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6/2/2020 2:34:59 PM
Posted: 1/9/2005 8:30:21 AM EDT
I replaced two outlets ina bedroom yesterday. backwired, in series 15A outlets. The hall light seems to run off the 'last' outlet in the chain. But now the hall light won't stay on. It lights up momentarilly, then go off.
I did notice the ground wires were loose from each other- shitty materials- the ground wired were twisted on themselves and clamped together with a copper band- no nut. I clamped it back yogether as best I could- it looked like they had good contact.
Could that be the cause??

I was thinking about raising the outlet box a couple of inches so I can pull the wiring further out, and put a wire nut on the ground wire connection. There doesn't seem to be any slack in the wiring, so I thought moving the outlet higher would give me the lenght I need.
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 8:35:49 AM EDT
You have a poor connection in the circuit. (Not the ground) Start over and verify the wall outlets. Then move on to the light itself.
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 8:36:35 AM EDT

The ground wires wouldn't have anything to do with it unless the groung wire is being used as the neutral.

Make sure the wires are tight in the back of the outlets, sometimes they don't hold very well.

Link Posted: 1/9/2005 8:48:52 AM EDT
Thanks, I was leaning toward the connections on the back.

Damn thing is- It's a 'new' location for me, and I don't know if the light worked properly before.

Can I check the light socket with a volt meter?? Should i be looking at amps or volts on the socket???
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 8:52:28 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 8:53:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Only_Hits_Count:

Can I check the light socket with a volt meter?? Should i be looking at amps or volts on the socket???



Volts. Amps will be a function of what you plug into it.
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 8:53:44 AM EDT
Make sure you use correct terminology. The GROUNDED wire, as in bare copper, or the GROUND wire, more commonly referred to as neutral which is white in color.

My opinion - it doesn't sound like a wiring problem as much as a bad switch. You wouldn't get the light to turn on briefly, only to turn back off. There's no physical force acting to move the wires around when you're toggling the switch.

When you check the socket, definitely measure voltage. If you try to measure amps, you'll create a short circuit.
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 8:55:22 AM EDT

If this a new location, you may want to check the switch also.


Link Posted: 1/9/2005 9:24:33 AM EDT
I'm fairly handy with a voltmeter- but I usually only use in to confirm a lack of current in the outlets- otherwise I'm checking molex connections from a computter power supply.

So what readings am I looking for with a 'good' light socket??? or a good switch?? 110 V???

I'm not sure how you'd check a socket with abulb in it...

the 'ground' wire I was referring to was the bare copper wire attached to the green screw.
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 10:20:48 AM EDT
120V
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 10:25:10 AM EDT

Anywhere from 100 to 130 volts it varries

Link Posted: 1/9/2005 10:25:52 AM EDT
Just a thought: If the light comes on then turns off, you may be running current through some wire or other connection which is unable to handle the load. If such a connection melts, you could be in real danger of a fire, and it could manifest itself as an intermittent connection.

Just something to consider....
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 10:52:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Zaphod:
Just a thought: If the light comes on then turns off, you may be running current through some wire or other connection which is unable to handle the load. If such a connection melts, you could be in real danger of a fire, and it could manifest itself as an intermittent connection.

Just something to consider....



Thaaaaat's one of my concerns......how would that manifest it'self so that I coulf find/test for it???

There wasn't a heavy load on the circuit, in fact hardly any at all.
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 11:01:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Only_Hits_Count:

Originally Posted By Zaphod:
Just a thought: If the light comes on then turns off, you may be running current through some wire or other connection which is unable to handle the load. If such a connection melts, you could be in real danger of a fire, and it could manifest itself as an intermittent connection.

Just something to consider....



Thaaaaat's one of my concerns......how would that manifest it'self so that I coulf find/test for it???

There wasn't a heavy load on the circuit, in fact hardly any at all.



When the light goes out, start checking at the beginning of that wiring run and find out where power is interupted. If it draws power from that last outlet, is it still live when the light goes out?

Link Posted: 1/9/2005 11:09:17 AM EDT
How did you wire the receptacles in series? Are you sure? They should be wired in parellel. As far as the light being wired off the last plug, the hot wire from the receptacles should be going to the hot side of the switch and a switch leg should be going to the light fixture along with a neutral.
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 11:20:19 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 11:42:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By sleepercaprice1:
How did you wire the receptacles in series? Are you sure? They should be wired in parellel. As far as the light being wired off the last plug, the hot wire from the receptacles should be going to the hot side of the switch and a switch leg should be going to the light fixture along with a neutral.



