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Basement Lighting and Plugs


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Summary: Electrical Lighting Question: I'm selling my house. The new buyers had a home inspection, which turned up the following.




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I'm selling my house. The new buyers had a home inspection, which turned up the following. The previous owners had the basement finished. The bedroom outlets do not work when the room light switch is turned on. The outlets go live when the light is turned off. What should I check? Is this a simple fix?
Thanks Steve

Hi Steve - Great Electrical Repair Question!
I must ask you - does a light actually come on when the switch is turned on?
My first thought is that the switch is upside down. If a ceiling light actually goes on and the switch is in the right position then there is some other checks needed to be made - Such as: Is this a single switch, in other words is there more than one switch that controls the light? I ask this because there may be another switch, making it a 3-way switch configuration and in that case the plugs could have been wired into the switch wiring incorrectly.

Most single switches have on and off printed or the words molded into the handled of the switch. 3-Way switches do not show an indication of being in an on or off position.

Has it always been like this as long as you have been in the home? Let me know if this helps and what you find.

From: Steve.
Dave, I finally made it back to the basement to check this out.
Yes, if the switch is flipped on, the over head light does come on (and the outlets go dead). It has always been this way (I assume since I never changed it).
Here's what I see - It is a 3-way switched used where there is only 1 point to turn off/on the overhead light.
There are 3 set of wires - power in, wire to the light, and wire to the outlet (6 wires total). The hot wires are to the 3 places in the 3 way switch, the neutral wires are wound together and capped (as are the grounds).
I'm not an electrician, but this looks FUBAR. A friend thought I could install a double switch and solve - one switch powers the outlets, the other the overhead light.


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