Single pole switch with 3 black wires

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Old 01-28-15, 01:16 PM
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Single pole switch with 3 black wires

I am replacing my single pole light switch and noticed when I removed the old switch that there are three black wires coming from the box. All the white wires are capped together and the same is for the ground wires. Of the three black wires, only one of them is hot. I've identified the one that is hot, the one that leads to the light and the other one is the one that continues the load.

When I connect the hot and the feed wires with pigtail to one screw and the light black to the other screw. When I turn on the circuit, it trips.

Can't seem to get things right.

I am not very experienced with electrical. Could it be that the light is wired incorrectly?
 
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Old 01-28-15, 02:08 PM
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Are you sure that the third wire "continues the load"? Could the switch be controlling an outlet instead?
 
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Old 01-28-15, 02:47 PM
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no.. If I connect the Hot black wire and the other wire, to the switch, it is controlling the load that feeds the bath and other lights down the line. The circuit doesn't trip when I have jsut those two wires on the switch (or jsut capped together.

Anytime that I tried to add what I believe is for the light, the circuit trips..
 
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Old 01-28-15, 03:58 PM
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and if the switch that I have just has screws on one side only?? is that the problem possible?
 
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Old 01-28-15, 04:06 PM
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I think you disconnected and reconnected the whites, correct?

It sounds like you bundled a white wire with the other whites that isn't supposed to be there.

Do you remember doing this??
 
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Old 01-28-15, 04:10 PM
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so there was a dimer switch that broke that I was just replacing,.. The white wires (all three) were capped together (I didn't touch them). I was able to ID the 3 black wires but now lost....

Sorry..
 
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Old 01-28-15, 04:19 PM
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Let's go back to the beginning. What was the reason for replacing the switch, in the first place? What happens if you reinstall the old switch or even a third switch?

Edit: Never mind, I see the answer to that.

Secondly, what are the "other lights down the line"? Are they only controlled by that switch?

Lastly, it doesn't matter if both terminals are on the same side or not. There is an input & an output. It doesn't matter which terminal is used, for the input.

Edit: Something just occurred to me. The third wire got damaged while changing the switch & there is a dead short somewhere.
 
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Old 01-28-15, 04:23 PM
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Mod note: Post refers to a post of mine I have deleted because I posted without fully reading the original post.

I'm sorry also. Ray already gave you the answer. It sounds like you don't know what a pigtail is.

Connect the black to light to one switch terminal. The Hot and the black that provides power downstream: Connect them together with a 6 - 8" piece of black wire. Connect this one pigtail to other switch terminal.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 01-28-15 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 01-28-15, 04:40 PM
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the switch that I am changing controls a single light over kitchen table. it doesn't control anything else. If the hot the other line (not the light) are not connected, then the light in bath room as well as hall light do not work..
 
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Old 01-28-15, 05:30 PM
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When I connect the hot and the feed wires with pigtail to one screw and the light black to the other screw. When I turn on the circuit, it trips.
It sounds like what you did is exactly what you should have done. If you have a short on the hot feed out of the box then either you created a short at the back of that box (possible insulation issue) or there is a problem further down the line.
 
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Old 01-28-15, 07:47 PM
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It certainly sounds like power in, power out and the switched hot. Does the breaker trip with the switch out of the box?
 
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