I've been in my house for just over a year now and I've got a weird situation with a switch and a dimmer in the bedroom; they don't seem to control anything and as far as I can tell they're not hot. I'm not sure quite what to do with them. The dimmer has a red/black/white connection and the switch is black/white so I don't think the switch and the dimmer are related (opposite sides of the room), but who knows. Is there a way to find out if they control anything? I've tested everything else in the room and it all seems to be connected and are not affected by the dimmer or switch.
Mar 21, 2012, 10:18 PM
Might be for a ceiling fan? Our bedrooms were wired with two wall switches. I was hoping one was for half of the duplex outlets, but no. We just had regular ceiling lights that were controlled by one switch. The other was also wired to the ceiling box but capped (did nothing). So when we put the fans in we could wire the fan/light separately.
I tested it initially with a non contact (bat op)electrical tester. Turned the switch on and could follow the wire in the wall up to the ceiling light, so I knew that was where it went, even if it didn't turn anything on.
Mar 22, 2012, 08:35 AM
Thanks for your reply. Did the switch have any power going to it? After testing the black, red, and white wires, I don't think these switches have any power at all (yet are still wired). I thought about a ceiling fan, but there is no indication that one was on the ceiling.
Does the battery operated tester test for current or for the presence of wires? I could knock around on the ceiling a little bit to listen for differences in pitch.
Mar 22, 2012, 09:00 AM
My non contact voltage tester does need power in the line to detect, so if your switches are not hooked up to any power, not much help. Is this a newer home or older and just new to you?
Is there an overhead ceiling light currently in the room? Can you check for wiring above the room, attic space or even basement/crawl space? Perhaps they could be for outlets too, but were never connected (turn off power, pull a base outlet across the room and check for capped off/unconnected wiring)?
Mar 22, 2012, 09:53 AM
Older home, but new to me. The ceiling is basically drywall over wood planks with no crawl/attic space. You have to gouge into the wood in order to run electrical. For ceiling fixtures, you'd have to drop the ceiling to fit a box up there. The basement is finished with drywall ceilings, so there is no way to check below. This may simply remain a mystery.
May 02, 2012, 11:15 PM
sounds like good times here.
the wife, before the knot was tied, lived in a very old duplex. remodelling replaced a lot of the original knob and tube crud, but some got overlooked. I tried to tackle a non-working front entry light one fine night. KnT, ick. from the stripe thread, they should have been right. replaced a bad switch, still no go.
finally pulled out a 50 foot extention cord, ran it to a known good 3-wire outlet that I determined to be correct with a 3-lamp tester, and using the ground lead, started measuring voltages with my Fluke.
something on the order of 0.3 volts on one wire to ground, and 0.6 to the other.
two neutrals. maybe even from two different entrance panels, hers and upstairs. not good.
the fix was to wire-nut and tape that slop off, drill a plate and run a wire to a known good outlet in the living room, and rewire it all with Romex. put the missing plate atop the evil stuff, and put a Brother label in red and white on that... "dissimilar neutral lines only, do not enter, do not use."
yeah, you're going to have to do stuff like this. or hire a pro. wiring, water, sewer/vent, gas that "ain't right" also isn't safe. they need to be made right on discovery.This message has been edited. Last edited by: swschrad,
sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?