Need help wiring a switch-outlet

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by amcardwell, May 23, 2013.

  1. amcardwell

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 23, 2013
    5
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    Hey everyone. Will someone tell me why my set-up isn't working? When I flip on the breaker after making all the connections, it shorts out. See attached image.

    I want my switch to turn on/off power to a 2-gang outlet box. The difficult part is, my power source is directly above the outlets-Far away from the switch. I know this can be done... but I know I am forgetting something. Can anyone help me out? Thanks!

    Adam
     
  2. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
    12,449
    3,367
    Ouch!

    Of course, you have the switch wired in parallel across the power lines which is incorrect.
    Besides, your switch is now damaged and must be thrown out and replaced with a new switch.

    Disconnect the BLACK wire that connects the outlet to the power line.
    Disconnect the WHITE wire that connects the switch to the power line.

    Connect the WHITE wire from the switch to the BLACK of the outlet.
     
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  3. amcardwell

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 23, 2013
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    Thanks MrChips! Ill modify it soon and let you know how it turns out. Fortunately, I have dozens of spare switches :p
     
  4. amcardwell

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 23, 2013
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    So... like this? See attached.

    Where would the white cable from the power line go?
     
  5. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
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    The WHITE cable from the power line goes to the WHITE cable of the outlet.

    Also, you should note that the BLACK wire from the power line is called "LIVE" or "HOT".
    The WHITE wire from the power line is called "NEUTRAL". It is imperative that the switch goes on the BLACK "LIVE" side of the power line.

    If the switch were placed on the NEUTRAL side, the outlet would still be LIVE and HOT when the switch is turned off.

    (These color codes apply to USA and Canada and may differ in other countries.)

    btw, I commend you for posting clear drawings. We don't get enough drawings as nice as yours.
     
  6. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
    6,071
    3,842
    In reality, you should run the ROMEX wire (black plus white and ground) from the panel to the switch box (black wire to switch).

    Then run a second ROMEX wire (black plus white and ground) from the switch (black from other side of switch and white wired to white in the switch box) to the outlet box.

    In the outlet box, run white to silver screws and black to brass (gold) screws. Outer sheathing should be removed from last 8 inches of ROMEX and clamped so only about 1/2 inch of sheathing enters each switch/outlet box.

    Ideally, the ROMEX should be stapled to the wall (not through romex but around romex). Staple should securely hold ROMEX to wall and staple should be within 8 inches of the box.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2013
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  7. amcardwell

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 23, 2013
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    Okay. I follow. Let me try it out. Thank you both for the prompt replies!

    Mr. Chips: Thanks! I love to draw, and I do NOT like to get zapped because of lack of clear specifics.
     
  8. amcardwell

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 23, 2013
    5
    0
    Worked like a charm. God I love it when that happens! Thanks to both MrChips and GopherT for great help!

    I've attached the final working diagram to this post. Again, thanks!
     
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