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Answers To Electrical Questions About Wiring Switches, Troubleshooting Receptacles and Troubleshooting A GFCI Receptacle For Landscape Lighting

December 6, 2008

Question mark Dan asks:
I have a two switches in one box that have 2 wires going to them and one jumper wire that connects to the both switches. One switch controls the outside light and the other the hall way. The one switch has wires coming to it hot and the other does not. I hooked the one black wire that is hot on the one top screw and the other black wire to the bottom and done the same to other switch. I took that jumper wire and connected the one black wire to the first switch that had the hot wire and wired the white wire with all the others with a nut. I took the other end of that wire and took the hot black wire and hook it to the top screw of the other switch and took that white wire and put a nut on all three of those wires. I hooked up all the ground wire from each switch. when I turn the light on for that hallway it turned on my kitchen lights, that’s the room next to this room. How do I hook up that extra wire/jumper wire up between the two switches. The first switch is the only one that has a hot wire coming to it.

I’m confused. I really need more information before I can help you solve this problem. I have some wiring diagrams that may help you or for one on one personal service, please go to my DIY Electrical Wiring Help from a Master Electrician page.


JW asks:
After shutting power off to the rooms I was working on, I checked the outlets to make sure the screws that hold the aluminum wiring were tight. I found that the bottom socket in a two socket receptacle had no wiring around it and the top was looped around (I’m told this was a short cut sometimes used by electricians) which is why it’s never had power to it. I cut the wires then looped around bottom screws to provide power, which both sockets now have. When I turned the circuit breaker back on, the lights in three other rooms, that were on the same circuit won’t come on. The receptacles work, just not the lights. I have gone through the entire line of light switches and receptacles on that circuit but everything is tight. Any suggestions?

Put everything back to the way it was. The first thing that you need to do is get that aluminum wiring off of the devices. Expansion and contraction in the aluminum wires causes loose connections and fires. What you should do is splice a piece of copper wire onto the aluminum wire and connect the copper to the device. You also need to use some type of anti-oxidant compound at your copper and aluminum splice. If at all possible, I highly recommend replacing all of the aluminum wiring with copper wiring in your entire home.

As for solving your original problem, it sounds like you just need a new receptacle. I believe that the tab was broken off between the 2 brass colored screws.


Bizhead asks:
I have an outlet next to the pool filter in my backyard that has 2 transformers plugged into it supporting outdoor malibu lights. I pressed the test button and all of the lights went out. Now when I press the reset button nothing happens. Is the GFCI faulty or is something else going on? I checked the circuit breakers and they did not trip.

Typically, the GFCI receptacle will not reset if there is no power to them. I recommend checking the breaker first. Try turning the breaker for this circuit off and back on again. You should also check for a sub-panel that may be in line.

If the above does not work, then remove the GFCI receptacle and test for power. If you have power and the GFCI still will not reset, then replace it.

DIY Electrical Wiring Help from a Master Electrician Do you need assistance with your electrical wiring project? Please visit my DIY Electrical Wiring Help from a Master Electrician page. Where I provide electrical wiring tips, expert electrical advice, answers to your electrical questions and electrical consulting & design services over the phone, via instant messenger or via email.

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One Response to “Answers To Electrical Questions About Wiring Switches, Troubleshooting Receptacles and Troubleshooting A GFCI Receptacle For Landscape Lighting”

  1. Answers To Electrical Questions About Wiring Switches … | clalighting on December 6th, 2008 7:17 pm

    […] Original post: Answers To Electrical Questions About Wiring Switches … […]