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-   -   Help wiring for double switch - and why the hot white wire? (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/help-wiring-double-switch-why-hot-white-wire-158882/)

BusterT 10-03-2012 09:27 PM

Help wiring for double switch - and why the hot white wire?
 
I have two circuits running to a double switch box. One circuit controls a ceiling light and it works fine.

The other side of the box has 3 sets of wires in it - each set has a black, a white and a ground. The grounds are all connected in a wire nut and attached to the metal electrical box.

Originally two sets of white/black wires ran to a double switch. It had the tab removed (so it could split into 2 circuits itself?). One set of white/black wires went to the line/load terminals on top if switch, and another set of white/black wires went to the other line/load terminals on bottom of switch. Only one switch worked at the time and it was for another ceiling light. The third set of black/white wires were pushed in box and not used. They were run into attic presumably for future ceiling vent (this is a bathroom).

I installed the ceiling vent, attached the third set of wires to it, and replaced the switch with a new double switch with the tab not removed. I ran the line black to the gold hot terminal, and connected the other two black lines to the load silver terminals, and connected all 3 white neutrals together. This did not work. Ended up the only wire of the six providing any voltage was one of the white wires. I measured at 122.5 volts.

I switched this white and black wires, and still same problem.

The problem is I get a weak current sent off of one of the switches that goes to both the ceiling fan and the ceiling light at the same time. Light barely lights, and fan barely moves. No juice runs through the other switch.

Is this wired correctly inside the box presuming the wires are what i think they are? What else could be the problem?

Thanks

joed 10-03-2012 09:54 PM

Sounds like the original two cables are both switch loops from their respective fixtures. There is no neutral present in the switch box so can not draw power for your new fan from any of the cables in the switch box.

BusterT 10-04-2012 09:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joed (Post 1023360)
Sounds like the original two cables are both switch loops from their respective fixtures. There is no neutral present in the switch box so can not draw power for your new fan from any of the cables in the switch box.

Thanks Joed. I am no expert on switch loops, but with the hot white wire in the box, a switch loop does sound like a possibility. Why do you think both were switch loops if there's only 1 hot wire?

joed 10-04-2012 11:50 AM

Because you said only one switch worked, but the way it was connected indicates to me switch loops. If both switches worked then I would have expected two hot whites.

BusterT 10-20-2012 01:37 PM

Resolved!
 
Thanks JoeD.

Figured it out. The 1st set of wires was a switch loop as you noted, with the power supply coming from the ceiling light. The 2nd set of wires did run up to the ceiling fan. The 3rd set of wires actually fed another light elsewhere in my house.

Thanks for you help.


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