GlockTalk.com
Home Forums Classifieds Blogs Today's Posts Search Social Groups



  
SIGN-UP
Notices

Glock Talk
Welcome To The Glock Talk Forums.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-26-2013, 12:01   #1
NanH
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,120
Electric switch help needed

We recently remodeled a bathroom and changed the lights and switches. The change was cosmetic. We unhooked the old and put the new in the same place.

At some point in this project, the light in the other bathroom stopped working. They are on the same circuit. Everything on that circuit still works except for one light. We thought it might be one switch, since it was the last switch we changed, but when we tested it with the old switch, it was still out.

Any ideas?
__________________
Itīs expected that a woman always keep a tidy house, empty laundry baskets, has her makeup done, smells good, is healthy, in good shape, watches her language and never does anything wrong. I am starting to suspect I am a man.
NanH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2013, 12:22   #2
byf43
NRA Life Member
 
byf43's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Southern Maryland
Posts: 13,308
Sounds as though not all of the wires were put together, when new switches were installed.

I'll wager that either a 'hot wire' (black or red) or the 'neutral wire' (white) is either not connected, or, the connection is loose.
__________________
G21 Gen2; G19 Gen3; G30SF; G23 Gen3; G26 Gen4. GLOCK Certified Armorer

"Live Free. Practice democracy. Make a difference. Love your family and your country." H.N.K. (My Dad) 09/02/1924 - 05/11/2012
byf43 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2013, 12:33   #3
gwalchmai
Lucky Member
 
gwalchmai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Outside the perimeter
Posts: 44,139


Also make sure the wire feeding the light in question didn't get cut.
gwalchmai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2013, 12:41   #4
Highspeedlane
NRA Life Member
 
Highspeedlane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: MA and N.C.
Posts: 3,580
When dealing with open circuits you have to rely on either a multimeter or a voltage detector to find where you are losing feed.

If you don't have familiarity with them there are usually hardware stores with someone knowledgeable enough to explain how to use them or Youtube it. Good luck.
__________________
I'm a non-paid, non-attorney spokesman.
Highspeedlane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2013, 13:05   #5
NanH
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,120
All the wiring is attached. If it wasn't, it wouldn't work the other things on the line. Same thing with a cut wire. That's the part I find odd. we replaced the lights and switches, which all work, but the light in the other bathroom now doesn't work.

The volt meter has been borrowed, so we can't figure that part out, today.
__________________
Itīs expected that a woman always keep a tidy house, empty laundry baskets, has her makeup done, smells good, is healthy, in good shape, watches her language and never does anything wrong. I am starting to suspect I am a man.
NanH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2013, 14:20   #6
TX OMFS
Right wing nut
 
TX OMFS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,777
Is the bulb burned out?

Otherwise you have an open circuit.
__________________
Bad decisions make good stories.
TX OMFS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2013, 15:34   #7
NanH
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,120
No, the bulb isn't burned out. How do I find the problem? I have power at the replaced switch, no power at the second bathroom switch.
__________________
Itīs expected that a woman always keep a tidy house, empty laundry baskets, has her makeup done, smells good, is healthy, in good shape, watches her language and never does anything wrong. I am starting to suspect I am a man.
NanH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2013, 15:48   #8
selogic
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: The deep South
Posts: 264
Is there a GFCI in either of those rooms ?
selogic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2013, 15:50   #9
Adjuster
Senior Member
 
Adjuster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Ft. Lauderdale FL
Posts: 9,889
Quote:
Originally Posted by NanH View Post
No, the bulb isn't burned out. How do I find the problem? I have power at the replaced switch, no power at the second bathroom switch.

Somewhere there was a feed going to that non working switch. Most likely piggybacked off one of the switches or outlets in the new bathroom. There is a wire in one of the new bathroom boxes either switch or outlet that didn't get hooked up or possible bad connection in a wire nut or something.


/
Adjuster is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2013, 15:50   #10
stevemc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 464
It's possible that you pulled a splice apart in another box, maybe back to back with the one you were working on. I would take the switch that doesn't work out of the wall- test to make sure there is no voltage and give a small tug on the hot, usually wired to the top screw of the switch or the splice in the box. Find which one feeds back to the first box and where the open is. Some "electricians" just hold the wires together and put the wire nut over it. That is both a terrible idea and illegal. If that is what is going on in your house, it's time to get the splices made up right.
stevemc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2013, 15:53   #11
NanH
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,120
Quote:
Originally Posted by selogic View Post
Is there a GFCI in either of those rooms ?
There is in both, but they are on a different circuit.
__________________
Itīs expected that a woman always keep a tidy house, empty laundry baskets, has her makeup done, smells good, is healthy, in good shape, watches her language and never does anything wrong. I am starting to suspect I am a man.
NanH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2013, 15:54   #12
NanH
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,120
I am going to go take a peek at the other switch and do some tugging. Will report back.
__________________
Itīs expected that a woman always keep a tidy house, empty laundry baskets, has her makeup done, smells good, is healthy, in good shape, watches her language and never does anything wrong. I am starting to suspect I am a man.
NanH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2013, 15:57   #13
stevemc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 464
Quote:
Originally Posted by NanH View Post
I am going to go take a peek at the other switch and do some tugging. Will report back.
Hey now.
stevemc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2013, 16:12   #14
byf43
NRA Life Member
 
