Three Switches in One - Help w/Wiring

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Old 04-24-11, 01:21 PM
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Three Switches in One - Help w/Wiring

Hello-
I purchased a Leviton Decora three rocker combination switch. It has one common hot that can then be used to power three switches (if I am using the right terms). It's similar to this switch here

What we were wanting to do was to replace the switch in our master bedroom that powers the top halves of the outlets on either side of the bed with this switch so that we could then use the switch to turn on those bedside lights (plugged into the switched outlets) and also use the switch to turn our ceiling fan on (currently hard wired by a previous owner - we turn it on and off using the pull chain), and finally to also switch a new ceiling light we're adding in the short hall from the bedroom door into the bedroom area.

As I look at what I have in the switch box, I am wondering if this is possible. There is one 14/2 wire coming into the box with black wire, white wire, and ground. If what I have read is accurate, the white is now actually "hot" since it's coming from the outlet.

The new combination switch has the one hot terminal and three silver screw terminals. How would I run the wires for the fan and the new hall light to this switch and properly hook everything up with the switched outlet? Or is it even possible?

The directions on the Leviton box indicate the hot comes in and then you hook one black wire for each load to one of the terminals and then at some later point, the three whites come back together. Is that possible with the current set up? I guess my concern is that the white wire that is currently in the box isn't really a neutral - it's a hot, correct? So I can't hook all of the whites together.

Any help you can provide would be much appreciated. And if it's not possible, it's not possible. Thanks!

Bronson B
Marietta, GA
 
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Old 04-24-11, 02:38 PM
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If what I have read is accurate, the white is now actually "hot" since it's coming from the outlet.
More likely one side of a switch loop that was not correctly recolored red or some color other then green or gray.

The new combination switch has the one hot terminal and three silver screw terminals. How would I run the wires for the fan and the new hall light to this switch and properly hook everything up with the switched outlet? Or is it even possible?
At this point no if all you have is a switch loop. You could run power to each of the new devices and then run switch loops from each of those to the box. In that case both of the tabs on the common side of the switch would be removed and each switch would be wired as a separate switch.

Not too hard. You already have a hot to the fan so from that you would just need to run a switch loop to the switch box and the bedside receptacle also would seem to have a switch loop (see above) but that would need to be confirmed. If you have at this time only a single two conductor cable in the box and the black and white to the screws it is a switch loop. Then you would just need power to the new light and a switch loop to the switch.

You probably need a deep single gang box though. The old box needs to be pulled anyway to fish the cables so not a big deal.
 
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Old 04-24-11, 06:45 PM
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Thanks Ray - yes, it appears that all I have is a switch loop. I've come up with a different solution. I am going to install a new two rocker switch on the other side of the closet from where the first switch is located. I can run power to this switch from the attic and then run the line to the ceiling fan and to the new light outside the closet. I appreciate your help.
 
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Old 04-24-11, 06:50 PM
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Run 3-conductor to the fan and you can use two of the triplex switch sections you have to control the fan and fan light separately.

I can run power to this switch from the attic and then run the line to the ceiling fan
Since you already have power at the fan you could also just use a switch loop.
 
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Old 04-24-11, 07:12 PM
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That's an idea, except that my wife HATES overhead lights outside of recessed lights or lights over tables. So for all of the ceiling fans we have in the house, only two have lights (in the playroom). I've already run the wire for the new duplex switch. I just need to get the switch. The home improvement stores closed early today, so I'll pick it up tomorrow.

Thanks for setting me straight on my lingo. "Switch Loop" will stick with my vocabulary. I can't say I saw that term in my home electric book before ;-)
 
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Old 04-24-11, 08:07 PM
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"Switch Loop" will stick with my vocabulary. I can't say I saw that term in my home electric book before
 
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