Correct wiring for light switch replacement

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  #1  
Old 01-16-07, 10:21 AM
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Unhappy Correct wiring for light switch replacement

I disconnected a bad light switch having two black wires, one red wire and ground attached to the switch. I lost track and now cannot figure out how to reconnect the wiring. New switch has two side screws and another for the ground, but I'm looking at 4 wires! Please help!!
 
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  #2  
Old 01-16-07, 10:38 AM
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I hope you learned your lesson. Lways make detailed note on how the previous switch was connected.

Was the old switch a three way switch or a two way switch?
 
  #3  
Old 01-16-07, 11:52 AM
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Lesson learned!!

Two way I do believe: Only one switch in the room. It allowed me control to a floor lamp's on/off function when entering or leaving. No effect on the other sockets.

Old switch connected two black wires and ground by separate screws. It also had a small oval insert area--to top right side of top screw, that the red wire was pushed into. Unable to find any replacement switch with similar features. (Except a 3-way. That was a disaster.)

I know one black wire is hot; other cold; red hot, with tester.

Thanks ahead.
 
  #4  
Old 01-16-07, 12:03 PM
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The red wire that was pushed into the back of the switch was back stabbed. This is a bad way to connect a wiore, and you should never use back stabs.

Two of the wires get pigtailed and connected to one screw. The other wire gets connected to the other screw. The ground wire, of course, get connected to the metal box and to the switch.

As to which two wires get pigtailed, that's a crap shoot. Ideally you note this when removing the old switch. You will have to guess. You can make an educated guess by looking at the wiring at the receptacle that is switched.

The two wires to be connected and pigtailed are most likely the black wire by itself and either the red wire or the black wire from the other cable.
 
  #5  
Old 01-16-07, 12:10 PM
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Got it! Many thanks!!
 
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