I have a set up in my living room where one switch turns on/off the electricity for another part of the living room.

This is the switch

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When I turned on this switch, the part of the living room in the following picture gets electricity (the switches shown, and plugs work as expected)

enter image description here

I don't know what happened but the switches no longer work. I believes it fits in the timeline when we had a power outage, but unsure.

The question is: how can I diagnose what is the issue and fix it? I've tried resetting all circuit breakers with no luck

  • Most switches are simple and usually takes a lot for them to stop working. The one thing that usually happens is that they are connected by the push in connectors instead of the screws. The push ins can become loose. I would turn off the breaker and take out the switch/es and check connections. Might also have mice in the walls chewing cables.
    – crip659
    Apr 25, 2023 at 15:16
  • Get a non-contact voltage tester. These are safe and easy to use. Apr 25, 2023 at 15:51
  • Rather than continuing to live with "All the breakers are not labeled" - fix it: e.g. diy.stackexchange.com/q/13638/18078 - though also be on the lookout for GFCI's that might have tripped and need to be reset.
    – Ecnerwal
    Apr 25, 2023 at 16:31
  • Is there only one switch that is no longer switching one receptacle? Or are more than one switches failing to control more than one receptacle? Apr 25, 2023 at 16:52
  • @JimStewart just that one switch
    – Nobita
    Apr 25, 2023 at 19:57

1 Answer 1


Start out by turning off the breaker for that room, remove the cover plate for the switches and unscrew the switch. Turn the power back on and check for power to the switch and leaving the switch. If there's power, start checking the outlets and switches down stream from that switch for connection problems. If there's no power to the switch, go back to the main panel and check for power leaving the breaker since they can go bad. Also check to see if you oven, stove, water heater, 240V appliances, work and check for voltage coming into the main panel. If you're not comfortable doing this, get some qualified outside help.

  • Thanks! The only problem is that the breakers are not labeled :D - I will have to turn them all off.
    – Nobita
    Apr 25, 2023 at 16:01
  • Get a 3-prong circuit tester and test the receptacle with the switch off and on. Apr 26, 2023 at 0:24

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