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Old 11-22-2009, 10:23 PM   #1
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I changed out a switch and am now having issues...


Hi all ~ This is my first post. I am trying to do more DIY projects and had my first electrical issue come up today. (I apologize in advance for my lack of terminology - I know very little about this...)

My son's has a switch in his room that has two switches - one powers the fan and one powers the lights on the fan. The bottom switch got really loose feeling about a week ago and stopped working. I went to Home Depot and the guy working gave me a new switch - looked just like the old one... I turned off the power to his room, changed out the switch and it worked just fine. Later though I realized that the electrical outlets in his room were no longer working. I eventually came to realized that now, somehow, his switch is controlling all the outlets. If the switch for his light is on the outlets work, and when you turn it off the outlets stop working.

Can anyone help me understand what I did wrong????

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Old 11-22-2009, 10:26 PM   #2
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I changed out a switch and am now having issues...


Did you mark the wires & reconnect them exactly the same?
Sounds like the hot feed to the outlets is in the same box as the switch & its now connected to the switched side instead of the hot side

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Old 11-22-2009, 10:32 PM   #3
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I changed out a switch and am now having issues...


I changed them out one wire at a time to avoid mixing it up..... I had my husband hold the old switch while I took them off one by one putting them on the new one as I went...
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Old 11-22-2009, 10:33 PM   #4
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I changed out a switch and am now having issues...


Still always possible that I made a mistake though. Should I take it off and move the wires?
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Old 11-22-2009, 10:33 PM   #5
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I changed out a switch and am now having issues...


Sounds like there was alot going on in the box, like scuba dave said, what probably happened is the outlets drew their power from the same feed and used your switch box as a junction point, you will need to figure out which hot wire goes to your outlets and pulled it off the switched side.

So what does the box have in it now for wires? 3 blacks 1 red 3 whites and 3 bares?

Last edited by naehring2000; 11-22-2009 at 10:36 PM.
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Old 11-22-2009, 10:34 PM   #6
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I changed out a switch and am now having issues...


most likey you have one of the hot conductor hook up backward on dupex switch I know it kinda common mistake if not marked before you remove the old switch.

How many wires are on the duplex switch if three conductors are there then at least one of them is line side so you will have to reverse one of them if you don't have voltage tester or nonconcat tester one of the two.

Before you do anything to that switch turn off the power first then make a note what it hook up and swap one of the two and turn on the power back on if still not working then do the other one and revesed the first set that useally do the trick otherwise a voltmeter is the best answer to indentify it.

Merci.Marc
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Old 11-22-2009, 10:37 PM   #7
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I changed out a switch and am now having issues...


Okay - Thanks!

Not to be really dense but I don't know what any of that means?!? How should I go about figuring out which is the switched side and which is the hot side?

There were 4 wires - two on the left and two on the right. Maybe I had the switch up-side-down. I thought I checked but maybe I put the ones that go on the left on the right and vice-versa. Should I try switching them? If I do and I am wrong - am I creating a dangerous electrical issue, or could I safely try it?
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Old 11-22-2009, 10:40 PM   #8
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I changed out a switch and am now having issues...


Thanks frenchelectrian. I'm going to try it now.
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Old 11-22-2009, 10:42 PM   #9
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I changed out a switch and am now having issues...


Hold on a min please did you say 4 wires ??

ok I will need a little more info in here what colours they are ?

The reason why I stop you for a second so you don't make a mistake here and destory a perfect good switch for nothing but we want to steer ya in correct way.

A simple voltmeter will indetify the whole thing because at least two conductors are hot { live }

and with red conductor that useally go to the fan itself while the black is to light that is most common way if you see that in the switch box.

so tell us the colours on the switch box we will go from there.

Merci,Marc
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Old 11-22-2009, 10:51 PM   #10
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I changed out a switch and am now having issues...


there were 3 black wires and 1 red wire. I bought a combination two swtiches standard 15A 120/277V AC/CA (don't know what any of that means but it is what is on the box). It's a Leviton switch.

Before switching it out I held the new one up to the old one and made sure they were facing the same way - Both in off position with the switches facing the same way. I then changed out the wires one-by-one to try not to screw it up. The only difference between this swith and the old one is that on the old switch there is one screw (blueish tint) with no wire going to it and it is on the right side in the middle. the new switch has that same screw but it is on the right side on the middle.

Don't know if any of that helps to better describe but that is what I can do. I still have the old switch right here with me.
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Old 11-22-2009, 11:01 PM   #11
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I changed out a switch and am now having issues...


ahh ok this will make it little eaiser to deal with it

If my memory serve me right with Levetions switch they are little diffrent than what I am used to { Pass and Seymour } duplex switches.

If this is correct but let me run it you may have to reversed it after i describe it here.

look for two brass screws it kinda pretty close together with small brass jumper tab that is incomming power on the oppoiste side that is switched side once you indentify it then hold that for a min next step is go to the switch box and look for a cable that have black , red comming out to the switch that is for the fan and light while the rest will be on incomming power that is the key item you will need to look for it.

the rest will have black and white in there.

senice you did not mention white conductors so just leave them alone just look for both red and black from one set of cable you will need a flashlight to see little closer to see it clear then once you see it the rest will fall in place when you do the hook up/

IIRC blueish tint it should be green screw that will be on the yoke { frame } of the switch that is for bare wire. if you have that in the switchbox then hook that up.

If you still not understand it one of the members here or myself I will come up a drawing one way or other.

Merci,Marc
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Old 11-22-2009, 11:40 PM   #12
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I changed out a switch and am now having issues...


Fixed! Thank you so much! I had it comeplety backwards. When the switches were in the off position they were pointing to the left and they should have been pointing to the right. The wires were all in the right place IF I had put the switch in the right way. Foolish!!! I actually went and looked in the next bedroom which has the same switch and I saw exactly what the problem was.

Thanks for the great advise. I'll be back on here as I have other questions that come up. Thanks so very much!
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Old 11-23-2009, 03:57 PM   #13
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I changed out a switch and am now having issues...


Quote:
Originally Posted by amygirl2727 View Post
Fixed! Thank you so much! I had it comeplety backwards. When the switches were in the off position they were pointing to the left and they should have been pointing to the right. The wires were all in the right place IF I had put the switch in the right way. Foolish!!! I actually went and looked in the next bedroom which has the same switch and I saw exactly what the problem was.

Thanks for the great advise. I'll be back on here as I have other questions that come up. Thanks so very much!
Well congrats on accomplishing your first diy electrical job!!

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