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Old 05-14-2012, 03:53 PM   #1
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Bathroom dual switch problem


I undid the dual switch in my bathroom to grout and finish the tiles and now cannot figure out how the electrician wired the switch. I falsely thought this would be easy. It is a dual switch - one switch used to turn on the fan and main bathroom light. The other switch turned on the vanity light. I have 2 black and 2 white wires. I have tried different combinations but no matter what I do, when I switch on either switch, both lights and the fan come on. Should 2 whites be wired in the same screw fixer or what? Thank you

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Old 05-14-2012, 05:57 PM   #2
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Bathroom dual switch problem


if all you have are two romex's in the box then the black and white from one wire go to one switch and the black and white from the other wire go to the other switch. If there are more wires than that in the box take a picture and we can be of more help.

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Old 05-14-2012, 07:31 PM   #3
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Bathroom dual switch problem


There are indeed 2 romex cables both with separate black and white cables and I have connected them as I believed they were before. I have been scratching my head about this all day. This is a simple thing! I am now thinking that the double switch is faulty. It seems to me to be the only conclusion. I have both black wires on the one side in their separate connectors and when I attach only 1 of the white wires to the other side (it does not matter which), the light comes on no matter what switch I flick!!! If I connect both whites then both lights and fan come on no matter which switch I flick! I will update tomorrow when I get a new dual switch.
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Old 05-14-2012, 07:52 PM   #4
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Bathroom dual switch problem


On the switch, are there any brass jumpers between the two? Like on an outlet?

I know its not likely but...
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Old 05-14-2012, 08:04 PM   #5
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Bathroom dual switch problem


I'd need to see a picture, is it a double switch or two single pole switches. The whites are most likely the "hots" for the switch legs and the blacks are the returns. Need a picture of the switch or a model number to see how to wire it up right. What your currently doing is supplying a "hot" to the lights no matter which white you connect to the switch. The circuit doesn't care where it comes from as long as there 120v sitting there.
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Old 05-14-2012, 08:21 PM   #6
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Bathroom dual switch problem


The only thing I can say is that I joined the ground from both romex cables prior to screwing into its position in the photo. I have checked the cables and nothing seems to be touching...
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Old 05-14-2012, 08:29 PM   #7
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Bathroom dual switch problem


From what I'm gathering, in your case, the blacks are the hots and the whites are the switch legs.

On the side where you have wired the whites to, there should be a brass jumper/tab that connect the two screw terminals. Turn off power to that switch, take a needle nose pliers, and bend that tab back and forth till it breaks off. That should fix your problem.
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Old 05-14-2012, 08:52 PM   #8
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Bathroom dual switch problem


I have attached a photo of the other side on which there is indeed a small tab as you suggested. I pulled it off and hey presto, we now have 2 separate circuits. It all makes sense now but I am bewildered how it worked separately before or why you would need a dual switch with one side connected like this. Anyway thank you so much as it works as it should now! I hope others will find this useful.
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Old 05-14-2012, 08:57 PM   #9
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Bathroom dual switch problem


Glad you got it!
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Old 05-14-2012, 09:19 PM   #10
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Bathroom dual switch problem


It worked before because the hots shared the side with the tab.

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