How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Rick Your Own Question

Rick
Rick, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 453
Experience:  10 yrs as a electrician. Have my own company.
69082490
Type Your Electrical Question Here...
Rick is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

OK, I have another question for you. More complicated. 1.

Resolved Question:

OK, I have another question for you. More complicated.

1. I have an outlet and a switch in one box, both on the same circuit.

2. For the outlet, it appears to be at the end of the line. One romex coming in, it works OK I think. The only issue is the 3-light tester showed I had hot/neutral reversed even though I had black to brass, white to silver. Since the tester said I had it backwards, I reversed it and now the tester says it wired OK.

3. The problem is with the light switch
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Rick replied 1 year ago.

Sparky :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm here to answer any of your electrical questions.

Sparky :

As far as the reversed wires somewhere before that point the wires got mixed up.

Sparky :

Do you have a voltage tester to verify what the plug in tester are correct?

Customer:

Yes, I just tested the outlet and it shows 120 volts.

Customer:

If I have the switch on, the outlet works but the light does not turn on.

Customer:

If I have the switch off, the outlet does not work.

Sparky :

Sounds like some wires are mixed up in there. Is this something that just started happening?

Customer:

I seem to have lost part of what I sent in as the question.

Customer:

Give me a minute and I will re-type it.

Sparky :

ok

Customer:

I just changed the outlet and switch (my wife wanted white rather than tan). The light switch does not work and is causing the circuit breaker to trip. I have from the second romex a white wire attached to the switch. I also have a black wire attached to the switch. The black wire is a piggy tail connected at a wire nut to black wire from the romex and another old wire (pre-romex) that I assume goes to the light, but I could be wrong.

Sparky :

Can you take a picture and post it?

Customer:

yes. I assume that I use the file attachment (paperclip) to do that? It will take me a couple of minutes.

Sparky :

No problem. Sounds great. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX the paperclip icon

Sparky :

I see you're trying to send the pictures through your iPhone unfortunately they are not coming through. sorry. Lets try this another way. How many cables(romex) are coming in?We'll call them cable #1 #2 and so on. Explain to me how they are connected. Thanks.

Customer:

Cable 1 is connected to the outlet. Cable 1 works.

Customer:

Cable 2 is connected to the switch. The switch does not work.

Customer:

The black wire on cable two is connected by a wire nut to the switch and to a third single line (not romex). The white wire on cable two is connected to the switch.

Sparky :

So there are only 2 cables and this mystery wire, correct?

Customer:

Yes. The mystery wire is on the top of the box, headed to the ceiling where the light is.

Sparky :

Cable 1 is only going to the receptacle, and goes no where else, and is fine, yes?

Customer:

Yes, until I turn the switch off and then the circuit breaker flips.

Sparky :

Very strange. Especially the single wire. This is against code. So someone had to mess with the wiring in there at some point. To find out what is going on you're going to have to take apart the light that it controls as well so we can find out where that wire is coming from. Did this problem just start, or was this an existing problem?

Customer:

Everything worked fine. I was just trying to change the switch and the outlet to a different color. Somehow, I must have gotten the re-wiring to the switch or maybe to the outlet and switch wrong.

Sparky :

What wires are hot?

Sparky :

When the breaker is on.

Customer:

I will try to figure out if the mystery wire is hot. Then I will try to figure out if the cable two is hot.

Customer:

It will probably take me 5 minutes

Sparky :

ok

Customer:

Cable two is hot. I tested its black to white (hot), its black to ground (hot) and its black to the outlet's ground (hot).

Customer:

The mystery wire is not hot.

Sparky :

What about at the light fixture? What wires do you have there? and what wires are connected to the light?

Customer:

I don't know. Unfortunately, is a very difficult box to access. In the ceiling, with a heavy complicated ceiling light. I put the ceiling light fixture in about 3 months ago. I don't recall the wiring in there being difficult. If I have to open the ceiling box, I think I would rather call a local electrician.

Sparky :

I think that is going to be your best option. This way you can have that single wire corrected anyway. The last thing I want to do is guide you into having a eventual fire.

Customer:

OK, thanks for the effort.

Rick, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 453
Experience: 10 yrs as a electrician. Have my own company.
Rick and 4 other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Rick replied 1 year ago.
Hi Mark. I hope you got your situation taken care of. I wish I could've been more help with this situation than I was. Thank you for the rating and the bonus. Greatly appreciated.

http://www.justanswer.com/home-improvement/expert-electricianforhire/

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • You did one super job of explaining to me everything there is to know about this fridge. I'm looking forward to asking you questions in the future. Jimmy Bagley, IA
< Last | Next >
  • You did one super job of explaining to me everything there is to know about this fridge. I'm looking forward to asking you questions in the future. Jimmy Bagley, IA
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Mike

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1425
    Licensed Master Electrician - OnQ Certified Data Voice Audio Video Installer
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/mikepettinato/2009-9-4_41145_DSC005132.jpg Mike's Avatar

    Mike

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1425
    Licensed Master Electrician - OnQ Certified Data Voice Audio Video Installer
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/WI/WireitUp/2012-6-17_18212_Photo00006.64x64.jpg Jason's Avatar

    Jason

    Service Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    3278
    Over 15 years of experience in all types of installations, troubleshooting, and repairs.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MI/MikeG2010/2012-6-7_192640_IMG01612.64x64.jpg Mike G.'s Avatar

    Mike G.

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    5318
    Proven Professional 45 years Experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AS/AssuredElectrical/2011-9-13_221243_me.64x64.gif AssuredElectrical's Avatar

    AssuredElectrical

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    2149
    Contractor-40 Years in the ElectricalTrade
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/electrifier/2008-12-16_200429_headbob1.jpg electrifier's Avatar

    electrifier

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1454
    Electrical contractor and electrical inspector for over 24 years with phone and networking expertise
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/rich03dungo/2010-3-17_101556_tshirt2.jpg Rich's Avatar

    Rich

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1115
    Over 35 years residential, commercial, industrial wiring, install, troubleshoot, service, maintain
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/UR/urelectrician/2012-9-28_223652_JustAnswerPic.64x64.jpg Kevin's Avatar

    Kevin

    Licensed Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    993
    27 years as a Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, 5 year college Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma in Digital Electronics, Former Illinois Licensed Home Inspector
 
 
 
Chat Now With An Electrician
Rick
Rick
Electrician
453 Satisfied Customers
10 yrs as a electrician. Have my own company.