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I have a room in my house where the top of each outlet is controlled by a switch, and all of the ceiling lights by another switch. I thought I could just bypass the switch for the outlets and have them on at all times, but it turned out to be more complicated than I anticipated. I would like some help putting it back to the way it was. Trouble is, I do not remember the way it was. There are only two wires coming into the switches indicated below, one coming into the room from the ceiling (top) and one coming into the room through the floor (bottom).

Here is how it is now:

enter image description here

Problem is, now nothing works. What is the correct way to wire this?

EDIT: I do know for sure there was a trail wire connecting the two switches, I just do not know how they were connected

EDIT: Here is how the outlets are wired

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • Where in your diagram are the outlets connected? – brhans Mar 7 '17 at 22:59
  • Unless I tear up all the walls I am not sure. Is there any easy way to figure that out without tearing into walls? – TheMiddleMan Mar 7 '17 at 23:01
  • Do (or did) any of those white wires have any markings or tape on them? – brhans Mar 7 '17 at 23:04
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    The way you have your diagram drawn you need to have both switches on in order to complete your circuit. Which direction is your power coming from? – ShemSeger Mar 7 '17 at 23:11
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    Is that only a /2 cable from/to the outlets? It seems like that whoever wired this did some really naughty things... – ThreePhaseEel Mar 8 '17 at 0:54
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This is the correct way to wire what you have described (grounds not shown):

enter image description here

You have 3-wire cable wired to your split receptacles, which means there should be 3-wire cable running to your switch in order to complete the circuit.

If there is only a 2-wire cable wired to your switch, then the power for your lights must be coming from somewhere else, and your switches should be wired like this:

enter image description here

  • I don't believe that's the case for him -- I suspect something naughty is going on with the switched outlets, instead... – ThreePhaseEel Mar 8 '17 at 12:46
  • @ShemSeger The odd thing with the configuration I had was the traveler wire. I know there was in fact a traveler wire connecting the two switches. I am wondering if they used the traveler wire to transfer power to the other switch because there is only one line coming in with power. – TheMiddleMan Mar 8 '17 at 14:14
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    Unless they're 3-way switches, there won't be a traveler wire. – Harper Mar 8 '17 at 16:35
  • @TheMiddleMan I wouldn't suggest putting it back the way it was, I'd suggest putting it back together correctly. The easiest thing to do would probably be to find the end of the run for your lights, and wire that to the nearest power source, then wire your light switch as an end-of-run switch. – ShemSeger Mar 8 '17 at 20:50
  • @ThreePhaseEel I can't think of any other way to make it work without using one of the grounds as a conductor wire, which would be very naughty. – ShemSeger Mar 8 '17 at 20:53

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