byf43's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Southern Maryland
Posts: 13,308
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevemc View Post
It's possible that you pulled a splice apart in another box, maybe back to back with the one you were working on. I would take the switch that doesn't work out of the wall- test to make sure there is no voltage and give a small tug on the hot, usually wired to the top screw of the switch or the splice in the box. Find which one feeds back to the first box and where the open is. Some "electricians" just hold the wires together and put the wire nut over it. That is both a terrible idea and illegal. If that is what is going on in your house, it's time to get the splices made up right.
I've also seen where 'the electrician' didn't strip the wire(s) back, and twisted the pair together with a wirenut.

(Hint to OP: Current isn't supposed to flow through insulation.)


Many years ago, I got a call from my sister and b-i-l.
They replaced an outlet, and the rest of the room 'went dark'.
ONE wire had slipped out of the bundle/wirenut and wasn't making the circuit.

Fifteen minutes with a 'test light' and some re-wiring of their electrical outlet box...... they were good-to-go.

Spend $5 to $7 on an LED test light, so that you can test the connections.
The only issue with this is, you're putting your hands near an energized circuit.
BE CAREFUL!!!!!
__________________
G21 Gen2; G19 Gen3; G30SF; G23 Gen3; G26 Gen4. GLOCK Certified Armorer

"Live Free. Practice democracy. Make a difference. Love your family and your country." H.N.K. (My Dad) 09/02/1924 - 05/11/2012
byf43 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2013, 16:30   #15
gwalchmai
Lucky Member
 
gwalchmai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Outside the perimeter
Posts: 44,139


Quote:
Originally Posted by NanH View Post
No, the bulb isn't burned out. How do I find the problem? I have power at the replaced switch, no power at the second bathroom switch.
You have just described an open conductor. Replace the wire.
gwalchmai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2013, 16:45   #16
Highspeedlane
NRA Life Member
 
Highspeedlane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: MA and N.C.
Posts: 3,580
Sounds like you need to check each connection you changed when you swapped out the switch and lights.

As mentioned before, sometimes several wires are twisted together with a wire nut to make a connection to several different points. Sometimes those wires (the expose copper portion beyond the insulator) gets fatigued and breaks. Sometimes the wire lengths are not uniform and one will fall out of the twist, losing connection.

Kill power (verify) then carefully look at all the connections you made when you did the work.
__________________
I'm a non-paid, non-attorney spokesman.
Highspeedlane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2013, 17:15   #17
NanH
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,120
The first thing I did was just take the switch out. The non working light now worked. I put the old switch back in and it worked. I don't know why it didn't when DH checked it earlier, but it did now.

Well, I'm a dummy, I guess. When I replaced the switch, I carefully noted how it was wired and re did it the same way. I either wasn't as careful as I thought or the sides of the switches are not always the same. I had it wired backwards. After a google search, I reversed the wires and now it all works.
__________________
Itīs expected that a woman always keep a tidy house, empty laundry baskets, has her makeup done, smells good, is healthy, in good shape, watches her language and never does anything wrong. I am starting to suspect I am a man.
NanH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2013, 17:20   #18
Highspeedlane
NRA Life Member
 
Highspeedlane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: MA and N.C.
Posts: 3,580
Quote:
Originally Posted by NanH View Post
The first thing I did was just take the switch out. The non working light now worked. I put the old switch back in and it worked. I don't know why it didn't when DH checked it earlier, but it did now.

Well, I'm a dummy, I guess. When I replaced the switch, I carefully noted how it was wired and re did it the same way. I either wasn't as careful as I thought or the sides of the switches are not always the same. I had it wired backwards. After a google search, I reversed the wires and now it all works.
Stuff happens. Good going and thanks for the update.
__________________
I'm a non-paid, non-attorney spokesman.
Highspeedlane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-26-2013, 20:19   #19
stevemc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 464
Nan,

Glad it's working again. Just as a reference, electricians always put the hot on the top terminal. That goes from a bathroom light switch all the way up to the biggest switch gear. The hot will be black or red and the switch leg is usually yellow/orange/brown, etc. anything but black or red. It will work if wired the other way as all it is really doing is connecting the two wires together. I still feel that you could have a loose splice that just "made" as you were troubleshooting. Please keep an eye on it, especially if there is any type of burning smell that you notice. It will take an experienced electrician less than one hour to redo all the terminations and splices involved and is well worth it IMHO.
stevemc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2013, 04:09   #20
Paul53
Geezer Boomer
 
Paul53's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Rosa's Cantina
Posts: 3,818
So, while we're talking wiring, exactly how long is a short circuit anyway?

