Wall switch help!!!

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  #1  
Old 12-30-04, 07:38 AM
rugerman
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Wall switch help!!!

I had a wall switch go out in my utility room, when I pulled the switch I found 3 black wires. I got a new 3 way switch and re wired now when I turn off the switch the lights in the next room go off to. What do I do? Should I just keep trying different combinations until I get the switch to work this light with out affecting the others or is there an easier way. Thanks rugerman
 
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  #2  
Old 12-30-04, 07:55 AM
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Was the old switch a 3 way switch? Or was it a 2 way switch? Do you still remember how the old switch was wired?
 
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Old 12-30-04, 08:41 AM
rugerman
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The old switch was a push in type with 3 wires and 3 holes for them, 2 at the bottom and 1 at the top. I'm not sure if the wires are now in the same configuration. rugerman
 
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Old 12-30-04, 08:58 AM
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Sounds like your old switch was a 2 way switch. The three way switch you bought is not needed. Trying to use it will confuse you.

Go buy a 2 way switch and then try various combinations of the three wires on the switch. Two wires connect to one screw, and one wire to the other screw. If you remember where the old wires were connected then you can save yourself the guesswork.

One caution. You cannot place two wires under one screw. You will need to make a pigtail and use a wire nut so that two wires can connect to one screw.
 
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Old 12-30-04, 09:01 AM
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Is there another switch that controls this light? I suspect the old switch was not 3 way. To make everything work again you'll need to determine what wire is what. You'll have 1 hot, 1 that goes to the light and 1 that goes to the next room. The hot one and the one that goes to the next room need to be connected together along with a pig tail to go to one side of the switch. The final wire (to the light) goes to the other side of the switch. Are these the only wires in the box? No white wires? Is this very old wiring?

Doug M.
 
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Old 12-30-04, 09:09 AM
rugerman
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Don't know the exact age of the house but the date in the toilet is may of 79. Should I have 1 or 2 hot wires? rugerman
 
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Old 12-30-04, 09:14 AM
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Normally a 2 way switch doesn't have 3 "holes". Is there another switch controlling the second light? How was it turned on before?
 
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Old 12-30-04, 09:24 AM
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1 hot wire. I'm surprised at the lack of white wires if this is newer construction. Date on toilet?? Not sure that's a good way to determine the age of the house. How about the date on your closing papers...

Trinitro, I've seen switches with a pass through connection.

Doug M.
 
  #9  
Old 12-30-04, 09:41 AM
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Sounds to me like raccraft and dougm are on it. A typical utility room wouldn't have/need a 3-way. The switch box was probably an ideal location to grab a feed for the light in the other room and is switched there. My bet is if you look in the back of the utility room switch box you'd find the two white wires nutted or taped together to continue the ckt on thru....

jm2c
 
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Old 12-30-04, 10:46 AM
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I understandard the hot wire going to another light/switch. However, what concerns me is the lack of a neutral wire. Unless this is a switched loop or a 3-way switch loop you should always have a neutral with the hot.

I'm pretty sure that 1 of those 3 hot (black) wires is the supply (always hot), 1 is going to the fixture in the room, and the 3rd is suppplying the other light fixture, probably through another switch. However, where is the neutral conductor for the second fixture?
 
  #11  
Old 12-30-04, 03:34 PM
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trinitro, That's why I asked if this was a very old house. In typical knob and tube wiring, the hot and neutrals were run separately. I think it's safe to assume we're not talking about knob and tube... We haven't heard back from rugerman yet. I bet the whites are in the back of the box.

Doug M.
 
  #12  
Old 12-30-04, 05:32 PM
rugerman
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Hey guys you were right it is a single pole switch. Yes there are 3 white wires nutted together but all the wires to the switch are black. One wire was hot, I played with the different combinations until I got the utility light to go on & off without affecting the other lights on the circut. As for the date in the toilet tank, if you know that the toilet is original to the house the date in the tank will usually be within a year or two of the build date, in this case the toilet tank date was May 79 and the house (as per my wife) was built in 80. Thanks for all your replies and help. rugerman
 
  #13  
Old 12-31-04, 09:13 AM
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rugerman, Great! Problem resolved.

trs4594, Just for the record, my utiltiy room has 3 3-way switches in it.

Doug M.
 
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