Dinning room switch

Discussion in 'Electrical and Wiring' started by Blair1955, Jun 18, 2007.

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  1. Jun 18, 2007 #1

    Blair1955

    Blair1955

    Blair1955

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    Still have workers in my home doing updates.
    One guy changed out a switch in my dinning room. On the other side of the wall is a (think it’s called a gang switch) in my kitchen. I have two switches in my kitchen one as I enter from my laundry room the other as I enter from the dinning room. Either will turn on and off the kitchen lights. Anyway after he changed the switch in the dinning room that switch has to be on to have my lights on in the kitchen. It was never like this before. I could always turn on the kitchen lights independent from the dinning room. There are three wires going the dinning room switch. One is positive; I don’t think that one of the others is a ground as the house has the original wiring from the early 1950s. I tried connecting the positive and each of the 2 other wires and didn't fix the problem. I also put the old switch back in and still have the same problem. What did he do? They want to go into a junction box in the attic.
    :confused:

    Blair
     
  2. Jun 18, 2007 #2

    Square Eye

    Square Eye

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    LOL.. Impossible to tell from here what has happened.
    I'm sure it's a minor mistake made somewhere and is safe.. Inconvenient, but safe.
    Check out the junction boxes and look again at the switch wiring, there may not be any "ground" (neutral) wires in a switch box. A switch only needs power wire down and a wire to load going back up. 3way switches need a power wire down and 2 wires to exchange the load back and forth.
     
  3. Jun 19, 2007 #3

    Parrothead

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    Yes it's probably a minor mistake and yes it's probably safe, but it's very unprofessional of him to leave without it working correctly. Have him get his hindquarters back there to finish the job right. You shouldn't have to follow him around and fix his screw-ups after you paid him to do a job.
     
  4. Jun 19, 2007 #4

    speedy petey

    speedy petey

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    This is not at all true. I'm sure you meant this a different way.
    Did you mean "no neutral wires on a switch"?

    Also, "ground" is NOT synonymous with "neutral".





    I wholly agree with Parrot.
    Who was this that changed the switch? A handyman?
     
  5. Jun 19, 2007 #5

    Blair1955

    Blair1955

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    Still don't know what the guy did. He no longer works there though. He quit last week for some reason (not related to my house). The junction box is going to be hard to get to where it is located in the attic.
     
  6. Jun 20, 2007 #6

    Parrothead

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    Even so, his former employer (I'm assuming it was an electrical contractor) should send someone else out to remedy the problem at no additional charge. It wouldn't take long- it's probably just a couple of conductors that got mixed up.
     
  7. Jun 20, 2007 #7

    Square Eye

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    There may not be a ground or a neutral wire in that particular box because the original post said it was an older home with older wiring.
    AND
    No, ground is not synonymous with neutral. But again, neither ground nor neutral may be present in this particular box. I was merely stating that an older home with a switch leg dropped down to a switch box may not have a ground or a neutral. It may only have 2 wires, one hot, one return.. Or, in the case of a 3-way switch, it may have 3 wires, one hot (or return) and two travelers. If there is not a bare copper or a green wire in any box in any particular home, I assume that that house was built before code enforced grounding started.

    anyway, back to the problem in the original post.
    You said you have 3 wires on one switch in the dining room?
    It sounds to me like there was a hot wire, spliced to another wire in that box to feed the kitchen light circuit, maybe both were connected together on the same screw on the dining room light switch, with a lonely wire from the other side of the switch going to the light in the dining room. If the wire that provides power to the kitchen lights is now spliced to the wrong side of that switch, then the kitchen lights will only come on when the dining room light switch is on.

    The solution to your problem may be as simple as moving one wire from where it is to another position on the switch.
     
  8. Jun 20, 2007 #8

    speedy petey

    speedy petey

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    OK, I see it now Square. You are saying there "may" (might) not be a neutral in a (this) switch box.
    I read it as there "may" (shall) not be in a (any) switch box...

    Sorry about that.
     
  9. Jun 20, 2007 #9

    Square Eye

    Square Eye

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    Everything's cool Speedy :)
     
  10. Jun 22, 2007 #10

    Blair1955

    Blair1955

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    Figured out what the guy did. As I stated before there were three wires. He had one (hot) connected to one post on the switch, the other two to the other side. I connected two one of the extra with the (hot) wire and it worked. Seems as this is where the kitchen lights gets its power from. Now I can turn off the two lights independently from each other.
    I’m still living out of my house so I hadn’t checked the forum in a few days. Square Eye you were on the right track, thanks.
     

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