Wiring nightmare

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Old 10-20-14, 01:57 PM
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Wiring nightmare

Hi everyone,

I've been working on my basement for a few months now and recently I've come across an electrical issue that I'm having a hard time figuring out.

In my basement we had 1 switch, with 2 buttons that controlled 2 separate sets of lights. There are three wires coming out of the wall box, a red wire, a black wire and a white wire.

I don't remember how it was originally wired but below is a picture of the junction box and the wall switch box.

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Junction box

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Wall box

I'm guessing they used a pigtail for the black wire and then used the red and white wires to connect to the other side of the switch.

Does this sound correct?

Thanks again for taking the time to help us out!
 
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Old 10-20-14, 02:47 PM
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Is there more than one switch that controls the light? (3way)
Is the 4"x4" box for the ceiling light or is it just a j-box located some place?

I see there is a white connected to a black wire, that leads me to believe that there is a switch loop. However it would be helpful if you had a meter to check which cable is your hot and neutral. I suspect it is the one coming into the middle hole in the back of the box.
 
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Old 10-20-14, 05:59 PM
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Hi Tolyn,

Thanks for your reply. To answer your first question, this is not a 3 way switch.

The 4 x4 box is just a junction box. The black wire that is connected to the white (middle hole from the back of the box) is my hot. Only 2 connections are live in the box, please see below.

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Any idea how to wire the switch properly?

Thanks again for the help! This has been driving me crazy.
 
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Old 10-20-14, 06:29 PM
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I have an idea, however the red wire is confusing me but I re-red your OP and have it figured out.

The white wire should be marked as a hot wire in both boxes. Do this with a colored marker, or tape. (not green)
The black wire of the three wire cable is one switch leg, the red is the other. So you need a stacked switch/switch like this (example):

[ATTACH=CONFIG]40426[/ATTACH]

That is a 3way/single pole, you want a single pole/single pole. This will allow you to control each light separately. If you want both lights to turn on at the same time you can connect the black and red together and install a standard single pole switch.
 
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Old 10-20-14, 06:37 PM
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Since I don't know the configuration of your duplex switch general instructions: White wire to both switch sections. Red to other side of one section and black to the other section. If this is a standard duplex switch the white to the common side with a tab between the two screws (often dark gray) and red and black to the two screws (usually brass) on the other side.

OOPS, Tolyn types faster.
 
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Old 10-22-14, 01:06 PM
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Amazing! Thanks so much for the help. I just wired everything up and it works perfectly!

Funny, when I tested the connections at the wall outlet, nothing had an juice going to it.

Thanks again for the help!
 
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