I meant "in series"...... the outlets are 'chained' to each other- as opposed to each outlet being wired indivudually.

I put the white wires on the side that the instructions said to- they're pretty much color coded - and ran the black wires to the other side. Bare wire to green screw.

There were 3 wires - of each color- I'm thinking the '3rd/other' set went to the outlet on the otherside of the wall in the batchroom. 1 for this outlet, one to the hall light, and 1 to the bathroom. The bathroom is a gfi outlet, but it doesn't have the reset swith in it.

The bulb was a 60 watter.

I've installed my own breakers and added circuits before. I read the instruction 3 times and work slowly, double checking as I go.
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 11:42:26 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Only_Hits_Count:

Originally Posted By Zaphod:
Just a thought: If the light comes on then turns off, you may be running current through some wire or other connection which is unable to handle the load. If such a connection melts, you could be in real danger of a fire, and it could manifest itself as an intermittent connection.

Just something to consider....



Thaaaaat's one of my concerns......how would that manifest it'self so that I coulf find/test for it???

There wasn't a heavy load on the circuit, in fact hardly any at all.



Turn off the breaker.

Then measure the resistance between the black and the white wire. It should show and open circuit. If it measures anything less than that, you have a resistive short somewhere in the circuit.
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 11:50:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Zhukov:

Originally Posted By Only_Hits_Count:

Originally Posted By Zaphod:
Just a thought: If the light comes on then turns off, you may be running current through some wire or other connection which is unable to handle the load. If such a connection melts, you could be in real danger of a fire, and it could manifest itself as an intermittent connection.

Just something to consider....



Thaaaaat's one of my concerns......how would that manifest it'self so that I coulf find/test for it???

There wasn't a heavy load on the circuit, in fact hardly any at all.



Turn off the breaker.

Then measure the resistance between the black and the white wire. It should show and open circuit. If it measures anything less than that, you have a resistive short somewhere in the circuit.



Only if the light switch is off, or the bulb is removed.
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 12:09:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Tango7:

Originally Posted By Zhukov:
Turn off the breaker.

Then measure the resistance between the black and the white wire. It should show and open circuit. If it measures anything less than that, you have a resistive short somewhere in the circuit.



Only if the light switch is off, or the bulb is removed.



Makes no difference if the breaker is off. You want to check it with the switch off and on for that matter.
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 12:16:11 PM EDT
For the dense among us... what reading am I looking for on the multimeter with the swith open / closed.

Thanx
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 2:57:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/9/2005 2:59:20 PM EDT by Only_Hits_Count]
If anyone cares...I haven't electrocuted myself yet.

I double checked the wiring on the back of the last outlet, and everything was secure.

The outlets all seem to be functioning ok.
The floor lamp plugged into the last outlet doesn't dim when i hit the hall light.

One Q did come to mind- do the wires have to be matched to a specific hole / location on the back of the outlet???

3 black wires ( and 3 white and 3 bare) feeding into the outlet box- 4 holes on the back of the outlet. Do the wire(s) that provide power to this outlet, have a specific or assigned location among the four holes on the back??

I guess now I need to troubleshoot from the light switch to the socket.
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 3:09:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Zhukov:
Make sure you use correct terminology. The GROUNDED wire, as in bare copper, or the GROUND wire, more commonly referred to as neutral which is white in color.




The bare copper wire is the "Grounding" wire, the white wire is the "Grounded" wire.

To answer the original question:

Something is loose in the wiring,  It shouldn't matter if the bare copper wires are loose (though that needs to be fixed).  Kill the breaker and find the bad connection.
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 3:14:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Only_Hits_Count:
If anyone cares...I haven't electrocuted myself yet.

I double checked the wiring on the back of the last outlet, and everything was secure.

The outlets all seem to be functioning ok.
The floor lamp plugged into the last outlet doesn't dim when i hit the hall light.

One Q did come to mind- do the wires have to be matched to a specific hole / location on the back of the outlet???

3 black wires ( and 3 white and 3 bare) feeding into the outlet box- 4 holes on the back of the outlet. Do the wire(s) that provide power to this outlet, have a specific or assigned location among the four holes on the back??

