Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
#1
Old 03-04-2007, 06:20 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 4,542
Doper electricians - illuminated switch won't illuminate.

I must be doing something wrong but danged if I can tell what.

I'm installing a switched outlet in my attic, with an illuminated switch - switch and duplex outlet are in one 4x4 box.

Very simple hookup - live wire runs into box. Hot goes to one terminal of switch, neutral goes to neutral of the outlet. Second terminal of switch connects to hot of outlet.

Everything is grounded and I've tested continuity of everything.

Turn the power on and the switch (which should glow when it is off) doesn't glow. There's no short, and testing the incoming hot to ground (or hot to neutral) shows current flowing.

Flip the switch on and the outlet becomes live. I plugged in my little receptacle tester and it shows that everything is wired correctly (that is, nothing open, no ground problems, no hot-neutral reversed, etc).

This is the second illuminated switch that I've tried. The first one lit up exactly one time, and then when I turned the switch on the breaker tripped. I opened up the box, rechecked everything and plugged it all back in and reset the breaker. Circuit worked fine but the switch would not light up (it did however switch power to the outlet just fine).

I figured that I had a bum switch and the little light had shorted out, so I exchanged it for a brand new one. Again, the switch works completely fine but the little illuminator won't go on.

Anyone have any ideas? I'm stumped.
#2
Old 03-04-2007, 06:28 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 22,536
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valgard
Very simple hookup - live wire runs into box. Hot goes to one terminal of switch, neutral goes to neutral of the outlet. Second terminal of switch connects to hot of outlet.
Make sure the live hot (from the breaker panel) is connected to the correct terminal on the switch. If they are reversed, you will get the symptoms you describe. If the switched hot (the one that goes to the outlet) is connected to the the light in the switch, it will be off when the switch is off, which kinda defeats the purpose. Switch the hots and it should work.
#3
Old 03-04-2007, 06:48 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 4,542
Quote:
Originally Posted by Q.E.D.
Make sure the live hot (from the breaker panel) is connected to the correct terminal on the switch. If they are reversed, you will get the symptoms you describe. If the switched hot (the one that goes to the outlet) is connected to the the light in the switch, it will be off when the switch is off, which kinda defeats the purpose. Switch the hots and it should work.
I double-checked that I've got it hooked up the way that the diagram on the instructions shows, and I just now tried reversing those two wires. Still no light.

However, if there is something plugged into the outlet, the switch does glow when it's in the off position. Which I guess makes a certain amount of sense (there has to be some path to neutral for a little trickle of current to light the light) but that's no help for switching an outlet (as opposed to something like a light fixture).
#4
Old 03-04-2007, 07:02 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 4,542
Here's a link to the exact switch - this should be very straightforward, it's a plain old single-pole switch. I installed one in my garage with no problems.

http://leviton.com/OA_HTML/ibeCC...&beginIndex=30
#5
Old 03-04-2007, 07:09 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 22,536
Aha! You don't have a light that this switch controls, do you? That's why it's not working. I just looked at the wiring diagram. It needs to have a lamp in the circuit, because the filament must carry the small current needed to illuminate the switch. If there's only an outlet, it won't work because it's an open circuit. That's why it works with something plugged in, but not otherwise.
#6
Old 03-04-2007, 07:14 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 4,542
Correct, there's no light however I was thinking of leaving an inexpensive flourescent strip light plugged in up there so all is not lost, I guess.

Dang.
#7
Old 03-04-2007, 07:25 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 22,536
There are such switches which have a third terminal for the neutral; you can connect a short wire to the neutral connection with a wire nut in your switchbox and run it to this neutral terminal.
#8
Old 03-04-2007, 08:56 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Portlandia
Posts: 38,252
Plug a night light into the outlet.
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:23 AM.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: plural of tomato true frequency walgreen ink refill dean winters penis comic exclamations yosemite definition murder chalk outline two dead boys cancel bluehost loserz comic dork whale's penis military compound bow gorilla talk cough switch sun-thurs mink for sale af hollister yoohoo alcoholic drink towing a motorcycle dare license plates an mp3 bush league origin pet lungfish duster raincoats widescreen 480p drinking denatured alcohol house without gutters nabisco bacon crackers tu quiero mucho infinity alt code wedding prank is newark in new york what is a domestic engineer she wants to take it slow and see what happens and i was like yeah whatever cable box to computer monitor light bulb keeps blowing make like a tree and leaf what is potsticker sauce called she paid for the first date why are cats called puss cuisinart cutlery set reviews where can i find black candles to have and to hold meaning where can i make copies of professional pictures does rain clean the air ankle hurts after sleeping star wars 2008 dvd box set when i burp my ear flutters what is the square root of pi what does a rolly polly eat west coast chopper symbol vizio smart tv bluetooth keyboard illegal moonshine for sale girls bike vs boys bike what does vomit smell like gfci without ground wire praying for your team to win man not wearing underwear sex room design ideas leg hair falling out can you freeze urine for future drug tests how to ejaculate more volume yahoo change speed of gif i don't want to go to mexico no more