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Alpo

Any electricians out there?

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1 hour ago, Duffield, SASS #23454 said:

The wires on the switch were probably pushed into holes on the back of the switch instead of curled around the screws and then tightening the screws.

When you replace it, use the screws, not the holes.

 

Duffield

Would you consider repositioning the wires as a first go at the problem?

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Marshal Mo Hare, SASS #45984 said:

Would you consider repositioning the wires as a first go at the problem?

 

 

 

Given how little a switch costs no.

Switch is already had many many cycles and it is just as much work to move the wires as it is to change the switch.

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14 minutes ago, Sedalia Dave said:

 

Given how little a switch costs no.

Switch is already had many many cycles and it is just as much work to move the wires as it is to change the switch.

Agreed, the switch costs next to nothing, but add in an hour and a half and two gallons of gas?

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1 hour ago, Marshal Mo Hare, SASS #45984 said:

Would you consider repositioning the wires as a first go at the problem?

 

 

I did consider it when I fixed the same problem two days ago.  I have to go to town from time to time anyway, so I picked up a new switch and replaced the old one, which was probably good.  That way I know I won't have to do the same job twice.

 

Duffield

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Please check the GFI first........ You never can tell where someone picked up a hot feed for the lights.

 

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Well, did you get your light working or are you still SOL? (Sh%* out of light).

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I (as my daughter will gladly tell you) am the king of the procrastinators. This switch has been inop for over a year. I just leave the door open so I can find the toilet.

 

And I had assumed that replacing the switch would fix this. Just ain't never got a round tuit.

 

But now I have picked electrical brains, and when I do find my round tuit and get up off my lazy donkey, I will most probably neither electrocute myself nor burn the house down.

 

And I thank any and all that contributed to this thread.

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My daughter moved to Puerto Rico. I packed up her computer, and carried it around in my Bronco for 15 months, before finally getting it to the post office.

 

Beat that.

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You might want to replace one or more of the bulbs with fresh ones just to be sure it is the switch, not the bulbs.  If you do replace the switch I would strongly recommend testing the job using actual light bulbs.  Do NOT wet your finger and stick it in the socket! :o:P  Seriously, buy a quality Single Pole-Single Throw (On-OFF) switch, and use the screw terminals.  While the push-in contacts will work, they can, over time be subject to corrosion.  Oh, and another question: If you house is old enough (1970's or even early '80's,) look to see if the wires are copper or aluminum.  If they are aluminum (silver colored) you may want to hire a competent electrician to re-terminate the ends with copper.  At the least, with aluminum wires and copper terminals, coat the bare aluminum with

No-Alox paste! 

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18 hours ago, Alpo said:

I (as my daughter will gladly tell you) am the king of the procrastinators. This switch has been inop for over a year. I just leave the door open so I can find the toilet.

 

And I had assumed that replacing the switch would fix this. Just ain't never got a round tuit.

 

But now I have picked electrical brains, and when I do find my round tuit and get up off my lazy donkey, I will most probably neither electrocute myself nor burn the house down.

 

And I thank any and all that contributed to this thread.

 

I would have responded to this thread earlier, but......

 

2021 could be the year of "The Great Switch Replacement". Why put off til tomorrow what you can put off for a week.

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On 1/15/2020 at 3:36 PM, Alpo said:

Pretty sure that's a NO. B)

IMG_20200115_153517.jpg

 

I'm sure that one and all will be happy to hear that not only have I finally (FINALLY!) replaced the switch, and now have a working light in my bathroom

IMG_20200416_122859.thumb.jpg.ab9b805499efa7a188723494ca5f4687.jpg

 

I managed to do this without either electrocuting myself or burning the house down.

 

And I owe it all to y'all. :)

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On 1/15/2020 at 1:55 PM, Alpo said:

My bathroom wall switch. From left, room light, shower light, heat lamp and exhaust fan.

