Converting one double switch to two parallel switches...

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Old 08-01-06, 04:18 PM
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Converting one double switch to two parallel switches...

I'm trying to install two parallel switches for two seperate lights. There used to be a double switch that controlled the lights.

I have three black wires and three white wires. I'm clueless as to where to go from here, as I see no ground wires...

Can anyone help me? Thanks!!
 
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Old 08-01-06, 04:50 PM
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You don't have neutrals in switching, and depending on the installer, and age of the home, your grounding wire may not exist, or may have been cut back (don't ask me why, they just do it).
I am sure you drew a sketch of the switch wiring as you took them apart, right?? OK, we'll start from scratch. You will need to determine which of the black wires is hot when the breaker is on. Do you have adequate testing equipment. If not, purchase a $9 tic tracer from one of the big boxes. It won't tell you how much voltage you have, just its presence. Cap all your wires off, turn on the breaker and run the tic tracer over each wire. The hot one will cause the tracer to emit a light and beeping sound.
Once this is determined, you will need to create a double pigtail from it. Cut two 6" lengths of black wire from a piece of cable, strip both ends back 3/4" and attach the two pigtails to the hot wire with a b-cap. Now, the two pigtails will be connected to each of the bottom screws on the switches. All your whites will be tied together, and the remaining black wires will be connected to the top screws on each switch.
A digital camera is always helpful when you take things apart.
Post back if things are different, or if we can help further.
 
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Old 08-01-06, 04:51 PM
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You need to determine which wire is th hot or power wire.

Connect all the whites together.
Connect the hot black wire to two short black wires. Connect one of those black wires to one screw on each switch.

Connect each of the other two black wires to one of the remaining screws on each switch.
 
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Old 08-01-06, 06:17 PM
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Talking

Thanks Chandler and Joed!

It worked just fine. ^_^

Yay for working lights!
 
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Old 08-01-06, 07:55 PM
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Roger that!
 
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