2 black wires connected to the switch; correct?
 
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