IMG_20200115_144821.thumb.jpg.7aed55de531f92b8fd1d2b57f89154ce.jpg

 

Left hand don't work. The other three still do. And I checked - the light bulbs still work.

 

My logic says if I take the faceplate off and remove that left hand switch and put a new switch in its place, I should once again have lights in the bathroom.

 

Figgered before I started playing with electricity and attempting to electrocute myself, I would ask someone that does this for a living. Should it be that simple? Or am I overlooking something quite obvious to people that know what the hell they're doing?

Make sure another switch is not stuck in middle if it’s a 3way

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Being an Electrician and just now reading this post, I damn near wet my pants laughing at all the posts.  I had to dry my eyes so I could see the key board to type this. Guys it's a 5 minute job to check the switch with a multi-meter to see if it is passing current or an open switch.  Thanks,  I  really need the laugh.   

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So did you fix that one outlet in the hallway while you were at it...?    :)

 

Outlet.jpg.3d842833f06b7c07f0bd5773ec0d2135.jpg

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17 minutes ago, Hardpan Curmudgeon SASS #8967 said:

So did you fix that one outlet in the hallway while you were at it...?    :)

 

Outlet.jpg.3d842833f06b7c07f0bd5773ec0d2135.jpg

Ha ha, I have seen stuff like that and worse.

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As had been suggested, the original switch was installed by shoving the wire in the hole in the back. I was unable to get the original switch to release the wire, so cut it off flush and script STRIPPED it back a little further so I could attach it to the new switch at the screw.

 

Late last night I got to thinking, and dug the old switch out of the garbage. Got out the meter, set it on resistance, and touched the two screws. Nothing. And then I put the switch in the on position. Now touching the two screws gave me a nice reaction.

 

How 'bout dat. I could have simply remove the wire from the back and wrapped it around the top screw and the lights would have worked again. I did not need to make that journey to the hardware store and buy a new switch. Ah well.

 

Then, out of morbid curiosity, I touched the lead to the little stub of wire sticking out of the hole. Again I got a reaction.

 

Hmmmm.

 

Oh well. The lights in the bathroom work now. That is what is important. Not why the old switch stopped working, but simply that the new switch works.

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Never use the holes in the back. While remodeling my house I changed out ALL the switches and outlets.  MANY of them released the wire when I unscrewed the switch from the box and pulled it out. 

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Turn off the breaker to the light switch.  Confirm there is no power to the switch with a volt meter, if in doubt turn off the main breaker to the house.

 

You could use a suitable sized wire jumper (with alligator clips on both ends) to jumper the two wires on the switch together effectively bypassing the switch.  Turn the breakers back on.  If the fixture illuminates you know the switch is bad.  I'd skip the jumper testing and just replace the light switch.

 

You confirmed the bulbs are good.  Rarely does a multi-bulb light fixture or wiring go bad (unless you have a rodent problem or doing remodeling).  I'd suspect the switch.

 

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3 hours ago, Alpo said:

As had been suggested, the original switch was installed by shoving the wire in the hole in the back. I was unable to get the original switch to release the wire, so cut it off flush and script STRIPPED it back a little further so I could attach it to the new switch at the screw.

 

Late last night I got to thinking, and dug the old switch out of the garbage. Got out the meter, set it on resistance, and touched the two screws. Nothing. And then I put the switch in the on position. Now touching the two screws gave me a nice reaction.

 

How 'bout dat. I could have simply remove the wire from the back and wrapped it around the top screw and the lights would have worked again. I did not need to make that journey to the hardware store and buy a new switch. Ah well.

 

Then, out of morbid curiosity, I touched the lead to the little stub of wire sticking out of the hole. Again I got a reaction.

 

Hmmmm.

 

Oh well. The lights in the bathroom work now. That is what is important. Not why the old switch stopped working, but simply that the new switch works.

