Need advice on how to replace an old light switch

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  #1  
Old 10-10-05, 12:50 PM
flicka
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Question Need advice on how to replace an old light switch

We have an old light switch in our hallway that had a spot for a lightbulb in it. We want to replace this old thing and put a more mordern switch without the light bulb thing. There are 4 different wires comming from the wall into the old witch and 1 that is not used. Does someone have an idea on witch cables to uses to change the switch.
Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 10-10-05, 12:53 PM
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What color are the wires? Do any of them connect to the same location? Where on the switch do they connect? Does any other switch control this light?
 
  #3  
Old 10-10-05, 01:00 PM
flicka
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Racraft, we can see one that it was a sort of red fabric under a good coat of black , the others are back and there seems also to be one white.
There are 3 wires coming from one cable and 2 coming from another cable.
There two places where there are two wires connecting to the same location on the left side of the switch. No other switch control this light.
 
  #4  
Old 10-10-05, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by flicka
we can see one that it was a sort of red fabric under a good coat of black
I don't understand this.


Originally Posted by flicka
There are 3 wires coming from one cable and 2 coming from another cable.
What color are the wires from each cable that connect to the switch, and what color is the loose wire? Which wires come from which cable? Are there any other wires or cables in the box? Do all the wires have insulation on them?

Originally Posted by flicka
There two places where there are two wires connecting to the same location on the left side of the switch.
So how many places in total do wires connect? One? Two?



Do you have any electrical test equipment? Such as a two wire tester?
 
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Old 10-10-05, 01:17 PM
flicka
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Since there fabric coated there are very black (dust, old and dirty).
So there is one that I would say it was red.
With all the dirt and dust on the cables It would say:
From the cable with 3 wires one is red, black and one white.
From the cable with 2 wired one is black and one is white.
There is a loose white wire in the back of the box.
They are all have a fabric insulation on them, under the fabric it's a black plastic for all of them.
I made a mistake in my previous post, they are not connected to the same position. 2 wires are connected at the screws that is at the level of the switch and 2 wires are connected at the level of where the "night light" bulb is.

We have a 2 wire tester, nothing else.
Thanks for your helps.
 
  #6  
Old 10-10-05, 01:50 PM
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Is this a duplex type switch/light, where it would fit in a receptacle type cover, with one half being light and the other half being a sideways switch? Is there a small gold tab connecting the two screw on one side of the device?
 
  #7  
Old 10-10-05, 02:05 PM
flicka
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Yes when i look at it it looks like if there were 2 separated entites, one for the light and one fot the switch that is sideways.
No the two screws are actually 2 inches a part from eact other on both sides with nothing connecting the screws to each other.
 
  #8  
Old 10-10-05, 02:09 PM
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Are you absolutely sure that the screw terminals don't connect electrically in any way?

If the light is totally separate from the switch (which doesn't make sense), then simply cap off those wires (the ones on either side of the light bulb), and connect the other two (the ones on each side of the existing switch) to the new switch.

However, I suspect that one side of the device has the screw terminals connected. IF I am correct, then take the wire the two wires from that side and connect them to the same screw terminal on the new switch. To do this you will need to make a pigtail and use a wire nut.

Before you do anything, make detailed notes on how all the wires are connected, so that if you make a mistake you can return to the current setup. And don't forget to do all this work with the power off.
 
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Old 10-10-05, 02:23 PM
flicka
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Actually after double checking the screws are not connected but the wires are comming out of the cable with 3 wires connect to both.
When I look at it this is what I see:

From the cable with 3 wires the goes to the left screw of the switch, the black goes to the right screw of the switch, the white goes to the right screw of the lamp.
From the cable with 2 wires the black goes to the left screw of the lamp and the white is lose.
 
  #10  
Old 10-10-05, 02:28 PM
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Cap off the wires going to the light and connect the wires going to the switch to the two terminals of the switch.

You didn't mention any ground wires, so I am going to assume you don;t have any (which is fine). If you do have a ground wire (or more than one), connect it (them) to both the metal box and to the ground terminal on the switch.
 
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Old 10-10-05, 02:37 PM
flicka
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Racraft,

Thanks we will do so and let you know how we did. thanks so much.
 
  #12  
Old 10-10-05, 08:39 PM
flicka
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Racraft,

Thanks a Million we replaced that switch and it's working great. It's nice to have something that looks much nicer on the wall.
 
  #13  
Old 10-11-05, 04:30 AM
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You're welcome. I'm glad I could help.
 
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