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Old 02-06-2005, 12:19 PM   #1
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Wall Switch


I have two lights that use one single pole wall switch that I am replacing. I pulled out the wall switch from the wall and it is cracked where one of the wires is pushed in the back. I noticed that one wire is connected to the top screw and one wire is pushed in the back of the switch that is right next to the top screw. Are these two wires my two lights? There is a wire connected to the bottom screw and a wire connected to the ground screw. Also, the switch does not identify which wire is the common. How can I tell so I know which wire to connect to the new switch in the screw marked common? The wires consist of three black wires and one copper ground wire.

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Last edited by sue; 02-06-2005 at 03:59 PM. Reason: Not enough info.
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Old 02-06-2005, 03:28 PM   #2
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what is the color scheme of the 4 wires you've described??

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Old 02-06-2005, 03:54 PM   #3
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The wires are three black and one copper ground wire.
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Old 02-06-2005, 05:06 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by sue
How can I tell so I know which wire to connect to the new switch in the screw marked common?
I don't think you should have a switch with a "common" terminal. The switch should have a gold colored terminal screw, a silver colored terminal screw and a green ground screw.
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Old 02-06-2005, 08:05 PM   #5
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If you have a switch with a "common" terminal you have the wrong switch (a 3-way).
You need a single pole switch, which will have TWO GOLD screws and a ground.

The two blacks which were together were the feeds (hots), one in and one out, but both hot wires. The single black is to the lights.
Connect the wires the same way as the old switch.
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Answers based on the 2008 & 2011 NEC.
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