18 posts / 0 new
Last post
Scribe
Re: Switch-activated outlet

What about the switch? What wires are connected to the switch? I don't know how Alaskas codes are but in PA, I don't think you can have two wires connected to one screw, I believe everything has to be pigtailed. I believe Red wires are almost always hot too, so I can't figure out why you have four hot wires going into one outlet.

Ernie_Fergler
Re: Switch-activated outlet
Scribe wrote:

What about the switch? What wires are connected to the switch? I don't know how Alaskas codes are but in PA, I don't think you can have two wires connected to one screw, I believe everything has to be pigtailed. I believe Red wires are almost always hot too, so I can't figure out why you have four hot wires going into one outlet.

You are correct, as in you can not have two wires under one screw. But you will see it from time to time. You just have to marvel at that sight. Methinks it must be rather hard to do.

kentvw
Re: Switch-activated outlet

The fact that you have two red wires would indicate to me that you have another switched receptacle some place in the room that needs to have the tab removed and that until the tab is removed you will still be back-feeding the hot to the red switch leg.

Ernie_Fergler
Re: Switch-activated outlet
kentvw wrote:

The fact that you have two red wires would indicate to me that you have another switched receptacle some place in the room that needs to have the tab removed and that until the tab is removed you will still be back-feeding the hot to the red switch leg.

Excellent detective work kentvw !!!
I have seen rooms wired with five split outlets.
Seems like that was a big thing back in the day...:D

AdrianneAK
Re: Switch-activated outlet

First of all: Thank you everyone for all of the input!

OK, here's what I have:

Light switch with 1 black and 1 red wire

Outlet with 1 white each top and bottom left side
2 red top right
2 black top bottom
ground
tab on brass side removed

Outlet wired as above EXCEPT:

1 red wire in the top screw
tap in place

I removed the tab from the brass side and discovered that the 2 top receptacles are switch-activated and the bottom 2 receptacles are always hot.

I have discovered no indication that any previous owners/occupants ever attempted any repair other than a poor hole repair in the wall where the door knob busted through, the even worse door bell "repair" and having the carpet replaced with a rather poor grade of carpet. In short, none of the previous owners actually cared about the house.

On the code issue:

I have found that all of the original electrical fixtures are those horrible things with a hole in the back to plug the wire into and the theory is to insert a screw driver into the slot beside the wire to release it when needed. I have destroyed almost every one of these upon removal. The fixtures I am using have a similar groove but the wire slips under the plate and the screws in the side must still be tightened in order to clamp the wires in place. So, connecting double wires is not TOO difficult.

Considering that no electrical repair has ever been attempted, I must presume that either the wiring met 1982 Anchorage code or the contractor's bribe to the inspector was sufficient to allow it to pass inspection.

I am removing the wall separating the kitchen from the dining room as it is clearly not a load-bearing wall. When I ripped the drywall off of one side I discovered a wire that was supposed to loop into a void had actually been allowed to drape back over the 2X4 stud. When the drywall was installed, this created a bulge in the wall. Instead of looking for the reason for the void, the drywall installer chose to drive several nails and screws into the area to bring the seam together. In the process, they drove one nail and one screw directly into the wiring. Luckily, this wire leads from a light switch to the over sink light and would only be hot when that light was on. Also, it appears that the screw and nail both failed to penetrate the individual wire insulation but over time had finally worn through. I caught this problem just in time.

I think this, combined with a home inspection scandal about 5 years ago and our own recent legislative bribery scandal, I might lean toward the bribery theory. =^-_-^=

Again, thank you everyone for all of the detective work and advice! It took a bit but had been very rewarding working through and resolving this problem!

Pages

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.