Light Switch Not Controlling Outlets?

I recently changed out the outlets and switches in a three rooms. The switches controlled the outlets for a couple of days even though I didn't break the tabs(s). Now the light switch is not controlling the outlets. I went back and broke one tab off on one outlet. The switch still doesn't contact the receptacle and both receptacles are hot. The wires are hot in the switch box and I even changed out the switch thinking I got a bad one. Any thoughts? The home was built in 1969.


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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
October 20, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

Houses built in 1969 used a wiring system called a continuous loop.

  1. A continuous loop uses the same wiring in one room in a loop. So if you wire an outlet the loop goes from the outlet to another outlet and then can end at the light switch and go to the fuse box.
  2. Some houses continued the loop around the entire home and brake it up in different room for the load on the fuse box.
  3. In light switches you will not use the positive and negative wires on the switch. You will only wire the positive and leave the negative off the switch. You can tie these wires together with a cable splicer or wire splicer.
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  5. Do you still happen to have the switches you took out of the room? If you do, please put one of them back and see if the loop is continued and you have a constant flow of electricity in the room.
  6. If you don't then you have a short in your loop and the current isn't flowing around the loop in this room.
  7. Therefore, you will need to check your wiring at the switch and make sure your wires are secure and inside the switch to make contact.
  8. They made contact at first, but after a few flips of the switch they are no longer making contact. Check this.
  9. Last but not least if you are still having some issues you can use a cable tester to test the flow of electricity in your home.
  10. If you still can't determine why the new switches aren't working correctly, you might need to consult an electrician on this.
  11. Hot wires in an outlet or fuse box can be dangerous and cause a house fire. You need to be careful of this if your circuits are getting extremely hot because there is a short in the wiring that is causing this issue.
Reply Was this helpful? Yes
October 20, 20170 found this helpful

Check your fuse box ,you may need a new one or may not have one installed for switches

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 433 Posts
October 20, 20170 found this helpful

I would check the fuse box and if they are switches flick everyone of them.
If that does not work call an electrician it could be a fire hazard.

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