Ceiling Light Problem - No Switch

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easy.
connection.
I've not completely ruled that out, but fixtures I have seen with pull chains do not appeal to me as things I want in my LR. I can drill a hole and mount a pull switch on some other fixture, but if I go with a fixture with a glass cover, as is likely, then I have to run the chain somewhere else, rather than let gravity decide where the chain ends. All that is what got me started down the wireless remote route with which I started this question. For now, I am hoping to find switched black wires in the switch.
You make one real good point I had not considered. I'd been thinking that if I did go the pull chain route, then I would just leave the switch in the On position. Pulling the switch, attaching the wires and installing a blank plate over the hole makes a lot more sense. No point in getting it turned off by mistake.
Phil
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[snippage]
OK, I will check the switch out now. If that does not get me where I want to go, and if looking around the box armed with my new knowledge does not give me still more questions to ask here, I may go back to my original plan of finding another way to turn things off and on. I could remove the switch entirely and operate whatever light fixture I ultimately install by either remote or chain control, I guess.
Off to find my "neon" tester. I have a RatShack digital multimeter somewhere (but where?!??) as well, but it sounds like it won't really tell me any more than will the simple bulb.
Thanks again, Phil
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On 08 Jan 2004, Phil Anderson wrote:

Yep, that would make sense.

"A place for evrything, and everything in it's place"? ($1 Ben Franklin, I think <g>)

no problem, and please report back in whin it's all over, let us know what you ended up doing.
--
Baisez-les s'ils ne peuvent pas prendre une plaisanterie
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Interim report:
Took way too long to find a tester, and it is getting late so I will give up soon. Here is what I think I see so far. First, there are a whole batch of white wires off to one side of the switch box held together with a "nut." I do not see what they do - they do not connect to the switch.
Second, there are two black wires twisted together part way back in the box. This seems to be the source wire, since I get a neon light with the switch on or off. A third 'jumper' wire is twisted (poorly) onto those two wires. That jumper goes into the switch.
Third, there is another black wire that goes into the switch that I do not see connected to anything else as I look deeper into the box. I assume it is the switched wire.
Fourth, there is a large red nut just lieing loose in the box. I will put it over the jumper twist.
Fifth, and I am not sure about this right now, there seems to be a red wire off in the corner of the box. It does not seem to be attached to anything, and to just sit there bare. What, if anything, does that suggest? Will investigate further now, but probably will not report back until tomorrow.
Sixth, I am under pressure to get off line, and will do so now.
Phil
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snip
let
neon
twisted
switch.
that
the
I
a
I have time for one last followup:
A) Whoever twisted the black wires should be shot. I did them much better, if not professionally. B). The red wire is not connected to anything. The bare end does not like it has ever been twisted or connected to anything. Is this something I should be twisting into the source wire, on the assumption that from there it goes on around the room to the outlets that work only when the switch is on? C) That's all for tonight. Hope to have time to play with the switch tomorrow night, assuming you guys confirm the red needs to join the twist.
Phil
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On 08 Jan 2004, Phil Anderson wrote:

That's the way it should be. Switches are strictly in the hot side of the circuit, you should never be interrupting the neutral wire with a switch. Bundled whites = good.

Sounds right.

Yes, should be. You can confirm that by seeing your light track the action of the switch.

Sunds like a good chance that's where it came from, if there was no nut on that twisted mess.

Suggests that one of those cables coming into the box is a 14*-3 w/ground (it could be 12-3 w/g, for you nitpickers out there) which is a piece of romex that carries two 120VAC circuits. The Black and Red are the two hots, then there's a White neutral and a bare ground.

That's entirely possible. Not practical, but possible.

!!! NO !!!

No. If it *IS* a live 2nd hot leg on the source cable, you wil create a dead short across the 240V when you touch it to the black, blow the breakers, and likely knock yourself on your ass from the sparks and/or startling you'll get.

See, that's just it. Not to cop out on you now, but this literally falls under the category of "I can't see it from here" and all of the describing in the world can't take the place of me bing able to eyeball it and start pulling other cover plates, looking underneath that wall in the basement, etc. Anything beyond what I'm about to say on the red wire would be a total guess.
Your report so far says there is only one hot wire leaving the switch. That means that somewhere in one of the duplex boxes or maybe even in the light fixture box, the wire for the outlet loop is attached to the switched hot intended for the light fixture. That's just plain wrong, unless somebody actually *wanted* the situation you have now.
Best advice I can give you is to:
a) test the end of the red wire to see if it lights the tester. If so, it means it's hot. Screw a small (black) wire nut on it and tuck it back into the box.
b) If by some chance there is no voltage on that empty red wire, you may want to start pulling the outlets out of the boxes and looking for a similar red wire in one of them. Start with he ones physically closest to the switch.
In any case, DON'T connect it to anything until you're sure where the other end of it goes!
c) If the red wire was cold, AND you found another loose red wire in an outlet box, then we'll talk. But if not...
If the red wire WAS hot, either just go with your plan to abandon the switch all together, or spend the cost of an electrician for an hour to come in and fix it.
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hot
Sorry to take so long getting back. It has been a busy weekend, and I have barely had time to get the switch plate off. The red wire is definitely NOT hot. NOt sure why, but it seems to me more likely that if there is a loose red wire on the other end, it will more likely be at the light fixture. Wherever it is I fear it will be several more days before I get to look for it. Time seems an increasingly scarce commodity.
Thanks for all the advice so far.
Phil
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On 11 Jan 2004, Phil Anderson wrote:
(me)


Take your time! lol
And actually, the red wire report is probably good news.
If the red wire wasn't hot, that means it's likely not on the feeder cable coming in. IOW, It is *leaving* the box going to either the light fixture or the start of the switch loop.
Once you figure out where the other end is, let me know, and we'll take it from there.
LOL It's hard to walk away from a challenge, and you got me hooked on this one.
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