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Old 05-10-2011, 06:28 PM   #1
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Bathroom switch for light exhuast heater


So I have three switches in one box controlling the light exhaust and heater. The switch for the light wasn't working well so I tried to take it apart and clean all the contacts, but that didn't work. It appears to be the switch mechanism itself. Well I had been to a home depot since the local place was closed and they didn't have the old type of 3-way switches that I have in my bathroom. I didn't feel like trying to piece something together like the guy was trying to have me do. It would have required putting in a larger box and cutting into the wall which I am trying to avoid. Finally made it to my local hardware store and they actually had what I needed. But here is where I didn't think about what I was doing. I didn't take a picture of the how it was wired together before I pulled the switches out and now I can't figure out how I should wire it back up.

I have 4 wires out of the wall.



Three out of the same side are red, white, and black. I do remember that the Red was in the first switch for the light, the white in second for exhaust and the black in the bottom for the heater. The wire on the right I can't seem to figure out where it was and now I'm not sure that I have the correct order for the others. Here are the switches.



Can anyone see how I should have this wired? I know this shouldn't be that difficult, but I don't do much with electrical wiring and it's not something I want to take chances with. The help would be much appreciated. And yes I'm new, so hello all.

edit:fixed:Sorry for the big pics, I'll see if I can reduce them.

Last edited by finite15; 05-10-2011 at 06:43 PM. Reason: pic size
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:19 PM   #2
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Bathroom switch for light exhuast heater


Only a guess but I would think the 3 in the cable are the switch controlled leads to the fixture and the lone conductor is supplying power to the switch. Is there a terminal labeled COMMON?
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:22 PM   #3
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Bathroom switch for light exhuast heater


I think lone wire on right (hot), pic 1, goes into top switch, lower left hole (pic 2), across from other jumper black. The other 3 wires go into upper right hole of each switch to control each device. If you get the order different than before, so what. If it bothers you, at least you know which is which (red, black, white) and can change to the 'old' order.
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:29 PM   #4
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Bathroom switch for light exhuast heater


This could be made to work using the older looking black wire on the right as the "HOT", then feeding each fixture with the black/white/red. The jumpers shown on the switch would be correct to continue supply to each switch. What bothers me, and would prevent me from cotinuing to wire this up is the fact that there is no apparent neutral or a ground anywhere in sight. Yes, the switch(es) would be breaking/making the circuits, but where are the neutral and grounding wires? Maybe in the junction box at the fixture(s)?
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:29 PM   #5
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Bathroom switch for light exhuast heater


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
Only a guess but I would think the 3 in the cable are the switch controlled leads to the fixture and the lone conductor is supplying power to the switch. Is there a terminal labeled COMMON?
The common all run along the bottom of the switches where the two black wires are connecting the switches.

Quote:
Originally Posted by diyorpay View Post
I think lone wire on right (hot), pic 1, goes into top switch, lower left hole (pic 2), across from other jumper black. The other 3 wires go into upper right hole of each switch to control each device. If you get the order different than before, so what. If it bothers you, at least you know which is which (red, black, white) and can change to the 'old' order.
I'll give this a try.
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:34 PM   #6
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Bathroom switch for light exhuast heater


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Originally Posted by Thurman View Post
This could be made to work using the older looking black wire on the right as the "HOT", then feeding each fixture with the black/white/red. The jumpers shown on the switch would be correct to continue supply to each switch. What bothers me, and would prevent me from cotinuing to wire this up is the fact that there is no apparent neutral or a ground anywhere in sight. Yes, the switch(es) would be breaking/making the circuits, but where are the neutral and grounding wires? Maybe in the junction box at the fixture(s)?
It doesn't appear to have any ground wire in the box. This is how it was when I pulled it apart. Most of the outlets aren't grounded in the house except for the kitchen. I had planned on having someone come in to ground a few more outlets in my office and the basement. Guess I'll have them take a look at this too. The house had a new circuit breaker installed and actually has two grounding rods outside of the house so I don't think it should be very difficult to have the outlets grounded. But I don't know much about it. Do you think that could be something I could do?
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:00 PM   #7
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Bathroom switch for light exhuast heater


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Originally Posted by diyorpay View Post
I think lone wire on right (hot), pic 1, goes into top switch, lower left hole (pic 2), across from other jumper black. The other 3 wires go into upper right hole of each switch to control each device. If you get the order different than before, so what. If it bothers you, at least you know which is which (red, black, white) and can change to the 'old' order.

That did it. Thanks very much. I guess I was thinking that the red wire was the hot. But I just didn't want to go sticking wires in with my limited knowledge. And as to the order I did have to switch one. I only care because the cover is labeled so I wanted to try and keep it the same. Thanks again. I really appreciate all the help.
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