Making Changes to Wall Switch Wiring

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

Changes have been made to the wiring to a switch, and now when the switch is turned off the power also goes off to all the outlets in another room. How can this be corrected? Common Problems When Wiring Wall Switches and Outlets and How to Fix Them.

Wiring Wall Switches and Outlets

Electrical Question: Changes have been made to the wiring to a switch, and now when the switch is turned off the power also goes off to all the outlets in another room. How can this be corrected?

  • I have power coming in from the breaker box, this wire is hooked into a light switch which controls the ceiling light, then the power travels to the next room.
  • When we turn the switch off, it turns off the power in the next room, outlets and all.
  • Some one told us to install a jumper wire.
  • I am unsure of how this jumper wire method is done.
  • None of the diagrams I find really fit my scenario, or I don’t know how to apply them to my circuit.
  • The circuit has power, a light switch, a ceiling light, outlets and ceiling fan in that order.

Thanks so much for your help!

This electrical wiring question came from: Monika, a Homeowner from Novinger, Missouri.
Additional Comments: Great pictures & simple directions!

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Monika.

How to Connect Wiring for Wall Switches and Outlets


Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed by a Licensed Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience and ability to work with tools.
Precaution: Identify the light circuit, turn it OFF and  Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Notice: Installing additional fixture wiring should be done with a permit and be inspected.

How to Fix Common Problems When Wiring Wall Switches and Outlets

  • Identify the Circuit Wiring
    The circuit wiring must be identified in order to make the correct wiring connections to obtain the isolation between the switches and light fixtures and the wall outlets. The following will describe the individual wires that are commonly found in switch and outlet circuit wiring.

Basic Home Electrical Circuit Wiring

  • The Power Source – Line Power In
    For each electrical box within the circuit there will be a cable that is the Power Source. The power source may be directly from the panel, or it may be from another electrical box within the circuit.
  • Branch Circuits and Power Out
    If the circuit is a Branch Circuit, and the circuit wiring will branch out to other devices which are also connected to the circuit then the electrical box will have one or more cables that provide the Power Out.
  • Switch Cables and Wiring
    Depending on the location and application, many general purpose 120 volt circuits rated at 15 or 20 amps may have a mixture of both lights and receptacle outlets on the same circuit. Wiring for a switch is basically a loop of wire with a switch placed in the middle. Typical single pole, 3Way and 4Way switches do not require a Neutral Wire, however the White Wire of a cable may be used for switching the power leg of the circuit and should be marked or identified with black electrical tape or a black permanent marker.
  • Switch Wiring for Light Fixtures
    The Power Source for light fixtures will either be located in the light fixture box, or in the switch box. The location of the power source will affect how the neutral wires are connected for the light fixture.

    • Power Source at the Light Fixture
      If the power source is in the light fixture box then the white neutral wire of the light fixture will connect to the white wire of the power source.
    • Power Source at the Wall Switch
      If the power source is in the switch box then the white neutral wire of the cable leading up to the light fixture will connect to the white wire of the power source.
  • The Ground Wire
    The most important wire of any circuit is the ground wire, which is the circuit equipment safety wire. The ground wire is connected to the main electrical panel where the main grounding system is located and connected to the earth. All of the ground wires of the circuit must be connected together to maintain the integrity of the ground throughout the circuit. Wires from the spliced connections of the ground wires are connected to fixtures, ceiling fans, switches and receptacle outlets, or any other device that is connected to the circuit which has a ground lead wire or a ground screw where a ground wire connected.

More about Electrical Wiring for Outlets and Switches

Wiring Diagrams for Wall Switches
Light Switch Wiring
Light Switch WiringFully detailed pictures and wiring diagrams about wiring light switches describing the most common switches starting with photo diagram 1.

Wiring Diagrams for Outlets

Wiring Electrical Outlets
Home electrical wiring includes 110 volt outlets and 220 volt outlets and receptacles which are common place in every home. See how wiring electrical outlets for the home are done.

Home Electrical Wiring
Electrical Wiring
Electrical Wiring
Home electrical wiring projects with pictures and wiring diagrams.

Wiring Diagrams for Switches and Outlets
Wiring Diagrams Directory
A listing of wiring diagrams for switches and outlets.

Learn How to Wire it Right with my
Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring
Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handywomen, and Electricians
Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electrical Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Dryer Cord and Dryer Outlet
How to Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
Electrical Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
....and much more.

» Click here to learn more about Home Electrical Wiring «
  repair electrical wiring  

Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all projects.


Click the banner to Ask a Detailed Electrical Question and get an Instant Reply:
electrical question


If you are asking a Quick Question please make sure it is about This TOPIC:
“Making Changes to Wall Switch Wiring”

Comments Posted here are Open for Quality Discussion and Participation.