Bathroom light plus exhaust switch repair

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  #1  
Old 08-05-14, 01:51 PM
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Bathroom light plus exhaust switch repair

My hall bathroom had a motion sensor light switch, with off, auto and on levels. Next to it was the exhaust fan switch. The exhaust fan switch has never been an issue. The light switch on the other hand is another story. It is just to difficult for people to figure out. The first one I had the sensor got pushed in by my nephew, so we replaced it with the exact same brand, brand new. Well, just recently it started to smoke and sizzle and crapped itself out. I'm thinking because the wires on the switch are aluminum based and the wires in the wall are all copper. Don't know, just guessing though. So my wife and I just want to replace it with a normal light switch. We went and got a ASPIRE 3-Way switch that came with directions that don't help worth a crap. Now, I wrote down what wires went where when I took the old switch out, but this new one doesn't have any wires coming out. Witch is where our problem lies. How do I install the new switch when I don't know what goes where? Name:  20140805_153020.jpg
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Old 08-05-14, 02:06 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Why did you buy a three way switch - is the light controlled from two different switches?
 
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Old 08-05-14, 02:52 PM
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How many wires were connected to the old switch?

The old wires were not aluminum, but tinned copper.
 
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Old 08-05-14, 07:23 PM
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Not sure, just looked like a simple switch we could use. But no, there is only one switch for the lights. It has directions to install as a 3-way or a single pole though. The guy at the store wasn't any help so we just grabbed something and thought it would work.
 
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Old 08-05-14, 07:29 PM
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There were 3 wires on the switch (2 black and 1 green). The green wire was connected to a metal plate at the back of the box. One of the black wires were connected to a red wire coming out of the wall. And the last black wire was connected to 4 tan wires coming out of the wall.
 
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Old 08-05-14, 07:42 PM
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Those whites should be the neutrals for the circuit and should not have been connected to the old switch. Perhaps one wire from the switch went to the red and the other to a black from the switch box?
 
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Old 08-05-14, 08:32 PM
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It has directions to install as a 3-way or a single pole though.
A 3-way is a single pole so whoever wrote the instructions doesn't have a clue.
There were 3 wires on the switch (2 black and 1 green)
When you get the correct switch the two house wires that went to the black wires of the old switch will go to the two brass screws on the new switch. The house bare wire will be pigtailed to the ground screw. First though you need a regular switch not a 3-way.
 
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Old 08-06-14, 06:01 AM
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One of the black wires were connected to a red wire coming out of the wall. And the last black wire was connected to 4 tan wires coming out of the wall.
It sounds as if the occ sensor may have been wired increectly and may have been switching the neutral.

A 3-way is a single pole so whoever wrote the instructions doesn't have a clue.
Typically, 120/277 volt light switches are generally classed as either 3-way, 4-way or single pole although technically the 3-way is also a single pole.

We went and got a ASPIRE 3-Way switch that came with directions that don't help worth a crap.
I'd be interested in the catalog number of the switch, I believe the blister packed Aspire switches by Cooper are sometimes marked in the blister pack as being suitable for switching lights from either one location or two locations.
 
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