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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Light Switch in garage of older home. I shut the power off and tried to hook up similar to existing wiring but it kept tripping the switch each time I would try to put the power back on. I took a bunch of pics. The first pic has one black on the bottom. It looks like the red is on top but it is going to the other side which is the next pic beneath.

I know this is awful but why does the order matter. I tried the black on the top, nothing but works on the bottom screw.(Reason was I forgot how I took it off.)

Let me know. Do I even have the right new switch? I just had an extra.
 

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It looks as if you are trying to hook the three wires from the original switch to a new three way switch.

Don't use the white wire from the old switch...cap it off. Put either the black or red to the black screw of the new switch. Put the remaining wire to either of the other brass screws on the new switch.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, trying to use the 3 existing wires.

So why do I cap off white? Keep'er real simple just learning.

"Put either the black or red to the black screw of the new switch" - so it doesn't matter does it, red or black?

Can someone give me a real simple on why you have red wires? Black is power, white is common(?) and then ground. So why the red?

Thanks.
 

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Is this circuit controlled from another switch? Possibly by another door or in a different location? Just trying to figure out if this is a 3-way circuit
 

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The white on the original switch is a neutral used for the pilot light. Since your new switch doesn't have a pilot light, you don't need the neutral. When you put the white to the new switch, you were creating a direct short...hot to neutral.a

Red is a common color for the switch leg...the wire that is being controlled by the switch.
 
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