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Old 07-14-2012, 04:15 PM   #1
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Confused - 2 Switches 1 Circuit


I just replaced 2 dimmers that were controlling 2 "banks" of ceiling lights on one breaker. When I removed the dimmers the jumpers they were connected with came apart so I can't tell how exactly they were wires. I now have 2 sets of black and red wires coming into the box...the ground and white are ties together. When i connected 1 set of black/red to a switch and the other set to a second switch and turned the breaker back on only 1 switch turned on 1 'bank' of lights...the second does nothing. Cany someone tell me what I need to do to get each switch to control it's respective bank of lights, or worst case control both banks from the same switch? Many thanks...

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Old 07-14-2012, 04:41 PM   #2
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Confused - 2 Switches 1 Circuit


try all the black together with jumpers to the new dimmer/switches, red being load to the light

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Old 07-14-2012, 05:22 PM   #3
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Confused - 2 Switches 1 Circuit


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Originally Posted by zman99 View Post
Cany someone tell me what I need to do to get each switch to control it's respective bank of lights, or worst case control both banks from the same switch?
Not really. About the best we can do is make some guesses...
which would be helped a LOT by having a clear picture of the mess you have.
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Old 07-14-2012, 05:42 PM   #4
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Confused - 2 Switches 1 Circuit


Hopefully this picture helps. The wire nut on the top left is on a black wire. Bottom left is orange. The black/orange combo on the right is on the new switch and controls one bank of ceiling lights. The white wires and bare wires were already tied together and have not been touched. Thanks!
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Old 07-14-2012, 06:28 PM   #5
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Confused - 2 Switches 1 Circuit


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Originally Posted by zman99 View Post
The white wires and bare wires were already tied together and have not been touched. Thanks!
My guess is that the two black wires need to go under ONE wirenut...
along with two additional pigtail wires
(probably the jumpers not shown in your pic).

The other end of these pigtail wires go one of the switches...
one of the orange wires also goes to each switches.

But that's just a guess.
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Old 07-14-2012, 09:58 PM   #6
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Confused - 2 Switches 1 Circuit


TarheelTerp - thanks, but that trips the breaker. Any other thoughts?
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Old 07-14-2012, 10:59 PM   #7
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Confused - 2 Switches 1 Circuit


One black and one orange to each switch. Preferable the black and orange contained in one romex one The same switch
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Old 07-14-2012, 11:19 PM   #8
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Thats what i started with. Orange/black from 1 set of wires coming into the box worked when i connected them to the new switch...the second set coming in going to the second switch did not.
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Old 07-14-2012, 11:30 PM   #9
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Confused - 2 Switches 1 Circuit


Ahhh I see. So what you have to do is find the wire that has your incomming power. I assumed both blacks were them but perhaps there's only one. When you find that connect two pigtails and run one to each of the switches. Hook the wire that had the lights come on to one switch. There will be a black and a red from one romex left over. One of these two will turn on the other bank of light. You can try hooking them up to the other switch one at a time until you find the one that turns them on. The unused wire gets capped. If you find you have two hot wires at the box when you test then you had a bad connection the first time you tried to hook up the switches and you need to do it the first way again. Get yourself a meter and go to it.
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Old 07-15-2012, 09:03 AM   #10
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Confused - 2 Switches 1 Circuit


Do you have a voltage meter? Do you know how to use it?

Test each combination of wires separately A to E, B to E, C to E and D to E.

1.Which combination registered about 115 volts on your meter.

2. As you have this apart, are there any other devices (receptacles, exhaust fans etc...) not working.

3. Are "A" and "B" coming out of the same cable?

4. The way you have it wired in this photo you have one bank of lights working properly?
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Last edited by hammerlane; 07-15-2012 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 07-15-2012, 10:53 AM   #11
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Confused - 2 Switches 1 Circuit


That did the trick! Got confused by having a 'spare' wire. Thanks for the great advice and to all who responded. My guests will have a fully lighted basement this weekend!
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Old 07-15-2012, 12:01 PM   #12
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Confused - 2 Switches 1 Circuit


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That did the trick! Got confused by having a 'spare' wire. Thanks for the great advice and to all who responded. !

what was the issue and what did you do to remedy it??
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Old 07-15-2012, 12:18 PM   #13
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Confused - 2 Switches 1 Circuit


They ran a 3 wire in place of a two wire. He got messed up having the extra wire.
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Old 07-15-2012, 12:33 PM   #14
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Confused - 2 Switches 1 Circuit


Yes, thats correct. Andrew79's post about pigtailing the ONE hot wire did the trick...thanks again to all...
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Old 07-15-2012, 12:59 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by andrew79 View Post
They ran a 3 wire in place of a two wire.
I'm wondering where the OTHER end of that extra black wire is.
The OP reports connecting it to the hot tripped the breaker.

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