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Old 01-21-2011, 10:39 AM   #1
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Replacing a single-pole switch


I have a broken single-pole switch that controls a closet light, but when I pulled it out of the box I found myself a bit puzzled by the wiring. There is one black wire coming off the top screw (which goes to the fixture), but on the bottom, there are two black wires--one coming off the bottom screw and one coming out of the slot in the back. Obviously one is the line, but I can't figure out what the other one is and don't want to swap out the switch until I know what's going on.

This seems like it should be easy, so my apologies if I'm just missing something obvious....

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Old 01-21-2011, 10:45 AM   #2
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Replacing a single-pole switch


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Originally Posted by leighton View Post
I have a broken single-pole switch that controls a closet light, but when I pulled it out of the box I found myself a bit puzzled by the wiring. There is one black wire coming off the top screw (which goes to the fixture), but on the bottom, there are two black wires--one coming off the bottom screw and one coming out of the slot in the back. Obviously one is the line, but I can't figure out what the other one is and don't want to swap out the switch until I know what's going on.

This seems like it should be easy, so my apologies if I'm just missing something obvious....
The bottom wires are a constant hot in and a constant hot out, the top wire is the switched hot to the light. When you replace the switch, connect the two bottom wires together with a 6in piece of the same gauge wire (pigtail) using a wire nut or Wago-type pushin connector. Connect this short pigtail to the bottom screw of the switch. Connect the other, single black wire to the top screw.

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Old 01-21-2011, 10:52 AM   #3
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Replacing a single-pole switch


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Originally Posted by HouseHelper View Post
The bottom wires are a constant hot in and a constant hot out, the top wire is the switched hot to the light. When you replace the switch, connect the two bottom wires together with a 6in piece of the same gauge wire (pigtail) using a wire nut or Wago-type pushin connector. Connect this short pigtail to the bottom screw of the switch. Connect the other, single black wire to the top screw.
Great. I thought it was something like that but didn't want to pigtail the two until I was more certain. Thanks.
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