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Troubleshooting an Electrical Circuit Problem

I am remodeling an old house. I have an electrical problem that I've never run into before. If the bed room light is turn on, the outlets won't work. If I turn the light off then the outlets get power. I removed the switch to check it. The same thing happens. With the switch wire unhooked the outlets work, when they are tired together the outlets go dead. I don't know what going on.


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September 21, 20170 found this helpful

Your light switch and outlets are using the same wire in a continuous loop in this room. Normally the light switch and outlets use 2 different gage wires. In older homes they only used one.

Step 1
The wiring on all light switches only use one cable. In your wire you should have 3 cables, positive, negative, and ground.

Step 2
Only the positive cable attaches to your light switch and the ground and negative cables are taped off or spliced together so the continuous loop goes on.


Step 3
Check your light switch after turning off your power.

Step 4
See how many cables are attached to this switch.

Step 5
If you have wired the negative and ground cable to the switch, remove them.

Step 6
When you light switch is on it is interrupting the flow of electricity through the cable to your outlets.

Step 7
In older homes the electrical wiring system is outdated and also dangerous. Electrical outlets need a heavier gage wire than light switches do.

Step 8
In your breaker box you should have breakers designated for your lighting in your home and ones that are for your electrical outlets.

Step 9
They are two different breakers that protect your home.

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