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ScottCa 01-31-2013 02:27 PM

Question about replacing Light Switch
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I am replacing a single pole light switch. The old switch has one ground wire, and then two black wires and one red wire.

The new switch only has the ground connector, and two side-screws.
What do I do with the extra (black) wire?

(See photo)

Thanks in advance

joecaption 01-31-2013 02:46 PM

Wrong switch. The old one is a three way switch, the new one you bought is a single pole.
There must be two switches to one light in that room.

ScottCa 01-31-2013 03:04 PM

That's what I was afraid of. There is only one light switch in this bathroom, but this is a three way switch? Where does this other wire go? I may be in over my head. This is not the first odd thing I've found in this house.

Should I just buy a three way switch, and replace it according to the old configuration? Is this a safety hazard?

joecaption 01-31-2013 03:13 PM

Could very well go to an outlet.
Outlets can be split so one side has power all the time and the other is switched.
That way you can have a light on a night stand that comes on when you hit the switch.

ScottCa 01-31-2013 03:21 PM

I just tested the electrical outlet, and sure enough, the bottom outlet is controlled by the switch as well.

Thanks Joe. You're very helpful.

(Heading to Home Depot to buy a three way switch).

psuryan 01-31-2013 04:28 PM

Even with the outlet being controlled, should there not be second switch? Or when the light is on, does the outlet goes out? Shouldn't the 3 way switch only provide power to either the red or black wire at a time, not both when you hit the switch?

Or does one of those push ins just act like a pass through?

frenchelectrican 02-01-2013 12:06 AM

Does this toggle switch marked " On " et " Off " ? If so that is single pole verison but it do not show any wording then it a very good chance you may got a three way switch.

I have a feeling that you did have three way switch due one screw is not normal colour more like red colour so that kinda give away as common screw.

If you going to change over to the new switch do it one at time or take a tape or something and marked one conductor with it so you know that is a common. ( this part is important otherwise you will have 3 combations to get this right. )


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