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Why won't my wiring work? Answered

I'm mounting an outlet and a switch onto a router table I am making so that I can turn it on and off easier. I have very little wiring experience. I found a diagram in a book and did my best to remake it. The power runs through the switch and to the outlet. Thanks in advace!


Can’t see through electrical tape.

What is it doing or not doing because from what I can see nothing is wrong.

It's just insulating the wires. On the switch the black wires are on one side and the ground wire is attached to the green bolt on it. On the outlet the black wire is on one side and the white is on the other and the ground is attached to the green bolt. Whenever I plug it in I have to reset the outlet and its not even on yet

I do the same thing with electrical tape to prevent shorts.

I would wrap electrical tape around the wire nut or marrette counter clock wise.

Make sure the ground wire goes to the receptacle and the receptacle box.

Make sure the wires are not pinched as they come into the box.

I cannot tell if you have the white wire is on the silver screw and the black wire is on the brass screw however your wiring looks good and up to code.

Check your plug and make sure you don’t have a short there.

If the plug is good check the receptacle and switch to be sure they are not defective.

I have wired a lot of houses.

Once a hydro inspector asked why I used a marrette and electric tape on all my connections, don’t I trust the marrette?

I told him I don’t trust my mother and she been dead for ten years, my electrical passed the inspection.

I got it! I started at the top of your list and worked my way down and eventually it worked! Thank you very much

Is this a bare copper wire in the last two pictures (between the red plastic thing and the switch)?  =:-O

Is the other wire from the red plastic thing isolated with a piece of sticky tape?


Use correct electrical wires in whatever colour code that is used in your country. If you don't know about that stuff, maybe you should not play around with it. Find some reliable sources and learn the basics.

Sorry, if I'm not nice here, but electricity running through your body is not nice too.

yes the black is negative white is positive and bare is ground. The green and the paper covering is all ground as well

Negative and Positive? You are wiring the mains supply (110V resp. 230V)? So that is AC and the wires would be Live and Neutral.

Did you check that live (the wire that carries the unsafe potential) is really the black one? May be the outlet is not wired correctly.

So for ground, a bare wire is kind safe, but it still kind of makes my hair raise if I see a bare wire in mains wiring. (Protective Earth has to be green-yellow here)

What do you mean by 'reset the outlet'? Reset the circuit breaker / GFCI device? If so, either anything behind your switch (the router) is broken or the switch itself.

oh ok. The gfci is what I keep having to reset

If you are popping the GFCI power is draining to ground.

GFCIs work by comparing the current in the Live and the current in the Neutral, if there is a difference the GFCI pops. That way the current doesn't need to be high enough to blow the fuse as you are being electrocuted.

you have some kind of a short to ground.

Our cable also has a bare earth, but code here has to sleeve it with a loose PVC sleeve.

Wire nuts are illegal here.

Are you 220v or 440v

Household is 110 & 220 volts industrial is 660 volts here.

Canada and much of the US that is code.

Yea see that is the difference.

On our over 220 volts three phase and up we use the same connectors as you on most things.

But on regular household which is 120 volts one phase and 240 two phase code is different from 220 volts 660 volts three phase.

And ours is never what it is supposed to be ether we go from 110 to 140 and 220 to 260 volts, however everything is 60 cycle.

So what do you use instead of wire nuts?
Here wire nuts on smaller lines are the norm. Only larger cable like that for a stove requires a screw down connector. And even then they make really large wire nuts if you want to go that way. I worry about the physical stress on the nuts with larger cables so use lugs instead.

We use stuff like this:


Though for DIY, often the screw down terminals steveastrouk mentioned are used. Take a bit longer to be installed but are cheaper and if you DIY, your time is less expensive.

We have "chocolate block" connector, which comes in strips of screw down terminals you can chop to the size you want, and things like light fixtures are supplied with terminals built in.

While a bare PE is safe, green-yellow insulation is the way to go here.

So those plastic connectors are called wire-nuts or Marrettes? You learn something new every day. Not sure if they are allowed in Germany.

Are you 220v or 440v

Household is 110 & 220 volts industrial is 660 volts here.

Canada and much of the US that is code. Not every state is the same.


5 years ago

It is possible that somewhere back along the way to your box the black and white got reversed. This would cause your GF to pop. Believe it or not it is not an uncommon thing. Get one of those little plug in testers with the green and red lights and see if it is the problem.
Black is supposed to be the powered line and the white is called the neutral, not ground, but also not powered. If they are reversed then there would be power flow from the white to the ground and that would trigger the GF.