Light Switch Wiring help

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  #1  
Old 04-01-13, 07:52 PM
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Light Switch Wiring help

Hello,

I replaced my apartment light switch with an insteon dimmer switch. I now need to put things the way they were originally by putting back a single pole light switch.

I forgot how the switch used to be wired.

In the wallplate, there are 3 large wires.

Wire 1 has 1 black, 1 white, 1 copper
Wire 2 has 1 black, 1 white, 1 copper
Wire 3 has 1 black, 1 white, 1 copper and one red

Does anyone have any advice on how to get this light switch working? I have no idea what to do with the red.

Should I pair 2 blacks together and put them on one end of the switch, and connect the 3rd black to the other end of the switch? And if that fails, try the next possible combination?

Thanks
 
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  #2  
Old 04-01-13, 08:17 PM
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Hello and welcome to the forums.

You have one cable there that is a three wire......three colors and a ground.

Do you have all the wires open or are there still connections made ?
 
  #3  
Old 04-01-13, 08:46 PM
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The copper and whites are all connected.

The 3 blacks and one red are open.
 
  #4  
Old 04-01-13, 08:53 PM
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My recommendation is to connect the three black wires with an additional short piece of wire (a tail) to one terminal of the switch. Connect the red to the other terminal of the switch.

Make sure breaker is off when making connections.
 
  #5  
Old 04-01-13, 10:09 PM
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ah i do believe you're right. All the blacks are hot, and the red is not. I uncovered other issues with the old switch (its not working) so ill have to buy new switches. Thanks!
 
  #6  
Old 04-02-13, 12:17 PM
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All the blacks are hot, and the red is not.
You may need a better tool for testing for power. Only one of the black wires should show 120V AC to neutral and ground. The other two should not.

Without knowing how the light is connected, PJ's suggestion is the best first guess.

How did you determine that the old switch is not working?
 
  #7  
Old 04-02-13, 12:41 PM
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I think the other blacks are hot because I connected them. Ill disconnect them and reanalyze.

With the red and black wire connected to the switch, I tested if there is electricity flowing through using a non contact voltage tester.I saw power flowing through the black, but not through the red when i turned the switch on and off.

If I directly connect the red and black, then power flows through and there is power to the corresponding wall outlet. This is making me guess the problem is the switch.
 
  #8  
Old 04-02-13, 01:26 PM
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If I directly connect the red and black, then power flows through and there is power to the corresponding wall outlet. This is making me guess the problem is the switch.
The switch may be fine. You may have a switched receptacle. How are the wires connected to that receptacle?
 
  #9  
Old 04-02-13, 05:55 PM
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I replaced my apartment light switch with an insteon dimmer switch. I now need to put things the way they were originally by putting back a single pole light switch.
I assume you are finished by now, but thought I'd just throw this out. Did you know it is illegal for you to be messing with the wiring in an apartment if you aren't licensed and hired by the owner?
 
  #10  
Old 04-02-13, 06:35 PM
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the receptacle has one white one black on the bottom plug, and one red on the top plug
 
  #11  
Old 04-03-13, 07:33 AM
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the receptacle has one white one black on the bottom plug, and one red on the top plug
If that receptacle also has the tab between the two brass terminals removed, then it needs a switch that will supply power on the red wire to the top half. How many switch locations do you have where the red wire is in the wall?

Joe is right. But since you already changed things and you're trying now to restore the original setup, you might as well go ahead.
 
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