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Old 04-15-2012, 07:43 PM   #1
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Adding Second Switch in Bathroom


Older house with the metal enclosed wiring has stumped me. I am attempting to add a second switch for a fan off existing light switch in bathroom. Existing wiring: W,B,R from panel, W,B to light. 2 white wire are tied together, two black wires to one contact and red to other contact on switch. Disconnected all wires and confirmed the black is live from panel. It seems to me the light is seeing power the entire time since the blacks are connected? I'm confused, please help. how do I add another switch onto this circuit? Thanks!

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Old 04-15-2012, 08:03 PM   #2
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Adding Second Switch in Bathroom


NO the black is 0power on to another device that is not switched. The red is the switched wire to the light. Disconnect the two blacks and see what else goes dead.

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Old 04-15-2012, 08:11 PM   #3
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Adding Second Switch in Bathroom


Is the red also hot ? I also agree to Joes analysis. Are you sure the black is going to the light? If that were true then you would be correct the light would be on all the time. Have you looked in the light fixture box to see if the red shows up connected to the light?

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Old 04-15-2012, 08:11 PM   #4
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Adding Second Switch in Bathroom


Which black are you referring to? When I disconnected all wires the black from the W,B,R was live.
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:13 PM   #5
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The red is not hot.
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:19 PM   #6
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The red is actually grounded
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:20 PM   #7
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Adding Second Switch in Bathroom


Then the red black and white is not originating in the panel but coming from somewhere else like a receptacle.
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:21 PM   #8
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Adding Second Switch in Bathroom


Quote:
Originally Posted by smrf1080 View Post
The red is actually grounded
Then something is very wrong. What do you mean it is grounded?
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:32 PM   #9
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Adding Second Switch in Bathroom


I guess I'm confused how the switching is occurring with the live Black connected directly to the light. And ultimately, how do I connect a new switch to this?

I tested for continuity between the red wire and the ground plug of existing bathroom outlet on multimeter.
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:36 PM   #10
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Adding Second Switch in Bathroom


Have you removed any of the wiring from what it was originally? With the wires connected as you said does the light work? Tell us everything you did and I am assuming the red wire does not show up at the light fixture.
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:40 PM   #11
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Adding Second Switch in Bathroom


Quote:
Originally Posted by smrf1080
I guess I'm confused how the switching is occurring with the live Black connected directly to the light. And ultimately, how do I connect a new switch to this?

I tested for continuity between the red wire and the ground plug of existing bathroom outlet on multimeter.
The wires in the switch box:
B,W,R & B,W?
whites are capped together?
When looking at the face of the switch in the off position.
2 blacks on the switch are on the "bottom" of the switch?
The red wire is on the top of the switch?
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:45 PM   #12
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Adding Second Switch in Bathroom


Quote:
Originally Posted by smrf1080 View Post
I guess I'm confused how the switching is occurring with the live Black connected directly to the light. And ultimately, how do I connect a new switch to this?

I tested for continuity between the red wire and the ground plug of existing bathroom outlet on multimeter.
You shouldn't have continuity.
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:46 PM   #13
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Adding Second Switch in Bathroom


Yes it works perfect with the way I described above. I had to hook it back up at the end of the day because I couldn't figure it out. Light still turns on and off.

I always draw up eve[IMG]file:///C:/Users/mmurphy/Desktop/IMG_0132.JPG[/IMG]rything before I disconnect, see attached.
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:52 PM   #14
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Adding Second Switch in Bathroom


Based on that drawing red has to be your constant power and the blacks are switched. Otherwise your light would be on all the time.
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:22 PM   #15
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Adding Second Switch in Bathroom


Red definitely did not have power. Looking in the panel, only blacks were coming off the breakers (although this doesn't mean much). I believe some of the reds were connected to the ground bar. Obviously I am second guessing everything now, so I will have to stop over there tomorrow to confirm everything AGAIN. Any other thoughts? I sat there for an hour looking at this thing, can't believe something so simple I can't figure out!!! Thanks for all the responses thus far.

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