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Replacing an old light switch....2 black wires to the same terminal?

Replacing an old light switch....2 black wires to the same terminal?

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  #1  
Old 01-20-07, 07:52 PM
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Unhappy Replacing an old light switch....2 black wires to the same terminal?

I've been replacing all the switches and outlets in my home. When replacing light switches, I have been just wiring the new switches the way the old ones had been wired. (if it worked before why should it change right?)Encountered something strange with one of the switches. (I should note that this switch turns on a bathroom light and 2 other light switches farther into the bathroom.) One of the switches had 4 wires. Three of them were black and then the bare ground wire. Two of the black wires were going to the same terminal. This seemed strange to me, but it worked before...so I wired the new switch the same way. Now the switch works for about 30-60 seconds and the circuit breaker trips. Every time. What is my fix? Should one of these black wires be connected somewhere else?
 

Last edited by gabrielr; 01-20-07 at 08:28 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-20-07, 09:29 PM
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Remove the switch. Splice the 2 blacks together (cap them off,aswell as the single black) then report back. You may have pinched a wire when you installed the new device.
 
  #3  
Old 01-21-07, 05:57 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 433
Did this look like a normal signle pole switch?

IF you wired it the same way you may have nicked a wire or pinched it blah blah you get the point. Shame on you for not having enough sens to pigtail it first !
 
  #4  
Old 01-21-07, 07:06 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
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"Two of the black wires were going to the same terminal."

The NEC prohibits two wires on the same terminal. The right way to do this would be to pigtail the two wires and attach the pigtail to the terminal.

Screw terminals on devices are designed to restrain only one wire if the screw loosens.
 
  #5  
Old 01-21-07, 07:23 AM
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Location: welland ontario
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What type of circuit breaker and did you connect the ground to the green screw?
 
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