Multiple Switches Powered Off Single Power Feed

Old 08-22-04, 09:03 PM
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Exclamation Multiple Switches Powered Off Single Power Feed


I have what I thought was a simple wiring issue, maybe someone can help.

I have 2 switches going to 2 separate lighting fixtures. Inside the box, I have a line from the fuse box, regular 14-2 wire. I also have 3 other wires.
One going to an outlet, one going to one light fixture and one going to another light fixture. Switches are both dimmers if that makes any difference.

This is the way I wired it:

All grounds together, all commons together
I pigtailed both the hot and common from the source so I could connect everything.

Source hot is connected to:
Hot on the outlet line that heads out of the box
Hot on one wire on one of the switches
Hot on another wite on one of the switches

Black wire from one of the light fixtures to one of the wires on one switch
Black wire from the other light fixtures to one of the wires on the other switch

Problem, only one switch works. Second switch does not. Remember, they are 2 separate switches going to 2 separate fixtures sharing 1 powersource. There is no 3 way type configs to deal with.

Do I need to mark one of the wires white? black?

Any help is appreciated

Old 08-22-04, 09:21 PM
Speedy Petey's Avatar
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First off the "commons" shoud be referred to as neutrals for the purposes of clarity. This is not even the official term but is the most widly accepted term. Also, don't forget, not all white wires are neutrals.

It actually sounds like you have it wired correctly.
In your case, yes, all the whites should be connected and no, none should be re-marked.
The line in feed should connect to the black going to the receptacle and also to one wire from each dimmer.
Then the remaining wire from each dimmer should go to a fixture switch leg black.
This is how I interpert you wired it. Did you mix up the hot with one of the fixture switch legs? From the sound of your problem it seems you may have.
Re-check all your wiring and connections and let us know what you come up with.
Old 08-23-04, 05:09 AM
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I thought I had it wired correctly. I should also mention that this is new construction, so the likely hood of mixing up the switch neutral and hot is not very good. As long as I know that my wiring at the box looks good, I will try and trace the problem back to the fixture. Thanks for your help
Old 08-23-04, 10:45 AM
Homer Simpson
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Power Woes


Make sure that the switch is ok (not defective), make sure that the fixture
bulb is ok(not burned out).

Buy a cheap ac-dc-ohm meter and check where the power is and where
it need to go. Look for a loose wire in the wire nut either the black or the
white wires. I always twist my wires before I use a wire nut, saves call backs. Lastly, take a flashlight and look deep into the box and see if you missed a wire. I have seen it happen even with the most
seasoned practitioners of the electrical arts.
Say goodbye, Homer. Goodbye

Last edited by Homer Simpson; 08-23-04 at 11:15 AM.

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