I know there have been simular posts on this but I still cant make sence off my problem, my ceiling light won't.turn off. I replaced all the oulets, light switch and light fixture in my bedroom . One plug of an outlet is wired into the light switch with 2 red wires connected to the bottom post and 2 black wires connected to the upper post. The light switch has 2 pig tails, 1 with a black and red wire and the other with 4 black wires. The light wires are black and white same as the fixture but the old light didn't have a ground wire where the new one does which is really the only thing that's changed. The light switch checks out ok with the ohm meter. All the outlets were swapped out wire for wire to ensure I didn't mix anything up which is why I'm baffled. When taking ohms readings from the ceiling wires and the switch wires I get fluxuating readings. With the breaker shut I have 120v readings from both pig tails using the common wire from the ceiling and there is obviously 120v between the ceiling wires. Any idea as to what I'm missing?

1 Answer 1


My guess is that your outlets were wired as split outlets; the top receptacle was switched with the wall switch, and the bottom was always hot. By default, outlets have the top and bottom receptacles connected together, so when you hooked them up, you made the upper outlet (and the light) always on.

The fix is simple; remove the outlet, and on the hot (black) side, you will find a bit of metal that connects the upper screw to the lower screw. Break that off with some pliers, and things will be okay. You will need to do this on all of the outlets that are wired this way.

  • ThanksEric, that did it. Small lesson learned that will help me in the future. Nov 30, 2013 at 0:45
  • Glad I was right. I had a switch that did nothing in my house because of the same issue... Dec 1, 2013 at 22:43
  • @Tyrone.Oien you should accept the answer. And next time save the old outlet for comparing (it had the tab broken off also)
    – Bryce
    Jan 9, 2014 at 17:59

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