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Any electricians on here.Need help figuring out why I have no power to my garage.

2756 Views 45 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  BlnLs1/RX7
Lost power and can't figure out whats up.I have power to the switch which I replaced but can't get power to lights and recepts.I am not good with wiring.HELP.
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You are using the wrong type of tester. You need a tester like a VOM meter to test for voltage between hots, neutrals & grounds and also be capable of being used as a continuity tester.
With out that type of tester you will probably not find out what the problem is.
Switch I took out only have 2 screws on one side and the differant colored screw on the oppisite side replaced it with same configuration switch. 1 wire comes up thru th comduit and goes thru the switch box to junction box.That wired in wire nutted to blck wires in the junction box.2 other wires coming into the switch box. One goes to top of switch the other goes to bottom side of switch.Older house and garage so all the wires comign are black.That is part of the problem.ould make it wa easier if there were a black,white and bare just like rest of the wiring.
if you have white wires in a wirenut but no white wires on the switch, undo the wire nut and touch the metal box with the bare wires for a second. you should complete the circuit and that will tell you that you have a loose neutral
OK, I may be missing something, how many screws (places to put a wire) are there on your switch, 4, it should be like I said in my earlier description. If I had to guess, which I am, based on this description, you have a wire that is on one of the screws on the switch and wire nutted to a black wire going up out of the switch box and down out of the switch box, that wire should be on the "different" colored screw and the other two wires will be on the other two screws of the same color, is that how they are ?

(sorry for the run-on sentence)
Sorry the way I described it may be confusing. Light switch only has 3 places to put wires. 2 on one side and 1 that is not the same color on the other side(which I know should be ground) . I have a small piece of conduit that comes up thru the floor of the garage.Only 3 wires comimg out of it.All have black insulation on them.Out of the 3 only one is hot and goes into the light switch box and is wired to one of the 2 screws on one side of the switch. Lets call that wire #1. Wire #2 comes out of the conduit and goes into the switch box and wires to the other screw that is on the same side as wire #1. Wire #3 comes up out of the conduit and passes thru the switch box and right up to the junctuon box that distributes out to the recepts and light boxes.Inside the junction box wire #3 is wire nutted to the black wires that go out to the recepts and light boxes. There is a 4th wire that is in the switch box but it comes back from the junction box.In side the junction box wire #4 is wire nutted to the white wires that go out to everything from the junction.It was wired to the screw that is odd colored and on the opposite side of the switch as wires #1,#2. Does all that make sense and sound right.
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. . . not really :rolleyes:

Ok, I don't think you have a three way switch, you have a single pole toggle switch, are all of the screws the same size and it one of them screwed into the metal frame for the switch and the other two aren't. If the lights could be turned on or off from two different locations before you started this replacement, you have a three way system, but it sounds like you now have a single pole switch. You need to get a three way switch if that's the case, it will cost you about 7 or 8 times as much as a single pole at the Depot or Lowes.

As far as the wiring goes I'm still kinda lost, is the black wire that is passing straight through the switch box and going to the junction box hot, where is the neutral coming from for the devices fed from the junction box, does the conduit coming into the switch box come directly from the breaker panel ? I know the colors aren't right but this just doesn't sound right at all. The neutral shouldn't be used as a ground on the switch and based on what I think I read, that's what it sounds like. Do you have power in the junction box feeding the receptacles, did the switch control the lights and receptacle ?

I really think you need to find a friend or a friend of a friend that is an electrician.

Good luck
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Black wire passing thru is not hot.No power at the junction box.Switch controlled the recepts and the lights.Small 1 1/2 car garage.
Black wire passing thru is not hot.No power at the junction box.Switch controlled the recepts and the lights.Small 1 1/2 car garage.
Make sure that the replacement switch that you bought new is in fact a 3 way switch.
OK, based on that, I think the wire passing straight through is the neutral and the one coming back down into the switch box from the junction box needs to be hooked to the other big screw on the same side of the switch as the hot wire coming up into the switch box. I still have no idea what the other wire coming in from the bottom is though.
Ok thing is I am almost positive I wired the new switch same way the old one was.Like I said earlier that other wire coming up from conduit does have power once I flip the switch in side the house.The wires going to the actual switch from the conduit basically switch once I flip the switch inside the house.Top wire on the garage switch is hot with the house switch flipped one way and bottom wire is not hot.Flip the house switch the other way and bottom wire on switch in garage now has power and top doesnt.
Fuckin A
lick one finger touch the bare wire. lick the other and touch the black wire. :p
Show me and then I will try it after you:)
your travelers go switch to switch.....The line is where you connect the HOT wire or the LOAD wire depending on which switch you are replacing....did you replace the switch that has the line HOT from the breaker or the one going up to lights?
Bill my switch does not look like that.I replaced it with one that looked exactly like the one I took out.2 screws on one side and one on the opposite side that I am pretty sure is where the ground wire is supposed to attach. Pretty sure it is the one going to the lights.Wire out of the breaker went up into the baseboard and looks to go straight up to switch by back my back door that I have talked about.
here's my crude drawing that will help.
don't kill yourself.

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Then you did not install a 3 way switch....if your switch has on/ off written on it then it is NOT a 3 way...
here's my crude drawing that will help.
don't kill yourself.

AWSOME......i tried with paint too and looked wayyyy worse then that.....this is exactly how a 3WAY switch works....
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