Dead/Unknown electrical switch

mred

Well-Known Member
Oct 19, 2006
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SE WI
bball.notnothing.net
1) It is not tied to any outlets in the room
It's also possible it controls a line that has been run to the outlets in the room but not actually hooked up to any of them. In our house the switched outlet line runs to all the outlet boxes in a room but is only hooked up to one or two of them, so you can easily change which outlets are controlled by the switch. Theoretically it could be a situation like that, but with no outlets actually wired to that line.
 

TexCyted

Active Member
Oct 30, 2018
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DFW
I recently installed a fan for my mother in law that had a remote control for the fan/light. The only way for it to work properly with the remote was to wire it to a single switch and leave the other switch dead. Not ideal but it's what the customer (boss lady) wanted.
 

VeloClone

Well-Known Member
Jan 19, 2010
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Brooklyn Park, MN
THIS. If you're lucky, you've already got the wires in place. It'd be pretty silly to install a fan and not wire in the switch for the light separately, but maybe they had their reasons.

Did you check top and bottom of every outlet? It'd make sense to have a switch there to turn on a table lamp.

Attic fan seems unlikely to me, in a bedroom like that.
The fan was likely replaced and whoever replaced it didn't know how to wire the fan separately from the lights.
 

AgronAlum

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2014
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The fan was likely replaced and whoever replaced it didn't know how to wire the fan separately from the lights.
Agreed. Or someone replaced the outlets and left the switch dead because they didn’t want it controlling the outlet.
 

BWRhasnoAC

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Apr 10, 2013
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Dez Moy Nez
I've lived in my home for about 6 years and there is a light switch in one of my 2nd floor rooms that I'm not sure what it does. It is right next to the switch that controls the ceiling fan/light. There are wires connected to the switch but I'm not sure what it is for. If the switch isn't doing anything I would like it hooked up to my ceiling fan so I could have one switch for the light, and the other for the fan instead of pulling the chains. Are there electricians that will do small jobs like this without costing a fortune. I don't know enough about electrical to feel comfortable messing with this too much.
Call an electrician and tell him to bring his tracer over. He will figure out what run it's on if any.
 

HFCS

Well-Known Member
Aug 13, 2010
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LA LA Land
If it's just annoying or ugly you could buy a blank solid outlet plate for $1, electrical tape for $4. Tape the ends of the wires and cover it with the blank plate until you're ready to do more major renovation if ever.

I did that on a few really outdated old crusty phone/tv satelite/cable hookups until I was sure I didn't want them, then a year or two later drywalled over them when ready to paint or do other projects. It looked nicer a than having ton of useless old dirty ports/cables.
 

ScottyP

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Jan 24, 2007
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Urbandale, IA via Ogden
So I pulled off the housing on the ceiling fan to look and see if anything wasn't connected.

I found the following wiring setup:
White to White
Green to Green
Black to Black and Blue
Red to Nothing (Capped)

It seems like I should be able to connect the Red and the Blue together, but I'm not sure. I don't want to burn the house down due to an electrical fire.
 

Pat

Well-Known Member
Oct 20, 2011
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So I pulled off the housing on the ceiling fan to look and see if anything wasn't connected.

I found the following wiring setup:
White to White
Green to Green
Black to Black and Blue
Red to Nothing (Capped)

It seems like I should be able to connect the Red and the Blue together, but I'm not sure. I don't want to burn the house down due to an electrical fire.
Red-to-Blue is standard for ceiling fan wiring (note: not an expert). Spend $10 on a volt meter and give it a go.
 

harimad

Well-Known Member
Jul 28, 2016
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Illinois
I've lived in my home for about 6 years and there is a light switch in one of my 2nd floor rooms that I'm not sure what it does. It is right next to the switch that controls the ceiling fan/light. There are wires connected to the switch but I'm not sure what it is for. If the switch isn't doing anything I would like it hooked up to my ceiling fan so I could have one switch for the light, and the other for the fan instead of pulling the chains. Are there electricians that will do small jobs like this without costing a fortune. I don't know enough about electrical to feel comfortable messing with this too much.
 
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farminclone

Well-Known Member
Nov 16, 2009
7,134
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If it's just annoying or ugly you could buy a blank solid outlet plate for $1, electrical tape for $4. Tape the ends of the wires and cover it with the blank plate until you're ready to do more major renovation if ever.

I did that on a few really outdated old crusty phone/tv satelite/cable hookups until I was sure I didn't want them, then a year or two later drywalled over them when ready to paint or do other projects. It looked nicer a than having ton of useless old dirty ports/cables.
I've got the old landline phone jack/mounting bracket/hookup deal at about 5' tall on the kitchen wall. I need to take it out at some point, but the more I think about it the more I want to hang an old school phone on it for a decoration piece.

EDIT: After typing that out and thinking about it some more, that seems like a horrible decor idea, but it sounds like less work than actually taking the old thing off.