5 posts / 0 new
Last post
Tailgater
Switches to nowhere

I just moved into a 50 year old house. Although some activate a wall outlet, there are a number of wall switches that don't seem to control anything. I also have some floddlights outside, that I can't find where to turn them on. My question is this, is there a way to trace what switches turn on/off, and to trace what will turn on the floodlights?

Fencepost
Re: Switches to nowhere

Ah, every old house needs a few "mystery switches" that don't do anything.

Wonder if someone removed some fixtures and covered over the boxes.

Re: Switches to nowhere

If you have an live wire tester you could run under and over the switch to see if you have a live wire in the wall. Maybe it's a weak way of checking, but if there's no juice, at least you'll know it isn't working.

Did you try testing the wall outlets?

djohns
Re: Switches to nowhere

Check in the attic for junction boxes with a dead end circuit . I found one in my home , and that explained my mystery switch .
Do these switches have source voltage ? Check around in the attic , you might be surprised at what you turn up .

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Switches to nowhere

You might want to install a known good bulb in the flood and check switches again, you may have a bulb burnt out. Also check to see if it has a photo or motion detector.

I have also seen people replaced switched outlets and forget to remove the jumper between upper and lower outlet.
Jack

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

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