Home Repair (alt.home.repair) For all homeowners and DIYers with many experienced tradesmen. Solve your toughest home fix-it problems.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1   Report Post  
Posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 3
Default Can't figure this switch out... anyone help?

I have a double gang box that has two single pole switches- each
switch controls one overhead light fixture. The switches were nasty
looking so I decided to swap them out. Unfortunately when I removed
them they just disintegrated before I could look at all the wires.
Now I am stuck trying to figure this circuit out.

Two 14/2 romex cables come into the box. Grounds are tied and
pigtailed- but not any of the other leads. However, there is a two
inch long white wire that was used as some sort of "jumper" between
the two switches. It's looped at both ends, so I know it was attached
to the switch's side terminals, as opposed to the rest of the wires
which used the switch's "push-in" terminals.

Fixture #1
One romex cable runs straight up to this light There is continuity
across the white and black as long as there is a bulb in the fixture.
I removed the fixture and verified there are no other wires up there.

Fixture #2
The other romex has a hot white and a non-hot black. The white lead
is not marked. If I connect a switch across these two wires, the
fixture that was controlled by it (before I messed everything up) will
work. I can't (easily) get at this fixture to see what other wires
may or may not be up there.

I can't understand how this was all setup to work properly & within
code. Assuming Fixture #2 has a neutral somewhere else besides that
box I am working in, where is the neutral for the other fixture?
  #2   Report Post  
Posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,563
Default Can't figure this switch out... anyone help?


wrote in message
...
I have a double gang box that has two single pole switches- each
switch controls one overhead light fixture. The switches were nasty
looking so I decided to swap them out. Unfortunately when I removed
them they just disintegrated before I could look at all the wires.
Now I am stuck trying to figure this circuit out.

Two 14/2 romex cables come into the box. Grounds are tied and
pigtailed- but not any of the other leads. However, there is a two
inch long white wire that was used as some sort of "jumper" between
the two switches. It's looped at both ends, so I know it was attached
to the switch's side terminals, as opposed to the rest of the wires
which used the switch's "push-in" terminals.

Fixture #1
One romex cable runs straight up to this light There is continuity
across the white and black as long as there is a bulb in the fixture.
I removed the fixture and verified there are no other wires up there.

Fixture #2
The other romex has a hot white and a non-hot black. The white lead
is not marked. If I connect a switch across these two wires, the
fixture that was controlled by it (before I messed everything up) will
work. I can't (easily) get at this fixture to see what other wires
may or may not be up there.

I can't understand how this was all setup to work properly & within
code. Assuming Fixture #2 has a neutral somewhere else besides that
box I am working in, where is the neutral for the other fixture?


I think you've got it figured out. It's ass backwards and wrong!!!
You're hot white and non hot black are fine. White brings hot to the switch
and black returns it to the fixture. Then they jumpered the hot to the
second switch and returned it on the black of the second cable. The mystery,
as you described, is where's the neutral coming from? It probably isn't.
They probably attached that white to the box or the ground wires to make it
work


  #3   Report Post  
Posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 19
Default Can't figure this switch out... anyone help?

I agree RBM that the jumper is for sharing a common hot feeding
each . The white and black are being used as switch legs feeding in
and out from the hot at the fixture - thru the switch - back to the -
black side of the fixtures . Fixture # 1 obviously has a neutral up at
it that it uses . Your not sure abou the other neutral ? But your also
not sure what is in the box up at fixture # 2 ? I am assuming you
haven't even opened it yet - because you claim to not have easy
access . I'm sure the neutral for # 2 is up there for fixture # 2 .



  #4   Report Post  
Posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 3
Default Can't figure this switch out... anyone help?

Thanks for the info everyone. Ok, I guess the consensus is that for
#2 there is a hot line and neutral @ the fixture and they ran a 14/2
line to the switch to interrupt the hot leg- no problem. What isn't
resolved, and what I can't seem to get working is Fixture #1. I can't
find a neutral for this anywhere. I pulled the fixture and there is
only one romex cable leading in to it. If I put a bulb in the fixture
I get continuity across the white and black lines back at the switch
box. If I remove the bulb, no continuity. So the romex to #1 must
not be interrupted anywhere along its path and goes straight up to the
fixture? The fixture is a simple two bulb affair and is wired white
to white and black to black.

