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switching a duplex outlet

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  • switching a duplex outlet

    I have wired a duplex outlet so that both outlets switch on and off together (one switch).

    This was my goal - so when i flip the interupter both my router and dust collector (small shop vac) will go on at the same time.

    I have wired it like so (all grounding connections have been made):

    The black feed enters the switch and connects to the first terminal.

    A black leaves the second terminal of the switch and connects to the outlet.

    The white feed is pigtailed with the white from the receptacle.

    Everything works fine.

    Here is the problem - when i put a tester in the outlet (with the switch in the on position) it tells me all the connections are correct. When i flip the switch to the off position, the tester tells me that a neutral is not connected properly. Obviously when the switch is in the off postion it will not power a tool (i checked).

    If i leave the switch in the off position and plug a tool in as well as the tester (so both outlets of the duplex are occupied), then the tester tells me all connections all okay.

    What gives? can my tester not recognize a switched receptacle? Or am i the problem and the tester is fine?

  • #2
    Do you have a test light socket or a multi meter? If yes, there are a few tests you can try. Also, if there are any other receptacles on the same circuit, please unplug everything before running more tests. The simple plug-in testers with 3 neon lamps take very little current and if you have any leakage from hot to ground, they will give wild readings. This is why you want to pull the plugs so nothing is connected to the circuit during testing. Please try this and then post the results.

    In addition please double check the connections. Be sure power is off. If you have neutral and hot mixed up things will work but you also have a dangerous situation at your receptacle. Be sure that white is connected to the silver colored screw(s) and black to the copper colored screw(s). Just to play it safe, be sure both screws on each side of the receptacle are connected together. It might be that the jumper bar got broken. Just use a short piece of wire and be sure they are connected together.

    When you say "Interupter" that throws me. Do you mean the switch as in a wall switch, or are you using a GFCI receptacle and are tripping it by pushing the test button?
    Last edited by Woussko; 12-27-2006, 12:22 AM.


    • #3
      Also try this ...
      Pull the feed wire from the switch. Does the tester now show correct?
      If yes then you have a bad switch, replace it


      • #4
        If the objective is to activate the shop vac when the router is activated, Sears sells a switch for $20 which plugs into a household outlet. It has a receptacle for the power tool and two additional receptacles, one for a shop vac and the other for, commonly, a shop light. I use such a device and it works really well. I've even wired a 3 way which allows me to toggle the shop vac between the aforementioned tool activator switch and an outlet so I can use the shop vac alone without power tool activation.
        Your connections sound fine. The black wire to the duplex outlet is "switched" by an interruptor, which I am aassuming is a single pole switch. As I said earlier, there's an easier way to activate the vacuum and router. With the Sears tool activator switch, the shop vac is the slave of the router, or any other power tool.
        there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.


        • #5
          You were right wbrooks - faulty switch. I replaced it and the tester is giving me the thumbs up.


          • #6

            I'm glad WB's idea worked and that things now seem to be fine.

            WB Thanks for your posting.


            • #7
              thanks Woussko