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Old 03-12-2013, 07:08 PM   #16
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Please help, light switch wiring


make it easier
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Old 03-12-2013, 07:18 PM   #17
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Please help, light switch wiring


Have you identified which switched hot in the box goes to the heater, which switched hot goes to the light and which switched hot goes to the vent?
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Old 03-12-2013, 07:40 PM   #18
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Please help, light switch wiring


I was wondering why the wiring kept changing...

BTW stop with the jumper wires ... see the brass thingy between the two screws on only one side of the switch? You have an IQ of 128 see if you can figure out what that metal connectors purpose is ....

Find the nm cable that is bringing constant power to the switch box with your DMM.

In other words find which wire is hot all the time.

Hammerlane forgot to show the 3 wire cable in his drawing.

There is a way to use a jumper but please don't try ....
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:16 PM   #19
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:16 PM   #20
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Please help, light switch wiring


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You have an IQ of 128 see if you can figure out what that metal connectors purpose is


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Hammerlane forgot to show the 3 wire cable in his drawing.
I showed XX-2 conductor cable going to each device because I have no way of knowing what goes to his heater, fan or light. Just wanted to get the point across about the switched HOTS and finding his ALWAYS HOT
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:54 PM   #21
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Please help, light switch wiring


I have no idea what the "tab" is for, it's not a matter of intelligence, it's a matter of simply not knowing what it is for because I never learned that. I'd be pleased if someone could tell me what it's for.

The upper left switch (labeled X) in the latest picture is the one that previously controlled the vent but had to be on in order for anything else to work. After following the advice of switching wires around that switch (X) now turns on the light but still has to be on in order for anything else to work.

I don't know which wire is always hot as I don't know how to test that. I'm well versed in DC electricity...but AC makes no sense to me. There are several black wires, two white wires and a red wire, nothing in my experience makes any sense with any of that. Normally (to me) RED would be the hot wire and black would be ground.

I have a multimeter, how would I test which one is the always hot? Please have some patience with my AC ignorance but it just completely baffles me because I grasp the concept of a positive and negative....but AC has so many wires and the colors don't even make sense.
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:12 PM   #22
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Please help, light switch wiring


Set the meter to the highest level on ac volts.
With all switches off, touch one lead to the white wire and the other lead to each black wire.
The meter will show only on the hot wire.
Find that and the rest will be easy.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:50 PM   #23
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Please help, light switch wiring


The tab is simply a connection between the two screw terminals. There are times when you want the two screws separate but most time you want them connected.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:59 PM   #24
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Please help, light switch wiring


Ok, the black wire at the top left corner (looking at it from the front) is the always hot wire.

(that would be absolute top left corner, so top left corner of top left switch, the one that has to be on before anything else functions)
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:25 AM   #25
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Please help, light switch wiring


Ok turn the breaker off...get rid of any jumpers and take the always hot black wire and connect it to two pigtails of black wire about 6 inches long in a wire nut.

Your going to use these pigtails to take constant power to each switch.

Connect one of the pigtails to the dark colored screw on the top right of the yoke with the two switches. Connect the the other pigtail to the top right dark colored screw of the yoke with the receptacle.

Both yokes are now powered both top and bottom because of the brass tabs we have been talking about.

Leave the white wire on the silver screw next to the receptacle ... this is your neutral for the receptacle. Don't touch any of the white wires in that red wirenut.

Take the red wire and connect it to the top left brass screw of the yoke with two switches. This is the switched wire to your heater.

You now have two black wires left. Connect one to the bottom left dark screw of the yoke with two switches.

Connect the last black wire to the top left brass screw on the yoke with the receptacle.
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:36 AM   #26
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Post #25 from Stubbie.

Cant ask for any better advice than that...next post from the poster should be:

"Got it working. Thanks to all who helped especially my wife who has put up with this mess."
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:32 AM   #27
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Please help, light switch wiring


I will follow the diagram when I get home and see what happens. thanks guys.
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:48 AM   #28
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Please help, light switch wiring


Something else you may want to consider.
You need to replace that switch and receptacle with a gfci receptacle and switch.
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:55 AM   #29
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Please help, light switch wiring


the wiring in my house is so old that it doesn't even have ground wires, so I don't think GFCI would do anything, (doesn't that require a ground?)

the only that that ever gets plugged into that outlet is a hair dryer on very rare occasion (it's the only outlet in the bathroom) and even then that's only when someone is standing near the mirror (we don't take baths). i know that GFCI is the safe way to go, but with no ground wire to tie into and a receptacle that almost never gets used I don't see the point.
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:15 PM   #30
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Please help, light switch wiring


A gfci will work without a ground wire.

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