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Len Montilli 04-30-2011 02:54 PM

joining 2 swiches
In my kitchen I have 2 separate switches, each one powering a set of three recessed lights. These were operating fine with traditional switches, but I'm having a problem now that I've changed to the Decora switches.

One Switch 1, I have three black house wires connected; on Switch 2, I have one red house wire, and a very short connecting piece of wire that obviously is supposed to provide current from switch 2 to switch 1. This looks identical to the hookup that was there with the previous traditional switches, but I am not getting any current.

Can anyone help? One (or more) of my connections must be wrong.


Jim Port 04-30-2011 03:34 PM

Move the short jumper onto the odd colored screw.

Len Montilli 04-30-2011 04:25 PM

joining 2 Decora switches
Jim ---- Thanks; I tried to the dark screw, but no change. Did you mean the green screw? I thought this was only for grounding.


Jim Port 04-30-2011 04:50 PM

Definitely not the green screw. You are correct that it is only for grounding.

Can you describe the switch wiring better. Leave out the bare or greens. It sounds like SW2 is missing a conductor. I see the red and a short jumper and 3 blacks on SWq.

sparks1up 04-30-2011 04:50 PM

You need to identify your hot wire and your switchlegs. Do you have a tester? If you could post a picture it might be helpful?

Len Montilli 04-30-2011 05:25 PM

joining 2 switches
Sorry, guys; let me try to give a better description.

I have three separate black wires coming from house wiring and all are fastened to Switch 1 --- all of them are fastened to brass colored screws.

I have one red wire from house wiring fastened to Switch 2. Here's where the problem may lie ---- I have the short jumper leading from a brass screw on Switch 2 to a dark colred screw on Switch 1.

sparks1up 04-30-2011 05:34 PM

Unless you have lights that can be controlled from more than one location you should not have a black terminal on your switch. That would make it a 3-way switch!

Do you have a tester? You are going to need one to sort this out! If you post a clear pic showing all the wiring I might be able to figure it out for you. Or you can try to draw a sketch and post that. Your description at this point does not give enough information to figure it out.

Jim Port 04-30-2011 05:48 PM

Do these switches say On and Off? How many screw terminals are on each switch. Again leave out the ground screws.

Len Montilli 04-30-2011 11:06 PM

The three way switch has three terminals ---- two brass and one dark colored. The single switch has only two brass terminals.

Since it appears the three way is not needed since I can't turn these lights on from another location in the house, I will replace it with another single switch with two terminals.

Now, I am able to turn on one set of recessed lights with the single switch, but I am still not able to turn lights on with the three way switch. It seems as if I have made a wrong connection somewhere.

NJMarine 05-01-2011 07:21 AM

joining 2 swiches
You stated that you can not turn this lights on from an other location, therfore a 3 way switch is not required. Use2 single pole switches You will need a meter to check circuits.
Switch 1 first bank of light to one terminal feed from lights, second terminal hot feed, Switch2 one terminal feed from lights other terminal hot feed.

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