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The Switch to Nothing

The mystery of the light switch still lingers in many houses across America. The light switch to nothing is annoying and seems to serve no purpose. Does it go to a light? An outlet? Your neighbor’s garbage disposal? No one knows. No matter what you’ve tried, you can’t seem to figure it out!

Not everyone is known around town as “Mr. Fix It” and when it comes to electrical problems, they can be scary to figure out. Here are a few things to try before you reach out for help.

  1. Try plugging a lamp into the outlets in the room with the mystery switch. Try both the top and bottom plugs in the outlets. Many times people assume a switched outlet goes to the top plug, but it could be the bottom! Flip that switch each time you plug the lamp in and see if it illuminates. If yes, you have your answer. If no, move on to number two.
  2. Are you ready to delve a little deeper? If you feel confident enough to continue this DIY, read on. If not Call Godby. Turn the power off on your main breaker panel to your room where the switch is located.
  3. Remove the switch face plate. Is the switch even connected to wires? If no, there’s your answer. If yes, keep reading. If you have an electrical tester, check for power.
  4. Does it seem that all of the wires are connected?
  5. Does it have a red wire? If so, one of the outlets in your room should also have a red wire. The outlet with the red wire means that it is a switched outlet and possibly the outlet the switch goes to. You can remove the face plate of each outlet to see if any of them have a red wire. If no outlet in the room has that red wire, then your light switch does not go to any of the outlets. If there is an outlet with a red wire and it didn’t pass the lamp test, you could have a bad outlet, loose wiring or a bad switch.

Are you exhausted and/or confused yet? Ok, we aren’t even going to go any further than that. If you are indeed “Mr. Fix It,” you probably would have already known what to do. Determining what your mystery switch goes to is a bit of a process as you can see. It is a matter of checking one thing after another to find your answer, so it takes time. Plus, you are working with electricity, so safety is definitely a high priority.

Don’t be Monica on “Friends” looking for the end to the switch for nothing. It’s funny on TV, but not in your own house. Stay safe and keep your walls intact and leave it to the experts! Call Godby Electrical and schedule an appointment today!

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