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Old 10-23-2011, 02:32 PM   #1
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Kitchen dual switch (only 1 side works)??


My home was built in 1982. The main kitchen light is on a wall switch that has another switch that controls the light in the washer/dryer area next to kitchen. About 2 years ago, I installed a ceiling fan/light in the kitchen. It has worked fine until last week when the whole unit suddenly stopped working. The breaker is on, the other washroom light works (on separate switch/same breaker). I took the ceiling fan down, bought a standard light fixture, installed it and it worked for about a week then it suddenly stopped coming on! Once again, the breaker was not thrown and the washroom light still comes on.
The wiring coming from the attic are merely the black, white, and bare (ground). My voltage tester is not getting a reading at all on either circuit.
Any suggestions???

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Old 10-23-2011, 05:53 PM   #2
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Kitchen dual switch (only 1 side works)??


The splice might have failed or the switch could be bad.

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Old 10-23-2011, 05:57 PM   #3
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Kitchen dual switch (only 1 side works)??


I just replaced the switch with a new one..........and still no power to the light
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Old 10-23-2011, 06:20 PM   #4
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Kitchen dual switch (only 1 side works)??


Jim, do you mean the splice behind the wall switch?? If so, it hasn't been altered in 29 years, but you're saying sometimes it can just fail?
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Old 10-23-2011, 06:31 PM   #5
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Kitchen dual switch (only 1 side works)??


Quote:
Originally Posted by jenksthecat View Post
Jim, do you mean the splice behind the wall switch?? If so, it hasn't been altered in 29 years, but you're saying sometimes it can just fail?
Where the fan was hooked up. In other words, go to the first place that the changes that you made were done, and you will find your problem.
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Old 10-23-2011, 08:38 PM   #6
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Kitchen dual switch (only 1 side works)??


ok, I took the fixture down and made sure all three wire connections were tight. I also checked in the attic to assure no disturbances of the wire running to drop down. Everything looked fine. But after turning the breaker back on, I still only have power on one side of the two switches.
Like I originally stated, it's real weird that the light worked for about a week, then suddenly stopped.

Any other suggestions?
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Old 10-23-2011, 08:41 PM   #7
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Kitchen dual switch (only 1 side works)??


Post what are the wires that are in the junction box that the switch is in, if power comes there first from the breaker panel, and what colors are in the junction box for the fan. Pictures are helpful.
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Old 10-23-2011, 09:36 PM   #8
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Kitchen dual switch (only 1 side works)??


will be uploading photos shortly.........trying to edit them for clarity.

Last edited by jenksthecat; 10-23-2011 at 11:28 PM. Reason: to upload photos
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Old 10-23-2011, 11:35 PM   #9
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Kitchen dual switch (only 1 side works)??


The switch on the left is the new one with the bottom (hot) wire connecting to the other (working) switch. The bare (sprayed) grounds are far in the back of the box.
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Old 10-23-2011, 11:50 PM   #10
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Kitchen dual switch (only 1 side works)??


Does not really help any. So coming from the breaker panel, to the light switch junction box, how many wires is in that single romex nm? And exiting, how many nm/romex and how many wires in each (ie black, white, bare copper; or black, red, white, bare copper).
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Old 10-24-2011, 01:52 AM   #11
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Kitchen dual switch (only 1 side works)??


I believe there's only three wires coming in from the breaker (black, white, & bare) because that's the way all the other wiring has been throughout the house. I've installed 5 ceiling fans, a security light over the garage, and changed out several outlets & switches in the 29 yrs of living here. That seems to be the standard throughout. I'll take the other switch out tomorrow and double check the inlet wires. I really appreciate your assistance with this.
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Old 10-24-2011, 02:05 AM   #12
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Kitchen dual switch (only 1 side works)??


Not too sure I can help.. but I had a couple questions. I agree it seems odd that it would quit after 2 years suddenly like that. It is all on a 15 amp circuit, I'd assume? And the wires don't look any worse for wear? Absolutely nothing else changed before the fan went out, right? No crawling in an attic around some wiring, or a repair someplace else that could have affected it? The only other question I have is if you hooked up a voltmeter to test the voltage going through the line when on, but I don't think that would cause a blown fixture. When you said you purchased a standard lighting fixture, was it the whole fixture that stopped or just burned out bulbs? Just trying for some potential clarification since well... there had to be a reason for it to just suddenly happen out of the blue.
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:02 AM   #13
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Kitchen dual switch (only 1 side works)??


No, nothing changed. The only thing that made me think it had something to do with the ceiling lighting/fan is when I removed one of the four bulbs to replace it, it was a bit hard to unscrew. And when I unscrewed it all the way, a piece of something fell out of the holder. The only thing I recovered off the floor was what looked like a very small washer, so when I screwed the new bulb in, I put that washer on the end of the bulb, screwed it in, and it didn't work. It seems it didn't seat well in the holder. The other three still worked along with the fan. If my memory serves me right, I either unscrewed it or took it back out. If I left it in, I was thinking that's what caused the whole ceiling fan & lights to not function. Everything stopped working maybe a week or so after the bulb replacement.
The only thing that blows that theory is the new standard fixture (has the 2 round fluorescent bulbs) worked for about 2 weeks. After I initially mounted it, it didn't work so I lowered it and re-tightened the three wire nuts, then it worked for like more than a week. I lowered it again last night but still no power. I've checked the voltage on the working switch (good), but not getting a reading on the non-working side. That's why I replaced the switch with a new one.........still no go.
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Old 10-24-2011, 10:19 AM   #14
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Kitchen dual switch (only 1 side works)??


For one, that washer does not belong up there. The second is go from the switches after checking the connections, to the next junction point and verify connections and that the wire nuts are on correctly.
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Old 10-24-2011, 01:27 PM   #15
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Kitchen dual switch (only 1 side works)??


Ok, I've done more trouble shooting and found out that the incoming white (hot) wires are pigtailed together (switches are sharing the hot wire). Also the bare grounds are pigtailed. There are two sets outgoing. One to the kitchen light fixture and the other to the washroom light fixture. I put my test light from the bare grounds to the bottom poles on both switches and got a 110v reading. But I only got the 110v on the washroom switch when I put the hot lead to the bottom pole and the ground lead to the top pole. I did not get a reading as such on the kitchen side switch. This lets me know that the black wire leading up to the kitchen light isn't working. What has caused it to fail, I don't know.

So now do I have to run a whole new cable from the switch to the ceiling light???

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Last edited by jenksthecat; 10-24-2011 at 01:44 PM.
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