+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,663

    Default Found out what that switch finally did

    I've been in my house 21 years and could never figure out what a switch by the front door did. It was wired, but never did know what it controlled.
    Well today I was rearranging some shelving in the garage and I came upon an outlet box with a blank cover plate. When I opened it, there were wires capped with wire nuts. I thought good, I can always use another outlet. After checking with a tester, there was no power, so I closed it up. I climbed up in the attic and tried to follow the wire, but lost it in the insulation.
    It was on my mind as I was finishing up in the garage and suddenly I remembered the switch. I opened the box up again and turned on the switch and sure enough it had power.
    I think the power was roughed in for another outside light.
    As you can see, it doesn't take much to keep me amused.
    Now if I can figure what the switch by the side door does I will be even happier. Now I know what to look for.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    1,004

    Default Re: Found out what that switch finally did

    it's funny how exciting something like that can be after all that time.....i would have torn the house apart to figure it out

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,690

    Default Re: Found out what that switch finally did

    Be glad it didn't take you 40 years to solve this mystery.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,640

    Default Re: Found out what that switch finally did

    Every old house needs a mystery switch. I think maybe I've installed a couple myself.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,969

    Default Re: Found out what that switch finally did

    Quote Originally Posted by fencepost
    Every old house needs a mystery switch. I think maybe I've installed a couple myself.

    Evil genius !

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    298

    Default Re: Found out what that switch finally did

    Now that you know what your switch does, can you come to my place and find the switch for the fan in my dining room? I can't even figure out what circuit it is on, it only seems to turn off when the main is off, but that seems impossible to me.
    It's this old house, not this built after your dad was born house.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,663

    Default Re: Found out what that switch finally did

    Quote Originally Posted by function View Post
    Now that you know what your switch does, can you come to my place and find the switch for the fan in my dining room? I can't even figure out what circuit it is on, it only seems to turn off when the main is off, but that seems impossible to me.
    That's a good one. I wonder how they managed that.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,640

    Default Re: Found out what that switch finally did

    Quote Originally Posted by function View Post
    Now that you know what your switch does, can you come to my place and find the switch for the fan in my dining room? I can't even figure out what circuit it is on, it only seems to turn off when the main is off, but that seems impossible to me.
    The electrical "panel" in my grandfather's barn was a nearly untraceable, fear-inducing tangle of wires and fuse boxes. After spending some time trying to figure out the wiring "schematic", I discovered that the only ways to disconnect the power to the outlets in the workshop were to either pull the electric meter or cut the wires. No annoying fuses or breakers to blow in that circuit!

    (Grandpa had extremely dry skin and therefore very high electrical resistance. He would work on wires live. He'd even work on the electric fence bare handed.)
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Boston area
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: Found out what that switch finally did

    I had some broken mystery lights in the garage, I just assumed they were long disconnected. Then when doing some digging I found a rusted BX cable underground leading from my breaker box to the garage.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •