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Old 09-01-2010, 01:59 PM   #1
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Issues After Installing Light Switch


First off I want to say how much I love this site. I've come back to it many times and found solutions to problems I was having. This time however I do need to ask a question.

I've replaced two switches and an electrical outlet in my bathroom. The switches and outlet I've replaced were working fine (just were the wrong colour after painting the bathroom). Now, I have no lights or fan (the switches are one for lights, one for bathroom fan. Both in the same box). The outlet is working. Here are the steps I've taken so far.
1-Tried the new switches in a different bathroom. They work fine.
2- I followed the way the switches were are set up in a different bathroom.
3 - Determined that there is power coming in to the switch. The problem looks to be outgoing from the switch to the light and fan.
4- I touched the incoming wire directly to the outgoing wire with the power on to see if the light/fan would come on. It didn't.
I'm completely stumped. I'd appreciate any help you could give me or if this is something that I would need to schedule an electrician for to come in an fix.
Thanks very much!

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Old 09-01-2010, 02:06 PM   #2
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Issues After Installing Light Switch


What color wires and how many do you have in the box? Also look in the back of the box for white wires nutted together.

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Old 09-01-2010, 02:24 PM   #3
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Issues After Installing Light Switch


Wow! Thanks for the quick response!
There are three black wires in the box as well as three white ones that are together inside a grommet
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Old 09-01-2010, 04:41 PM   #4
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Issues After Installing Light Switch


Explain to us how you wired the switches and receptacles.
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:13 PM   #5
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Issues After Installing Light Switch


Quote:
Originally Posted by shriekback View Post
First off I want to say how much I love this site. I've come back to it many times and found solutions to problems I was having. This time however I do need to ask a question.

I've replaced two switches and an electrical outlet in my bathroom. The switches and outlet I've replaced were working fine (just were the wrong colour after painting the bathroom). Now, I have no lights or fan (the switches are one for lights, one for bathroom fan. Both in the same box). The outlet is working. Here are the steps I've taken so far.
1-Tried the new switches in a different bathroom. They work fine.
2- I followed the way the switches were are set up in a different bathroom.
3 - Determined that there is power coming in to the switch. The problem looks to be outgoing from the switch to the light and fan.
4- I touched the incoming wire directly to the outgoing wire with the power on to see if the light/fan would come on. It didn't.
I'm completely stumped. I'd appreciate any help you could give me or if this is something that I would need to schedule an electrician for to come in an fix.
Thanks very much!
A1. Ok we pass that part you know the switch is good so let go next step.

A2. I will advise ya each bathroom it may have diffrent conferations so it will not be the same at all it depending on so many factors I will not able list all of it but main issue is incomming power that what I instering for then count the other cables { outgoing which is for the fan and one for luminaire and one for other circuit if only lights no receptale at all ( the code is very specfic on bathroom and they are pretty strict on the way the circuit is run )

A3. Look for incomming power source by looking at the numbers of wires with wirenuts that useally a giveaway answer.

A4. If black to black it may work or not but did you have any switch loop or oddball connections in there ? if so it will not work in convetenal way.



That should cover most item as the key item is look for incomming source. and also test the RCD { GFCI } receptale as well sometime they will be together as well.

Merci.
Marc
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Old 09-01-2010, 10:54 PM   #6
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Issues After Installing Light Switch


jbfan - I've wired the switch by looping the incoming power wire to the bottom screw (sorry, my electrical knowledge is VERY limited so I don't know the correct word) of the light switch the connected it to the bottom screw of the fan. Then wired the outgoing directly to the top screws of both the light and fan switches with two independant wires. I really hope that makes sense!

Marc - I thought that perhaps it may be a different setup between bathrooms. After the fact of course....
There are three black cables and three white cables that are wrapped together with a grommet. The only weird connection I have is the one that is loops from the light to the fan.
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:29 PM   #7
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Issues After Installing Light Switch


Did you do anything with the white wires when you changed switches or just leave them as they were ... connected in a wirenut?

The logical connection would be 3 whites in a wire nut not connected to any switches.

The power black connected with 2 pigtails in a wire nut then one pigtail connected to each switch.

That leaves two black wires with one connected to each unoccupied switch screw.
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:08 AM   #8
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Issues After Installing Light Switch


In #2 above you said you confirmed power coming into the box. How did you do this?

In #4 above you said you bypassed the switch and applied power directly to the outgoing wires. This should have turned the light or fan on. With it not coming on seems to point to a problem with the neutral.

Once you answer my first question we can get a better idea of your problem.
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Old 09-02-2010, 05:22 PM   #9
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Stubbie -
No, the white wires were undisturbed. There are 3 white wires in the wire nut and they are not connected to any switches. Sorry, I'm taking a guess here as to what you mean by pigtails. There is one incoming black wire that is connected to one of the switch screws on the light switch (the bottom one) then then the same wire continues over to the fan switch where it is connected to the bottom switch screw there. There is then two individual black wires and they are each connected to the open switch screws, one on the light switch and one on the fan switch. I thought maybe I had them reversed or something so I tried them in each other spot but it didn't help.
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Old 09-02-2010, 05:27 PM   #10
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Issues After Installing Light Switch


Jim - my father-in-law actually confirmed this with a power tester he has. I believe he connected one end to the white wires and the other to one of the black. I could be wrong about that though but he did say there was definitely power coming in.
I definitely tried connecting the wires directly and nothing happened.
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:44 PM   #11
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Issues After Installing Light Switch


Quote:
Originally Posted by shriekback View Post
Stubbie -
No, the white wires were undisturbed. There are 3 white wires in the wire nut and they are not connected to any switches. Sorry, I'm taking a guess here as to what you mean by pigtails. There is one incoming black wire that is connected to one of the switch screws on the light switch (the bottom one) then then the same wire continues over to the fan switch where it is connected to the bottom switch screw there. There is then two individual black wires and they are each connected to the open switch screws, one on the light switch and one on the fan switch. I thought maybe I had them reversed or something so I tried them in each other spot but it didn't help.
That sounds right for the connections.

Are you sure the breaker isn't tripped ?
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Old 09-07-2010, 10:47 AM   #12
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Issues After Installing Light Switch


This has been solved. The problem was actually with the outlet. Apparently what I had done was when I replaced the outlet, I rewired the neutral back on to the switch screw incorrectly, well, not incorrectly as it was in the right place but I had some of the insulation from the wire touching the screw as well. This was causing the neutral to not have anywhere to go (or something like that. I had a friend who is an electrician come in and look at it). He rewired the outlet and now there is all working normally again.

Thanks, everyone who responded and tried to help!

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