I guess now I need to troubleshoot from the light switch to the socket.




No

Black on the side with gold screws and white on the side with silver screws.

Which holes they go into on their respective sides does not matter unless the connector has been removed between the screws.

Link Posted: 1/9/2005 3:18:25 PM EDT
So just a visual inspection??? the fixture and socket connections looked ok.
I'm wondering why it goes on for an instant, and then goes off...  If there was a short, wouldn't it trip the breaker??

I don't have a multimeter with me......maybe I'll just poke around with a screwdriver.
Hey - hold my beer.
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 3:48:15 PM EDT
     Splice the two white wires together at your outlets using a wire nut along with a short piece of white that you then land on the silver screw of the outlet. In other words you wind up with 3 wires under that wire nut. Reason for this is that you won't be relying on the internal connection of the outlet to complete the circuit.  It is possible that your outlet is not providing a good connection between those wires.  You can also do this with the black wires.  I have often done this with cheap outlets.  I have more faith in the wirenuts than I do with the devices to provide a good connection.
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 3:56:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/9/2005 3:58:44 PM EDT by Bob243]

Originally Posted By exgi:
     Splice the two white wires together at your outlets using a wire nut along with a short piece of white that you then land on the silver screw of the outlet. In other words you wind up with 3 wires under that wire nut. Reason for this is that you won't be relying on the internal connection of the outlet to complete the circuit.  It is possible that your outlet is not providing a good connection between those wires.  You can also do this with the black wires.  I have often done this with cheap outlets.  I have more faith in the wirenuts than I do with the devices to provide a good connection.



BIG +1 HERE


Use pigtail, not the outlet..    Also I have next to no faith in those spring loaded holes in the back of the outlet..  I cannot tell you how many I have replaced for people, when I remove the wire you can tell that it had been arcing.  That is bad.    Run pigtails and use the screws on the outlet.

Personally I like to use Leviton 5800 (I B or W depending on the color you want)   If you don'f have an electrical supply house near you, I am convinced that the Leviton "commercial grade" that home depot and lowes sells are the same or very similar in quality to the Leviton 5800)

Forget this part, your using 15amp outlets..  Sorry..
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 3:57:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Only_Hits_Count:
So just a visual inspection??? the fixture and socket connections looked ok.
I'm wondering why it goes on for an instant, and then goes off...  If there was a short, wouldn't it trip the breaker??

I don't have a multimeter with me......maybe I'll just poke around with a screwdriver.
Hey - hold my beer.



Have you tried changing the bulb?

Link Posted: 1/9/2005 4:01:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By out-a-ammo:

Originally Posted By Only_Hits_Count:
If anyone cares...I haven't electrocuted myself yet.

I double checked the wiring on the back of the last outlet, and everything was secure.

The outlets all seem to be functioning ok.
The floor lamp plugged into the last outlet doesn't dim when i hit the hall light.

One Q did come to mind- do the wires have to be matched to a specific hole / location on the back of the outlet???

3 black wires ( and 3 white and 3 bare) feeding into the outlet box- 4 holes on the back of the outlet. Do the wire(s) that provide power to this outlet, have a specific or assigned location among the four holes on the back??

I guess now I need to troubleshoot from the light switch to the socket.




No

Black on the side with gold screws and white on the side with silver screws.

Which holes they go into on their respective sides does not matter unless the connector has been removed between the screws.




If your like me and have a hard time determining the screw colors in less than ideal light,  The side of the outlet that is slightly bigger (polorized plug) is the neutral side. That is the white wire.
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 4:15:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/9/2005 4:19:31 PM EDT by Only_Hits_Count]

Originally Posted By out-a-ammo:
[...
Black on the side with gold screws and white on the side with silver screws.

Which holes they go into on their respective sides does not matter unless the connector has been removed between the screws.




Check.

That what I did.
If they're not getting a good connection, I'd rather change to a different /better outlet. It sounds a little easier-imo.
I was using the 'prograde' outlets from Home depot. Levitron is the brand .


>> yep- checked/ changed the bulb. I only do the wiring during the day- so i could see the screw color pretty well.

The Leviton outlets have screw in plates to hold the wires from the side-tightening the screws, sclamps down on the wire.- I agree- I wouldn't use the spring loaded kind.


I may try the pigtail idea after all.
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