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Old 01-04-2013, 12:20 PM   #1
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Light Switch Wires Help. Really Confused


So my father wanted to change out a light switch. He took off the Wall plate and the 3 wires out of the switch and plugged them into the new switch most likely in the wrong order and it did not work. I tried plugging them back into the old switch and they still won't work. I tried every combo for the 3 and none work.

I tested each wire to the other with a multimeter and below is what i got. Any tips or help would be very much appreciated as i am almost ready to bow down and call an electrician

These wire combinations with my multimeter returned 110v hot connections, all the rest returned nothing:

- 1 to 5
- 5 to 6


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Old 01-04-2013, 12:22 PM   #2
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Light Switch Wires Help. Really Confused



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Old 01-04-2013, 12:25 PM   #3
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Light Switch Wires Help. Really Confused


Sorry for all the posts, no edit link. I should also note the light switch on 5 and 6 works great, there is another light switch on the right (not shown) that i am attempting to get to work.
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:26 PM   #4
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Light Switch Wires Help. Really Confused


Find the old switch and tell us how many screws there are on it.
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:32 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Find the old switch and tell us how many screws there are on it.
3 screws on the old switch. Thanks!
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:33 PM   #6
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Light Switch Wires Help. Really Confused


He also just told me he replaced the left switch too, now i'm wondering if he was swapping wires or undid a pigtail between two. The left switch does work however and turn on the correct device.
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:33 PM   #7
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Light Switch Wires Help. Really Confused


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Originally Posted by Sandman22 View Post
Sorry for all the posts, no edit link. I should also note the light switch on 5 and 6 works great, there is another light switch on the right (not shown) that i am attempting to get to work.
So the lite switch in the photo was not replaced and the wires attached to it were not removed?

Take a picture of the old switch.
May have been a 3-way switch.

The switch that you removed, I'll assume it controlled a light. Is this light also able to be controlled by a 2nd switch at a different location?
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:34 PM   #8
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Light Switch Wires Help. Really Confused


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Originally Posted by Sandman22 View Post
3 screws on the old switch. Thanks!
So a single pole switch with the ground screw? Also with all those wires undone, are there any other devices like a receptacle smewhere that is currently not workin?

Last edited by hammerlane; 01-04-2013 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:36 PM   #9
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Light Switch Wires Help. Really Confused


which one?
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:43 PM   #10
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Thanks guys. I'll get photos and the answers to all of these today. I really appreciate your help.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:07 PM   #11
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Light Switch Wires Help. Really Confused


The only additional question I would throw into the mix: I would be more interested in voltage readings between each of the blacks against the white bundle, or against a bare copper bundle (can't quite tell if one exists).

I also think it important to restate earlier questions:

a) does this switch control a simple light fixture? A fan? Something else?
b) is there another switch location that controls this same fixture?
c) are there other lights or outlets that are no longer working?
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:45 PM   #12
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Light Switch Wires Help. Really Confused


Are there any other lights or receptacles not working?
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:51 PM   #13
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Light Switch Wires Help. Really Confused


Measure from 1,2,3,4,5,6 to the white wires and tell us which ones have voltage on them. Make sure the 5,6 switch is off.

Sounds like a three way switch has been messed up at both ends. We need to identify which wires go where and then we can tell you how to connect them.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:18 PM   #14
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Light Switch Wires Help. Really Confused


Thanks for all the replies! Here are all my answers posted below.

  • 1. The light switch on the left controls a skylight. This is the only location it is turned on or off. The light switch that was removed on the right controls a simple kitchen light. This is also the only location it is turned on/off.
  • 2. The lightswitched removed from the right was the same as the one shown here on the left. 1 additional screw on top left. So 3 screws in total. It most resembles the middle switch that hammerlane posted, minus the top ground screw.
  • 3. There is an(not pictured)other ceiling light across the kitchen that is now no longer working. This is the only light now not working and did not rely on if this light was on/off. Each was controlled seperately from their own switches.
  • 4.I tested all 6 individual wires to the white wires(there are 5 white wires pigtailed together) and only wire #5 returned a hot connection. The rest did not.
  • 5. Thanks for the help guys!!!!


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Old 01-04-2013, 10:00 PM   #15
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Light Switch Wires Help. Really Confused


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandman22 View Post
Thanks for all the replies! Here are all my answers posted below.

  • 1. The light switch on the left controls a skylight. This is the only location it is turned on or off. The light switch that was removed on the right controls a simple kitchen light. This is also the only location it is turned on/off.
    The wiring indicate a 3 way switch, turned on and off from another location.
  • 2. The lightswitched removed from the right was the same as the one shown here on the left. 1 additional screw on top left. So 3 screws in total. It most resembles the middle switch that

    hammerlane posted, minus the top ground screw

    If it like the one you indicate, it is a 3 way switch
  • 3. There is an(not pictured)other ceiling light across the kitchen that is now no longer working. This is the only light now not working and did not rely on if this light was on/off. Each was controlled seperately from their own switches.
  • 4.I tested all 6 individual wires to the white wires(there are 5 white wires pigtailed together) and only wire #5 returned a hot connection. The rest did not.

    It seems that #5 is the hot coming in from the breaker.
    It should be pigtailed to one of the other black wires to send power to the next switch
  • 5. Thanks for the help guys!!!!


Do you have the old switch?

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