On one of my circuits I have a fluorescent light (laundry area with two bulbs), a plug and receptacle in the kitchen and a dining room light. The laundry light stopped working so I replaced the bulbs. Still didn’t work so I replaced the light fixture with a new one. That still didn’t work either. Replaced the switch that controls the laundry light and that worked. However, the dining room light and the kitchen plug that was on that circuit no longer work.

I verified and reset all GFCI plugs in the house, and verified that the breaker does not trip. I took apart the kitchen plug that wasn’t working and verified there was no power going to that box using my voltage reader. The new laundry light and switch continues to work perfectly.

Thought? I’m at a loss

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    Can you post photos of the wiring inside the box for the laundry light switch? Feb 2, 2021 at 3:44
  • ThreePhaseEel - sure thing, see above. Pretty straightforward, I have a bunch of neutrals wire nutted together which I never touched or pulled out when I replaced the switch. The yellow wire nut is on a single black wire that wasn’t being used when I pulled the original switch out (it was just bare, I added the wire nut, but again it was not connected to the original switch). Otherwise it’s a standard single pole switch, two black wires and a ground.
    – seanf12
    Feb 2, 2021 at 12:46
  • If you plug say a griddle into the kitchen receptacle that doesn't work and turn the thermostat up to maximum, do you get a low resistance from the unused wire in the laundry room switch box to ground? Feb 2, 2021 at 12:48
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    Really hard to see what's going on from that photo. Please get it lit better and back out so we can see where everything goes.
    – isherwood
    Feb 2, 2021 at 13:50
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    Update - as a test I disconnected the two black wires from the switch, and wire nutted them together with the extra black wire. The kitchen plug and dining room lights now work. I am going to try to keep those wire nutted together and then run two pig tails from that bundle to the light switch. Does that make sense?
    – seanf12
    Feb 2, 2021 at 14:03

1 Answer 1


That "extra" wire was bundled with the incoming hot, so put it back with the incoming hot

As it turns out, that "extra" wire wasn't so extraneous after all as it was feeding power to the dining room light and kitchen outlet in question. In order to get things back working again, you'll want to nut said "extra" wire in with the incoming always-hot to the box and a pigtail of wire going off to one brass screw on the light switch. The remaining black wire, then, is the switched-hot going off to the laundry room light, and thus needs to land on the other brass screw on the light switch.

  • This is the reason that it's always a good idea to take a pic of the existing wiring before taking things apart. As cheap as digital film is and as fast as processing is these days, there's no reason not to. ;)
    – FreeMan
    Feb 3, 2021 at 15:18

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