So if the white jumper was used to fed power to #1, it would be jumper
from hot leg of switch #2 to switch #1, black line attaches to other
side of switch #1 and goes to fixture, but then where does white go? I
can see from the marks on this white wire that it was attached to
something, and I know it wasn't ground (at the switch box anyway). To
re-iterate, this whole setup DID work before I messed with the
switches.
  #5   Report Post  
Posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,563
Default Can't figure this switch out... anyone help?


wrote in message
...
Thanks for the info everyone. Ok, I guess the consensus is that for
#2 there is a hot line and neutral @ the fixture and they ran a 14/2
line to the switch to interrupt the hot leg- no problem. What isn't
resolved, and what I can't seem to get working is Fixture #1. I can't
find a neutral for this anywhere. I pulled the fixture and there is
only one romex cable leading in to it. If I put a bulb in the fixture
I get continuity across the white and black lines back at the switch
box. If I remove the bulb, no continuity. So the romex to #1 must
not be interrupted anywhere along its path and goes straight up to the
fixture? The fixture is a simple two bulb affair and is wired white
to white and black to black.

So if the white jumper was used to fed power to #1, it would be jumper
from hot leg of switch #2 to switch #1, black line attaches to other
side of switch #1 and goes to fixture, but then where does white go? I
can see from the marks on this white wire that it was attached to
something, and I know it wasn't ground (at the switch box anyway). To
re-iterate, this whole setup DID work before I messed with the
switches.


Could it have been connected to the ground screw of one of the switches?




  #6   Report Post  
Posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 3
Default Can't figure this switch out... anyone help?

On Mar 16, 3:25 pm, "RBM" wrote:
wrote in message

...



Thanks for the info everyone. Ok, I guess the consensus is that for
#2 there is a hot line and neutral @ the fixture and they ran a 14/2
line to the switch to interrupt the hot leg- no problem. What isn't
resolved, and what I can't seem to get working is Fixture #1. I can't
find a neutral for this anywhere. I pulled the fixture and there is
only one romex cable leading in to it. If I put a bulb in the fixture
I get continuity across the white and black lines back at the switch
box. If I remove the bulb, no continuity. So the romex to #1 must
not be interrupted anywhere along its path and goes straight up to the
fixture? The fixture is a simple two bulb affair and is wired white
to white and black to black.


So if the white jumper was used to fed power to #1, it would be jumper
from hot leg of switch #2 to switch #1, black line attaches to other
side of switch #1 and goes to fixture, but then where does white go? I
can see from the marks on this white wire that it was attached to
something, and I know it wasn't ground (at the switch box anyway). To
re-iterate, this whole setup DID work before I messed with the
switches.


Could it have been connected to the ground screw of one of the switches?


no, when the switches fell apart the metal backings remained. Both
metal backings have a green screw that is attached to bare ground
wires. Both ground wires go to a pigtail that binds them and the two
grounds from the romex cables. The pigtail connection is a copper
clip, not a plastic nut, and it is very tight- so I don't think the
errant wire attached there. Also, the boxes and all conduit is
plastic so there is no sneak ground that way.
  #7   Report Post  
Posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 19
Default Can't figure this switch out... anyone help?

In the problem fixture, while using the switch , it doesn't come on
correct ? You Have that jumper from one switch to the other correct ?
The Black on that romex should be attached to the other side of that
switch going up to the fixture . The white could be attached to the
other neutral in that box at the switches , giving a neutral to THAT
fixture . The 2 fixtures could share the same neutral . Now this would
be correct if we are understanding each other . I also hope that you
are using a tester ( other than a continuity tester ) to determine
that that neutral is indeed a neutral , and not tied in hot elsewhere .
  #8   Report Post  
Posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 19
Default Can't figure this switch out... anyone help?

The 2 fixtures could share the same neutral .

Of course unless it isn't code in your town . Don't guess anything if
your going to cause an electrical fire .
  #9   Report Post  
Posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,563
Default Can't figure this switch out... anyone help?


wrote in message
...
In the problem fixture, while using the switch , it doesn't come on
correct ? You Have that jumper from one switch to the other correct ?
The Black on that romex should be attached to the other side of that
switch going up to the fixture . The white could be attached to the
other neutral in that box at the switches , giving a neutral to THAT
fixture . The 2 fixtures could share the same neutral . Now this would
be correct if we are understanding each other . I also hope that you
are using a tester ( other than a continuity tester ) to determine
that that neutral is indeed a neutral , and not tied in hot elsewhere .


He doesn't have a neutral in the switch box


  #10   Report Post  
Posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 19
Default Can't figure this switch out... anyone help?


He doesn't have a neutral in the switch box


Well if there isn't a neutral anywhere , using the ground in it's
place is stupid . I wonder how old the house is and if it would be
easy to bring a neutral to it . I would !!!!