 

Now you are officially an electrical helper.:o 

 

The original connection (wire stabbed into the quick connect) probably became reconnected during all of the jostling around of the switch replacement. You were better off replacing the switch other than reusing the old one. Trust me on that. If you ever have to replace another switch or receptacle, the wires that are stabbed into the back can be released by inserting a small flat head screwdriver into the rectangle slot nearest the wire. 

 

2 hours ago, Mister Badly said:

Never use the holes in the back. While remodeling my house I changed out ALL the switches and outlets.  MANY of them released the wire when I unscrewed the switch from the box and pulled it out. 

 

When replacing electrical devices (switches, receptacles, etc) never use the "quick connect" holes in the back of the device. Always use the screws on the side of the device. Make a U shape in the solid wire, attach to the screw with the open end of the U on the same side as the direction of the screw turns.

 

I've replaced hundreds of devices over the years and repaired hundreds of "circuits not working" due to people installing the wires into these "quick connect" devices. I really can't understand why UL still approves this type of connection.

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9 hours ago, Hardpan Curmudgeon SASS #8967 said:

So did you fix that one outlet in the hallway while you were at it...?    :)

 

Outlet.jpg.3d842833f06b7c07f0bd5773ec0d2135.jpg

 

Gives a whole new meaning to "ground screw". That's better than loosing the screw and using that old 1.5' long sheet metal screw to hold the plate on and yes, I've seen that multiple times.

 

Lesson here, always wear your glasses when replacing wall plates.

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33 minutes ago, Cypress Sun said:

the wires that are stabbed into the back can be released by inserting a small flat head screwdriver into the rectangle slot nearest the wire. 

Yes those were the directions that were written on the switch.

 

It just did not work. Dikes worked.

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If the wires are short and stabbed into the back of the switch, I just crush the switch with a pair of channel lock pliers or lineman pliers.

The worst thing to work on is a switch or outlet where the wires have been cut short and you don't have enough wire to install a new part.

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On 1/15/2020 at 7:08 PM, Cypress Sun said:

 

A 15 amp rated single pole switch made by Leviton costs about a $1.00 at HD. Even if Alpo was able to find 150 watt lamps to install in the light fixture (sockets probably rated at 75 watt max), 450 watts divided by 120 volts is approximately 3.2 amps...way under what the switch is rated for. By the way, most of the Leviton and Square D stuff (and many other name brands) are made in Mexico or Canada now.

 

The chances of the bathroom lights/etc in that switch bank being on different circuits is very slim. Still best to check with a volt meter or similar tester. 

 

The Levitons are like 60-70 cents..... Can get those in bulk for under 50 cents......

 

I far prefer Pass-Seymour for residential grade. Hubbell for commercial-industrial.

 

My porch light that has been up for 20 years stopped working a while back. I decided to look at it yesterday. Loose tap in fixture box. Last time it was removed was probably in 2008 when I last painted the house. One of them deals where it looked like the wire nut pushed the stranded fixture wire off of the solid house wiring, rather than biting into it. Worked for years and probably vibrated loose from my kids running around the house, shaking house like a herd of elephants running through.....

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On 4/17/2020 at 3:55 PM, Maddog McCoy SASS #5672 said:

If the wires are short and stabbed into the back of the switch, I just crush the switch with a pair of channel lock pliers or lineman pliers.

The worst thing to work on is a switch or outlet where the wires have been cut short and you don't have enough wire to install a new part.

Back-stabbing devices is for those electricians that want to subject themselves to call-backs, or profit from future service calls, and blame the device on being of a foreign source. 

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2 hours ago, Dirty Dan Dawkins said:

Back-stabbing devices is for those electricians that want to subject themselves to call-backs, or profit from future service calls, and blame the device on being of a foreign source. 

 

You could be correct but usually those type of installs last longer than the company itself. If anything, it's lazy ass employees or cheap employers that use them. Most of the calls that I fixed during my career were many years down the road from the original installation. I also noticed that #14 wire was way far likely to fail in the "quick connects" than #12 wire. Funny that UL has allowed the device makers to continue to make them with #14 only "quick connects".  Kind of tells me that Big money talks and quality walks.

