Bathroom 3-Device Switch troubles

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  #1  
Old 03-07-06, 03:31 PM
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Bathroom 3-Device Switch troubles

Hi everyone,

I am replacing an older bathroom light/vent/heat switch with a newer one. The original switch has 3 black wires running into it and one white wire. There were also a few short segments of black wire zig-zagging down the back of the switch. There's also a ground.

The new switch has terminal connections for 3 wires on the left side, one on the right, and a ground also.

After plugging them all in and turning the power back on, the following is what I get:

1. The light switch works perfectly fine.
2. The vent switch doesn't activate the fan, unless the light switch is engaged.
3. The heat switch doesn't activate the heat, unless the light switch is engaged.

I tried changing terminal positions of the 3 black wires. This changes which switch controls the light/vent/heat, but the light remains the "controlling" factor.

There are 2 more white wires that were not connected to the original switch that had been tied together, tucked in the back of the outlet box. I'm curious whether I should be using 3 white wires and just one black? Or do I need to somehow patch the switch using those short segments of black wire.... not sure how to proceed.

Help is greatly appreciated! Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 03-07-06, 03:40 PM
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That switch probaly has four terminals, one common terminal and three terminals for the lswithed devices. Swap the wire on the common terminal with the one on the device switch that must be on for the others to work.
 
  #3  
Old 03-08-06, 12:56 PM
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I took another look at the back of the new switch. The one solo connection is labeled COMMON. The other three are on the other side. I've got the White going into the COMMON (presumably the common from the light), and the other 3 with Black wires.
 
  #4  
Old 03-08-06, 01:51 PM
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Don't presume anything.

First, base your wiring on the way the old switch was wired.

Second use a voltmeter to verify the connections.
 
  #5  
Old 03-08-06, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by DoAsFan
I've got the White going into the COMMON (presumably the common from the light)
If ever this is the case (barring a very obscure exception that can't apply here), it is wired wrong.

White "never" goes on a switch's common for a 120V circuit in the USA.
That's why the common screw is painted black. (Some black wire goes on it.)
 
  #6  
Old 03-08-06, 03:18 PM
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The terminal marked common is not for the common or white wire. It is for the unswitched power wire. Judging by the number of wires in the switch box you should probably not have any white wires connected to the switch.
 
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