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Old 03-27-2012, 12:01 PM   #1
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replacing light switches and plugs.


I am replacing 3 way switches. there are 2 that control the dining room fan and the top half of each outlet, one has 1 black, 1 red, and 1 white wire while the other has 2 red and 1 black. how do i replace the switches correctly? In the living room there are 3 switches, 1 only controls part of the room, it has 2 black wires only, then there is one with 2 red wires and one black, and the 3rd has 1 black, one red, and one white, they control the fan, lighting and half of the top half of each outlet. I am replacing them all as the switches were old and outdated. originally I replaced all the outlets as they were old ,when you plugged something in the cord would sag and have a loose connection, this caused the power to go out in living room and dining room. I replaced all the outlets in the living room and dining room (the offending outlet had some burnt wiring in it) after doing that I had power to one half of the living room but none to dining room or other half of the living room. So I decided I needed to also replace the light switches since they control so much of the rooms, after doing that I still have no power even though my detector says there is power there, so i was wondering if I had the switches connected correctly.

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Old 03-27-2012, 12:05 PM   #2
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replacing light switches and plugs.


Look at the old switch. One screw should be black or marked as common. That goes on the black or common screw of your new switch. That screw may or may not be in the same position on the new switch. The other two wire don't matter which screw they go on. Change one switch at a time and test it from both switches. It is much easier to fix a wiring problem when only one of the switches has been changed.

Do NOT mess with any other wires in the switch box. Only the three wires on the switch and a ground if present need to changed.

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Old 03-27-2012, 01:44 PM   #3
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replacing light switches and plugs.


I have never heard of a switch controlling only the top half of an outlet.that would require additional wire to every outlet it controlled, would it not?
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Old 03-27-2012, 02:35 PM   #4
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replacing light switches and plugs.


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Originally Posted by sublime2
I have never heard of a switch controlling only the top half of an outlet.that would require additional wire to every outlet it controlled, would it not?
Yes typically three wire is ran around to the receptacles. You break the tab on the hot side.
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Old 03-31-2012, 06:37 AM   #5
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replacing light switches and plugs.


I do not know how they were connected to the older outlets as they were all connected through holes in the back of each outlet which were unmarked.
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Old 03-31-2012, 08:03 AM   #6
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replacing light switches and plugs.


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Originally Posted by whiterozez View Post
I am replacing 3 way switches. there are 2 that control the dining room fan and the top half of each outlet,.
If I understand correctly the, the same two 3-way switches control both the dining room ceiling AND the top part of several outlets?
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Old 03-31-2012, 08:07 AM   #7
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replacing light switches and plugs.


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Look at the old switch. One screw should be black or marked as common. That goes on the black or common screw of your new switch.
It is the wire under the common screw of the old switch that gets attached to the common terminal of the new switch. No need to put any screw from old switch on the common screw of new switch.

Last edited by hammerlane; 03-31-2012 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:11 AM   #8
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replacing light switches and plugs.


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I do not know how they were connected to the older outlets as they were all connected through holes in the back of each outlet which were unmarked.
The screw holes typically correspond to the screw that they are next to.
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Old 03-31-2012, 12:07 PM   #9
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replacing light switches and plugs.


That would be correct, it is the same way for the living room as well. I also do not understand why I also have a switch in the living room that has only 2 black wires.
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Old 03-31-2012, 01:18 PM   #10
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replacing light switches and plugs.


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Originally Posted by whiterozez View Post
That would be correct, it is the same way for the living room as well. I also do not understand why I also have a switch in the living room that has only 2 black wires.
2 blacks with 2 whites capped/spliced together.
Generally one wire is the lead(hot) into the box the other gos out to the fixture or outlet. power is at the switch,when you throw the switch on the power travels to the outlet/fixture.

Not always the case though!

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