Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Home & GardenDo It Yourself (DIY) · 1 decade ago

How do you figure out what a light switch controls?

There is a light switch in our house whose purpose we have not determined. The switch is near the entrance to our living room, so we figure that it should control something in the living room. There is no ceiling light fixture and we have tested all the wall outlets in the room by flipping the light switch with a lamp plugged into all the outlets, one at a time, but the switch has no effect - the outlets are all always on. For those of you who are wondering whether the switch is actually wired, it is. Is is possible to determine what the switch is meant to control, without calling an electrician to come tell us? If so, how?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    the switch may control an outside outlet or light... also the switch may control just the top or bottom outlet of one in the living room . you can remove the wall cover from the switch and use an ohmeter to test if it has power going to it

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  • 1 decade ago

    Did you check to see if the switch is hot? You say theres wires to it but is there juice there? Make sure you test both plugs on each outlet also by using the switch(assuming the switch has power). Next thing would be look at your breaker box. Is there a breaker that is turned off? Is there a black wire in your breaker box that is not hooked up? If there isn't juice at the switch and theres a loose wire then ohm it out to see if thats the wire at the switch. Next thing I guess if the switch is hot would be to turn off the breakers one at a time and see which one controls the switch and also determine what other electrical items are controlled by that breaker also. A once about a time switched plug may be the answer or even a once about a time ceiling fan or light also. But don't ever check for voltage with an ohmeter. Use a voltmeter! Use the ohmeter for tracing wires with the power off in the particular wire your testing. Good Luck! OH! food for thought, is it a 3 way switch? How old is it? Does it have back feed connector holes for the wires in the back? If so then they are of the newer style switches. Old ones just had the screw terminals!

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  • 1 decade ago

    Maybe...just maybe, the switch controls a wiring/power for a ceiling fan that was never installed? Is there like a gangbox cover in the ceiling?

    I'm going to assume you don't have the tools to test the wiring in your house...call an electrician if it's important to know what that switch controls.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    We had a switch like that in our last house. After several years, we finally figured out that the dishwasher would not turn on unless that switch was also flipped to ON. Could it be a safety feature to keep toddlers from turning on an appliance?

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  • 1 decade ago

    It's possible that some outlets used to be switched but aren't switched anymore. You could try taking some wall outlets out and looking to see if there's an extra wire hangin' out in there.

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  • 1 decade ago

    It's a switched outlet for the living room ... it's suppose to control a lamp thats plugged in ... you'll have to test all the outlets both top and bottom to find which one it is ... it's there because there is no light fixture in the living room .... it's a electrical code

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  • 4 years ago

    What A Light

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    take the light swith cover off you will see a number on the cord, next check where all electrical things lead and check the numbers, if the numbers are the same they lead to there:)

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  • MARY S
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    CALL THE ELECTRICIAN...YOU MAY GOT FAULTY WIRING IN YOUR HOME....ARE THE OUTLETS ON OR OFF, AC OR DC CURRENT....WHAT CYCLE? FUSES OR CIRCUIT BREAKERS....DO YOU HAVE ADAQUATE VOLTAGE ....HOW MANY VOLTS DO IT TAKE? THE SIWITCH IS IN ERROE....FAULTY WIRIN I SAY./....CALL THE ELECTRICIAN NOW...BEFORE YA NEED TO CALL ROTO ROOTER

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  • 1 decade ago

    Have you watched the garage doors on your street? ;o}

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