  #11   Report Post  
Posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 19
Default Can't figure this switch out... anyone help?


He doesn't have a neutral in the switch box


Better to have a neutral - not to be sustituted by a ground . It
might be in his best interest to bring a neutral into that box . Am I
missing something ? Because I'm not sure he said there wasn't at least
one neutral for one fixture . Now I'm confused !
  #12   Report Post  
Posted to alt.home.repair
dpb dpb is offline
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 12,595
Default Can't figure this switch out... anyone help?

wrote:
I have a double gang box that has two single pole switches- each
switch controls one overhead light fixture. The switches were nasty
looking so I decided to swap them out. Unfortunately when I removed
them they just disintegrated before I could look at all the wires.
Now I am stuck trying to figure this circuit out.

Two 14/2 romex cables come into the box. Grounds are tied and
pigtailed- but not any of the other leads. However, there is a two
inch long white wire that was used as some sort of "jumper" between
the two switches. It's looped at both ends, so I know it was attached
to the switch's side terminals, as opposed to the rest of the wires
which used the switch's "push-in" terminals.

Fixture #1
One romex cable runs straight up to this light There is continuity
across the white and black as long as there is a bulb in the fixture.
I removed the fixture and verified there are no other wires up there.

Fixture #2
The other romex has a hot white and a non-hot black. The white lead
is not marked. If I connect a switch across these two wires, the
fixture that was controlled by it (before I messed everything up) will
work. I can't (easily) get at this fixture to see what other wires
may or may not be up there.

I can't understand how this was all setup to work properly & within
code. Assuming Fixture #2 has a neutral somewhere else besides that
box I am working in, where is the neutral for the other fixture?

  #13   Report Post  
Posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,563
Default Can't figure this switch out... anyone help?


wrote in message
...

He doesn't have a neutral in the switch box


Better to have a neutral - not to be sustituted by a ground . It
might be in his best interest to bring a neutral into that box . Am I
missing something ? Because I'm not sure he said there wasn't at least
one neutral for one fixture . Now I'm confused !


The fixture he can't get to easily, has a neutral at the fixture


  #14   Report Post  
Posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 674
Default Can't figure this switch out... anyone help?


wrote in message
...
I have a double gang box that has two single pole switches- each
switch controls one overhead light fixture. The switches were nasty
looking so I decided to swap them out. Unfortunately when I removed
them they just disintegrated before I could look at all the wires.
Now I am stuck trying to figure this circuit out.

Two 14/2 romex cables come into the box. Grounds are tied and
pigtailed- but not any of the other leads. However, there is a two
inch long white wire that was used as some sort of "jumper" between
the two switches. It's looped at both ends, so I know it was attached
to the switch's side terminals, as opposed to the rest of the wires
which used the switch's "push-in" terminals.

Fixture #1
One romex cable runs straight up to this light There is continuity
across the white and black as long as there is a bulb in the fixture.
I removed the fixture and verified there are no other wires up there.

Fixture #2
The other romex has a hot white and a non-hot black. The white lead
is not marked. If I connect a switch across these two wires, the
fixture that was controlled by it (before I messed everything up) will
work. I can't (easily) get at this fixture to see what other wires
may or may not be up there.

I can't understand how this was all setup to work properly & within
code. Assuming Fixture #2 has a neutral somewhere else besides that
box I am working in, where is the neutral for the other fixture?

As far as I can tell, you have determined that the #1 fixture socket is
connected across the leads of the switch cable but not whether the cable
runs directly from the fixture to the switch or whether either of these
conductors might in fact also be connected to a hot or neutral lead in
another box. I would use a test lamp with long leads to check whether either
lead, at the switch or at the fixture, is connected to a neutral or hot
feeder.

I know you have discounted it but it would certainly seem most likely that
the neutral for that fixture was somehow connected to the ground if it was
working and has quit working only because of your work in the switch box. Of
course it is possible that something has come loose somewhere else.

Don Young


Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules

Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Figure in pine C & S Woodworking Plans and Photos 2 June 4th 07 05:17 AM
Trying to ID a valve so I can figure it out Cram Home Repair 27 October 11th 05 01:59 AM
how to figure circumfrence (sp) moyo Woodworking 29 August 24th 04 08:13 PM
I just figure out how to.... Paul Meecock UK diy 12 August 11th 03 04:52 PM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 06:44 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2023, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2004-2023 DIYbanter.
The comments are property of their posters.
 

About Us

"It's about DIY & home improvement"