Need Help With Light Switch

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  #1  
Old 02-29-16, 06:10 PM
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Need Help With Light Switch

Hello, I was wondering if someone could help with non working light switches in a house I recently purchased. There are three bedrooms with ceiling fans (with light) and the light switches in each bedroom do not work (do not control fan nor light). I figured I could just replace the light switches but when I took the cover off and pulled out the switch I found something I never saw before. As you can see in the first picture, there is only one cable with a hot, neutral, and ground. I figured one of the cables was missing but as you can see in the second picture, this particular light switch only has one set of contacts. Can someone please explain to me how these light switches may be wired? Any assistance is appreciated. Thank you in advance.

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  #2  
Old 02-29-16, 06:36 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

That is called a switch loop. The hot travels on one wire to the switch, and the switch leg that controls the light is the other wire. The white is not the neutral. Now days it is required to mark the white with tape or a marker indicating it is a hot wire.

The switch is a normal single pole switch.

If you have a meter you can test to see if any/which of the wires is hot. Your issue may not be the switches at all, the problem could be likely elsewhere.
 
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Old 02-29-16, 07:16 PM
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  #4  
Old 03-01-16, 07:48 AM
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100% sure that switch is not operating a switched outlet?
It's common to have one that may only operate one side of the outlet to turn on a table or a pole lamp and the other side is hot all the time.
 
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Old 03-01-16, 07:54 AM
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There are three bedrooms with ceiling fans (with light) and the light switches in each bedroom do not work (do not control fan nor light).
With a switch loop the power comes in at the ceiling so what they probably did was connect the power in directly to the fan leaving the switch out of the circuit.
 
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Old 03-01-16, 11:24 AM
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Thanks for all the replies. This makes sense as the light and fan are always on and have to be switched off at the fixture itself.

I will take the fan down and see if I can get the switch back into the circuit.

Thanks again for all the help!
 
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