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Old 12-18-2011, 09:36 PM   #1
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Problem replacing bathroom lightswitch


So basically, my bathroom light switch stopped working (the button started becoming less and less responsive, so guests would press it harder and harder, making it less and less responsive. Recidivism at it's finest). It's a motion detector wall switch and I'd like to replace it with just a regular switch, no motion detecting, not a button, just a regular switch so I don't run into the problem with guests hitting any button too hard and potentially breaking it again.

At first, I thought a regular interruptor switch would work, but then there wasn't anywhere for the red wire to go. So I bought a 3-way switch as advised by one employee at Home Depot (all the employees for the electrical section were unavailable) and he told me that 3-way switches are for lights controlled by 2 separate switches. This bathroom light is only controlled by 1 switch. Either way, I've tried connecting all the wires to the 3-way switch and the light comes on when the switch is off. When I flip the switch to 'on' the light turns off and the breaker trips. As far as I know, there is not another switch in the apartment that controls the bathroom light. I think the only other thing that controlled the bathroom light was the motion detector in the old switch.

SUMMARY : I just want to know if its possible to replace the old button motion detector wall switch with a regular (nonbutton) flip switch. Here are some more pictures of the 2 switches I currently have. Ideally I'd like a non-motion detecting switch, but if I have to use one is there a light switch that I can buy that IS motion detecting, but also a flip instead of a button?

wires, where the faceplate was, with the old motion detector switch removed
http://i.imgur.com/DOAdG.jpg

front of old motion detector switch labelled with where the wires were attached
http://i.imgur.com/DOAdG.jpg

back of old motion detector switch labelled with where the wires were attached
http://i.imgur.com/7RX3Q.jpg

left side of old motion detector switch labelled with where the wires were attached
http://i.imgur.com/iLn8a.jpg

right side of old motion detector switch lablled where the the wires were attached
http://i.imgur.com/An97h.jpg

backside of 3-way switch I bought (labelled with where I attached the wires)
http://i.imgur.com/CoEqy.jpg

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Last edited by rockchalk; 12-18-2011 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 12-18-2011, 09:42 PM   #2
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Problem replacing bathroom lightswitch


Get a single pole switch.
Connect the black wire to the bottom screw, and the red wire to the top screw.
Connect the ground to the ground screw and cap the white wire.
Never listen to the HD guy again!

By connecting the white wire to the 3 way switch, you created a short circuit.

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Last edited by jbfan; 12-18-2011 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 12-18-2011, 09:51 PM   #3
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Problem replacing bathroom lightswitch


Wow, thanks for the quick reply

I've also got this, not sure if its a single pole switch (closest thing I've taken to when it comes to circuits was an introduction to digital logic and it wasnt for me, but I find fixing things on my own is kind of rewarding) so do you mean like this

http://i.imgur.com/9aqCI.jpg ?

And as for capping the white wire, I can just ask the guys at the local hardware store for a wire cap and shouldn't have any trouble slapping one onto the white wire?
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Old 12-18-2011, 09:56 PM   #4
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Problem replacing bathroom lightswitch


That is a single pole switch.
The black and red wire can be interchanged with either screw.
Placeing the power into a switch on the bottom is just my preferance.
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:00 PM   #5
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Problem replacing bathroom lightswitch


Thank you so much, the hardware store down the street is closed for the night, and there isn't a home depot in my city and I don't feel like taking BART to get to one. Tomorrow Progress Hardware opens at 8 and I'll go grab a wire cap and do this and post results. Related question, diychatroom electrical is the right place I could find instructions on how to make a lamp right? I'd like to make something like this for a friend, but instead of a Guinness can, I'd like to use a Monster energy drink can (he's obsessed with the stuff) http://i.imgur.com/HZNsU.jpg
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Old 12-18-2011, 10:03 PM   #6
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Problem replacing bathroom lightswitch


I can see that lamp getting hot as all get out!
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Old 12-18-2011, 11:35 PM   #7
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Problem replacing bathroom lightswitch


Thank you so much jbfan, you have no idea how helpful your information was. Roommate was on the way home from another city, asked them to pick up some wire nuts and now the bathroom is fully functional again. Words can't explain how relieving this is
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Old 12-19-2011, 07:57 AM   #8
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Problem replacing bathroom lightswitch


Quote:
Originally Posted by rockchalk View Post
Thank you so much jbfan, you have no idea how helpful your information was. Roommate was on the way home from another city, asked them to pick up some wire nuts and now the bathroom is fully functional again. Words can't explain how relieving this is

relieving... ha ha. Unintentional bathroom humor FTW.

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