Need HELP! What did I do wrong?

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Old 04-19-06, 10:28 AM
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Angry Need HELP! What did I do wrong?

Ok, here goes....

I replaced two single double stack toggle switches. I replaced them with exactly the same type of switches only now the lights stay on when you turn off the switches. I bought more of the toggle switches just to make sure I didn't get bad switches with the same results.

The circuit breaker doesn't trip and everything is hooked up according to the diagram that came with the switches, so I am not sure what is going on....Any suggestions before I go out of my mind???

It is 120 volt with a 15 amp service... and I made sure that the switches were the correct ampage and volt...
wall:
 
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Old 04-19-06, 10:54 AM
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We need a better description of the switches and we need a description of the wiring.
 
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Old 04-19-06, 11:37 AM
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If they were exactly the same type of switch then you should hook them up exactly like the old. Forget about the instructions that came with them. Tell us how they were hooked up and how they are now hooked up.
 
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Old 04-19-06, 11:51 AM
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Sorry, here is a better description....

The black wires were hooked up to the black screws on the switch. The white wires were wrapped together, capped and then placed into the box and the ground was grounded inside the metal electrical box in the wall.

The diagram said to hook up the white wires to the silver screws on the switch, and hook up the ground wire onto the ground screw located on the switch (green screw) however, when I did this, and restored power, it would trip the circuit breaker. So, I grounded the ground wires on the electrical box in the wall and capped both white wires seperately and kept the black wires were they were. When power was restored, the circuit breaker did not trip this time, however, now the lights won't turn off........
 
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Old 04-19-06, 12:06 PM
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Could you post photos of the old and new switches showing the screw where the wire attach?

Did you break the tabs?
 
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Old 04-19-06, 12:18 PM
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If the white wires were capped together in the back of the box you should have left them alone. The directions you read were talking about either a different type of device or a switch loop.

I am guessing you are talking about a duplex switch.

Are the tabs broken on one side of the switch? What are the exact terminals of the switch(es) and how are you connected to it(them)?
 
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Old 04-19-06, 01:09 PM
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No the tabs are not broken on the side, I am trying to fiquire out a way to post the pictures I took with my digital on here, I took pictures of the front and back of the switches (old and new) and of the wires/wire box...I can send them through email...please let me know.
 
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Old 04-19-06, 01:19 PM
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Terminals....

The terminals are nothing more than screws that the wire sits on, the tabs are intact.
I recapped the white wires back together and then put them back into the electrical box, as they were. According to the box that my new switch came in, it is a Combination Two Single Pole Switches by Cooper Wiring Devices.
Unforunately, I am not allowed to post attachments here....so I would have to send them by email.
 
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Old 04-19-06, 01:23 PM
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Wiring

The wiring is copper....my house was built in 1969. I hope this helps....
 
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Old 04-19-06, 01:30 PM
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How many black wires do you have to connect?

What terminals do you have on the switch?

Am I correct in assuming that there is a tab on ONE side of the duplex switch connecting the screws, and no tab on the other side? What color screws are on each side?

How many duplex switches are there? not how many switches, how many devices?
 
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Old 04-19-06, 01:38 PM
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How many black wires do you have to connect?

Two




What terminals do you have on the switch?

I have two positive, two negative and one ground..


Am I correct in assuming that there is a tab on ONE side of the duplex switch connecting the screws, and no tab on the other side? What color screws are on each side?


Yes....I did read on the box that if this is to be connected to seperate circuits, than the break-off tab was to be removed, but they are on the same circuit, so like the old one switch, I didn't remove the break-off tab.

How many duplex switches are there? not how many switches, how many devices?


I am not sure what you mean...if you are talking about devices for the switches, that would be two.

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Old 04-19-06, 01:59 PM
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> I have two positive, two negative and one ground..
Actually, you don't; this is not an automobile. So please edit your post and delete all references to "positive" or "negative". We don't know whether you mean black or red or what.

> so like the old one switch, I didn't remove the break-off tab.

The tab is present on the old switch?


A photo would be nice. You have to post it to another website. Here post the link to it.
 
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Old 04-19-06, 02:13 PM
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Correct Version

Sorry..........

On the new one:

I have two terminals where the black wires go-they are black screws.

Two terminals that are brass screws where the white wires would go...

The tab IS present on the old switch....

Go going up load my photos to a website and I will post that link here...
 
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Old 04-19-06, 02:31 PM
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> Two terminals that are brass screws where the white wires would go...


Yellow brass screws are for black (or red or blue or yellow ...) wires.

Silver screws are for white wires.

A white wire (neutral) almost never connects to a switch because we do not open a neutral in a typical setup.

So either you have the wiring wrong or what you are calling white wires should have been re-indentified as blue and red.
And you should have corrected this error before you removed the wires from the old switch. Then there would not be any question about it now.

Anyway, do not connect a white wire to a switch or to any screw that is not silver.
 
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Old 04-19-06, 02:58 PM
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Ok, I am fusterated beyound belief

The black screws are clearly marked with + signs and the brass screws are not, and the white wires are definately white. however, from all that I am reading I am going to try connecting the black wires to the brass screws and see if that changes my results. If it doesn't, then I'm calling an electrician (I just installed a GCFI outlet yesterday in my bathroom and had no issues) as I have never had such a problem installing a switch...:-) Thank you for all that has offered their suggestions...

-Whose heads hurts from banging it up against the wall....
 
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Old 04-19-06, 03:14 PM
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> I am going to try connecting the black wires to the brass screws

No, you don't just try combinations of wires.

I never do that.
You hook each wire exactly where it belongs, and then it works.

There is no trial and error involved.


> then I'm calling an electrician

Good idea. Without a photos, we can't see what the problems are.

> I have never had such a problem installing a switch...

Next time, make sure each wire is properly identified, then take a digital photo or two before you take anything apart.

And take apart nothing more than is necessary.

The white wires must be put back together the way you found them.
A white wire does connect to a switch.

The correct wiring directions are to wire it exactly the same way as the old switch.
 
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Old 04-19-06, 03:17 PM
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I'm confused. You say that this is a duplex switch and that the two white wires were connected together with a wire nut behind the switches. You also state that there are only two black wires and two white wires present.

That doesn't add up.

What do these two switches control?
 
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Old 04-19-06, 04:49 PM
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I agree. You don't seem to have enough wires for what you are telling us you have. What did the original switches control? Did they actually work properly?
 
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Old 04-19-06, 07:34 PM
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Try http://imageshack.us for hosting pictures. Skip the HTML codes and just post the URLs to keep it simple for yourself. The site is free.
 
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