What's a decibel sound like when it rings?

Should I wave back if I see a sine wave?
__________________
"A little learning is a dang'rous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, And drinking largely sobers us again."

Paul53 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2013, 04:26   #21
Bello
America/Italia
 
Bello's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: East Coast
Posts: 2,206
Take a pic inside the switch box ill help you after
__________________
-Rob-
Bello is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2013, 04:57   #22
NanH
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,120
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevemc View Post
Nan,

Glad it's working again. Just as a reference, electricians always put the hot on the top terminal. That goes from a bathroom light switch all the way up to the biggest switch gear. The hot will be black or red and the switch leg is usually yellow/orange/brown, etc. anything but black or red. It will work if wired the other way as all it is really doing is connecting the two wires together. I still feel that you could have a loose splice that just "made" as you were troubleshooting. Please keep an eye on it, especially if there is any type of burning smell that you notice. It will take an experienced electrician less than one hour to redo all the terminations and splices involved and is well worth it IMHO.

Thanks for the advice! I do have a side question, then. Inside the box, I have one single toggle switch and one double toggle switch. On the single switch, both wires are black. On the double switch, the hot (black) just had a piece of the insulation scraped away, mid wire, where it wrapped around the terminal, labeled common, then went on to end at the single switch. Then, there was a red and and black wire. I assumed the red and black was fan and light, but one toggle doesn't do anything and the other operates both fan and light. Frankly, I don't remember how it was before we changed it because this is a new house to us and we started in on that bathroom pretty much right away.

When my other switch was not working, I had the red and black on the 'common' poles and the hot wire on the A1.
__________________
Itīs expected that a woman always keep a tidy house, empty laundry baskets, has her makeup done, smells good, is healthy, in good shape, watches her language and never does anything wrong. I am starting to suspect I am a man.
NanH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2013, 05:12   #23
gwalchmai
Lucky Member
 
gwalchmai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Outside the perimeter
Posts: 44,139


Sounds like one switch in the double isn't feeding anything and the light and fan are both being fed by the other switch. It would be better to switch the light & fan separately using the double switch but that would require running another wire from the switch to the fan or light.
gwalchmai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2013, 06:54   #24
glockski
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Royal Palm Beach, FL.
Posts: 379
sounds like a 3-way switch oops not a 3-way didnt fully read what you wrote

Last edited by glockski; 05-27-2013 at 07:20..
glockski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2013, 07:59   #25
Cubdriver
Senior Member
 
Cubdriver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Southeastern Litchfield County, CT
Posts: 1,687
In electrical in the US, the color code for houshold wiring is that black or red is the 'hot' (live) wire, white is the grounded neutral (tied to ground back at the breaker/fuse panel) which carries the 'return' current for the circuit, and green or bare is a safety ground (also grounded at the panel, but NOT intended to carry current except in a fault situation).

In an ordinary simple circuit (say, just controlling a single light), you'll typically have two cables coming into the box - one from the panel and one leaving to go to the light fixture, each with a white, black and green or bare conductor. Inside the box, the whites will be spliced together, as will the grounds. The switch will be connected to the black wires, to interrupt the power supply to the fixture. (BTW, *electrically*, the circuit would also work perfectly if the blacks were spliced together and the switch were in the neutral line; this is against code however because in that case even with the switch off the fixture itself would be electrically hot at all times and would be much more of a shock hazard.)

If I'm reading your final post correctly, you have a box with two devices in it - one a regular single pole switch, and the second a dual switch (looks kind of like a standard double receptacle, only with switches instead of outlets?) that is intended to control a light and a fan.

Ths single sounds like it's wired as I've described above, switching the hot line to the light. The wire that is partially stripped in the middle and going to both the single and double switches is the hot wire from the panel.

If the hot is connected to the common on the dual switch, and the red and black on the switched side (A1 and A2?) go up to your fan/light combo and one switch turns on both, then I'd take a look at the fan/light and see if the wire that is connected to the section of the dual switch that doesn't do anything (be it the red or the black one) is in there unconnected and the fan and light both go to the remaining wire. If that's the case, separate them and connect one to each of the switched wires and you should then have separate control. If not, tell us what you find and we'll try to go from there.

It's confusing enough trying to figure out electrical stuff when you're standing in front of it looking at it, never mind in text on a forum!!

Good luck!

-Pat
__________________
Speed has never killed anyone. Suddenly becoming stationary… that's what gets you.. (J. Clarkson)
Cubdriver is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump




All times are GMT -6. The time now is 23:35.



Homepage
FAQ
Forums
Calendar
Advertise
Gallery
GT Wiki
GT Blogs
Social Groups
Classifieds


Users Currently Online: 1,065
265 Members
800 Guests

Most users ever online: 2,244
Nov 11, 2013 at 11:42