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switch loop problem

Jim Baird

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Switch loop to control ceiling outlet is hot on both ends. I thought I had a bad switch, but switch makes no diff.

Somewhere along length of loop (romex) the two legs have joined, like maybe a nail through cable or the like?

Are you using a non-contact voltage detector to determine this? If so, don't. They are worse than useless in troubleshooting switch loops. You'll always get "hot" readings everywhere.

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As coincidence would have it, this showed up in my email box today. It relates directly to this conversation:

http://www.fluke.com/fluke/usen/communi ... oltage.htm

They left out magnetic coupling. Either capacitive or magnetic coupling could induce stray voltages.


From the story attached by Jim, the Fluke Stray Voltage Adapter is a 3,000 ohm resistor. Not that complicated.

A bit of resistance in the probe reduces the stray voltage but would not have that effect on a live circuit.

Marc, I think magnetically induced voltage would be stronger and not affected by the little resistor. But not something we would encounter in residential, AFAIK.

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