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1 hour ago, Cypress Sun said:

 

You could be correct but usually those type of installs last longer than the company itself. If anything, it's lazy ass employees or cheap employers that use them. Most of the calls that I fixed during my career were many years down the road from the original installation. I also noticed that #14 wire was way far likely to fail in the "quick connects" than #12 wire. Funny that UL has allowed the device makers to continue to make them with #14 only "quick connects".  Kind of tells me that Big money talks and quality walks.

Well, I said that with a bit of cynicism and sarcasm mixed together. I worked for two contractors before venturing into the world of self-unemployment. Both had the policy of now backstabbing devices, though some guys did anyway. What perplexed me was watching a guy drill out the #14 gauge holes to allow the #12 to be able to be back-stabbed. Almost more work.

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I've got 1 through 33, then I jump to 39.

 

According to Goodreads there are 48.

 

https://www.goodreads.com/series/40498-xanth

 

I need to pick up about a dozen.

 

I like some of his stuff. The apprentice Adept is pretty good. Wasn't especially fond of biography of a space tyrant, but that was 30 years ago, and my taste may have changed. I shall give them another try. Kinda so-so on Incarnations of Immortality, although my daughter got hooked on those.

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12 hours ago, Alpo said:

I've got 1 through 33, then I jump to 39.

 

According to Goodreads there are 48.

 

https://www.goodreads.com/series/40498-xanth

 

I need to pick up about a dozen.

 

I like some of his stuff. The apprentice Adept is pretty good. Wasn't especially fond of biography of a space tyrant, but that was 30 years ago, and my taste may have changed. I shall give them another try. Kinda so-so on Incarnations of Immortality, although my daughter got hooked on those.

 

 I have a first edition of volume 1 of Bio of A Space Tyrant. Back when I travelled for work all the time I read a lot of books.  Friend recommended it to me so I started collecting the series. Found volumes 2 through 5 by scrounging used book shops but could never find vol 1. On one trip I found a used book store I have never been to. Went inside and scoured the shelves for it and a couple of other series I was collecting. Having not found the elusive vol 1 on the shelf, I asked the person behind the counter if she knew where I could find a copy.  She ask why and when I explained that I had been searching for a copy for almost a year without success she turned around and pulled a copy out of glass case behind the counter in a cellophane pouch. Told her I couldn't afford to buy a collectors edition. She said not to worry and sold it to me at the cover price. I carefully read the book making sure not to crease the spine or damage any of the pages. Put it back into the envelope where it has stayed for about 18 years.  Some day I'll gift the entire series along with several others to one of the grandkids that shows an interest in reading si-fi fantasy.

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If/when I do reread it, it will be like reading it for the first time. I remember bits and pieces. His name was Worry when he picked vegetables. Frequent sex was required to be healthy, so each ship in the Navy had a onboard bordello. It was called the Tail.

 

It was kind of neat in the early 2000s when I bought a Kingston Trio CD, and one of the songs on it was Worried Man.

 

"JOE HILL'S NOT DEAD!!"

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1 hour ago, Alpo said:

If/when I do reread it, it will be like reading it for the first time. I remember bits and pieces. His name was Worry when he picked vegetables. Frequent sex was required to be healthy, so each ship in the Navy had a onboard bordello. It was called the Tail.

 

It was kind of neat in the early 2000s when I bought a Kingston Trio CD, and one of the songs on it was Worried Man.

 

"JOE HILL'S NOT DEAD!!"

I THOUGHT I SAW JOE HILL LAST NIGHT!

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Pretty sure that's DREAMED.

 

I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night

Alive as you or I

"But Joe", I said, "you're 8 years dead".

Said Joe, "I never died".

Said Joe, "I never died".

 

"The copper bosses shot you Joe,

They killed you Joe," said I.

"No bullet made, can kill a man

That has to organize."

That has to organize.

 

 

 

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