From switched receptacle to light question


Hello,
First, thanks to everyone who helped with my arc/short question. I have a pretty good idea of what happen now, but still am going to have an electrician come out next week and will post the conclusion.
New question. I had a switch that controlled power to a receptacle, so a lamp or something could be plugged into it and controlled by the switch.
One of the walls in the room was opened and the guys created a fixture for a ceiling fan based off the switch that once controlled the wall receptacle.
My question is the switch that controls the power to the ceiling fixture has a white and a black wire running to it (I think that's ok, right?), but does that explain why there is power always to the ceiling fixture?
If the switch is off and I take a neon-tester to the black and white wires the light barely goes on. If I turn the switch on and touch the wires, the light on the tester lights up very bright (as if I stuck both probes into a hot receptacle).
Does this sound OK?
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You really need to get a real tester. With the switch off, the hot should be dead

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What is a real tester? I did go buy a little pen like device that beeps when it is near voltage. It beeps near the ceiling fixture with the switch on or off.
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You'd be better off with a light bulb in a pigtail socket or anything that can assure that you do or don't have 120 volts to neutral and to ground

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RBM (remove this) wrote:

I think the best advice is, if you have to ask these kinds of questions, you should call an electrician, or at least a friend who knows what he's doing. If you screw up, someone can get killed or the house can burn down.
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You need to invest in a tester. Not a tester that works of inductance like the pen testers. Even the neon testers are not reliable. We will not let out employees use them as they are fallible.
Buy a wiggy http://www.squared.com/us/products/machine_safety.nsf/unid/58870E11543C976885256D500050927B /$file/wiggy.htm
Or some sort of voltage tester that tests ac and dc. Some are fairly inexpensive.
You are checking LIGHTS on testers and you need to be checking voltage
If you are using a neon tester and you go between the wires when the switch is off and you get a small glow that could be a small amount of voltage on it from inductance or a loaded neutral down the line and your neon tester is seeing it. If you get your voltmeter I would expect you may have a couple volts between ground and neutral at the point you tested and got a small glow.
A wiggy has coil in it it will click to the volatage applied to it. Voltmeter is better but you need to read the manual to learn all the settings
Tazz
wrote:

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Thanks for everyone's help. Had an electrician come out and diagnosed what was going on. The switch was wired fine, I think he called it back loading?, but the issue was one of the junction boxes where all the wires came together. The people who had done the work originally had mixed up a few wires, his technical term was "it's a mess", but he got everything working great. If I recall correctly now, there was a nuetral connected to the ground wire and that is what caused power even with the switch off.
Also, at the end of the day, he recommended I get a digital tester, which was wonderful b/c his reco helped side step the fight with my wife when I told her how much it was! ;)
Thanks again for everyone's help.
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