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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought a house and I am doing remodeling. One of the things I am doing is adding recessed lighting in the main living room. There are no lights in the ceiling right now but there are three switches. One operates outside light and the other two do nothing. I figured they were going to lead to a switched outlet but all the outlets work non stop.

So my thought is to remove each outlet and wire nut those set of wires together to just have constant power where ever they go. Any ideas here?

20210502_184841.jpg


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The 2 pictured are 3 way switches. Is this a 2 story house with stairway nearby? Could go to stairway or upstairs hall light.
Also, someone might have replaced the outlets and did not break off the tab to separate the 2 halves.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
They both get power into the top from the same source. Then one switch has a black and red feed out. And the other switch has a separate black and red feed out.

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The 2 pictured are 3 way switches. Is this a 2 story house with stairway nearby? Could go to stairway or upstairs hall light.
Also, someone might have replaced the outlets and did not break off the tab to separate the 2 halves.
No its one story but has finished basement. I went around to every light and socket in the house with the switches off and everything worked.

I did pull an outlet out right near the switch box and the tab is not broken off.

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retired framer
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Yes, across the room on a small partition wall to the kitchen. There is a switch and one outlet. Again, the switch there does not operate anything. Outlet is hot all the time.


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If an outlet as 2 black wires each to there own screw, remove one and see if it is efected by the switch and then do the same with the other wire, If one switches the utlet on and off, break the tab between the brass screws
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If an outlet as 2 black wires each to there own screw, remove one and see if it is efected by the switch and then do the same with the other wire, If one switches the utlet on and off, break the tab between the brass screws
Wouldn't that make it now need the switch to operate?

What I want to do is get rid of the switches. I am going to keep the switch that controls the outside light and add a dimmer for my recessed lights.

What I was going to do was remove each switch and wire nut the wires together that were connected into the switch so it's always hot.

Since it's basically like that now, there is no change switch on/off.


Tomorrow I am going to disconnect the power wire from the switches and see if the outlets are affected.

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retired framer
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Often when there is no ceiling light they made outlets half switched, then years later people change outlets and didn't know to break the link between the brass screws.
 

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Contractor/Engineer
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Garage light, side of house light, etc. or, perhaps someone rewired a switched outlet and forgot to break the hot tab between halves?
 

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Did you check the outdoor outlets also? Sometimes people put those on switches. Or they might have outlets up in the eaves for Christmas lights etc.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Did you check the outdoor outlets also? Sometimes people put those on switches. Or they might have outlets up in the eaves for Christmas lights etc.
Yes that's one of the things I looked for. There are none on that side of the house. One thing I have to check is the garage flood light. There is a switch for that in the garage already but it's possible it also operates that.

I'll be there this evening, I'm going to remove the hot wire that feeds the box and see if anything is affected by it.

Whatever is I'll probably want always hot anyway so I'll cut the switch out and hook it into the hot.

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Often when there is no ceiling light they made outlets half switched, then years later people change outlets and didn't know to break the link between the brass screws.
I agree and have found this condition before. I would check this first. Make sure the tabs are broken. This keeps the receptacles hot all the time regardless of switch position.
OP is this a new house or was it occupied before? You never know what others have done.

One more thing. I have several dummy switches around my house. When I updated the wiring I used 2 gang boxes in switch locations. I had planned to run a cable out, but never got to it. So there are 3 I know about that do nothing but fill the slot on the trim plate. I still turn them on now and again and they do nothing.
 

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My guess is a ceiling light fixture that has been covered up during a renovation. A circuit finder/tracer will tell the story.
 

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One more thing. I have several dummy switches around my house.
Lol, I have one in my den. I had a 3-gang box into which I had to pull an additional pair of cables to correct an error that the rough-in electrician made. That created a box fill issue. To fix it, I replaced the 3-gang box with a 4-gang. So now the box has one switch that just fills the hole and is not connected to anything.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yea I can't leave it if it doesn't work. I'm too ocd.

One of the switches used to operate the light at the bottom of the basement stairs and the outlet along that same wall.
I disconnected the power wire and touched it to each of the wires that was connected to it. The other wires led to nothing, I think. As far as I know everything operates every where even in the basement so the likelihood of it operating some random outlet down there is not even worth worrying about.

So what I did was remove the switchs and just reconnect the wires how they were. So now I have my dimmer for my recesses lights and my outside light.

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