Old 04-25-01, 08:11 AM
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I replaced a (dual-switch) light switch that run two different lights in my kitchen ceiling and when I turned the top switch to the "on" position both lights come on instead of just one. The bottom switch doesn't do a thing when I turn it on. They used to come on one at at time depending on which switch I turned to the on position.

I also replaced a (dual switch) that runs my outside porch light and inside outlets in the living room. Only the top switch works now when I turn it "on" and both the porch light and inside lights in the living room come on at the same time. The bottom switch doesn't do a thing now. Help. I thought I hooked them up the same as it was when I took out the old ones.
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Old 04-25-01, 09:27 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Fayetteville, NY, USA
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Hard to tell from here. By "dual-switch", do you mean 2 separate switches on a single-gang yoke? You should remove the wires and test each for voltage. Turn off the breaker, remove the wires and bend them away from each other, sticking out of the box so they can't possible touch each other or anything else. Turn the breaker back on and be careful now. Take a volt meter and test each wire one at a time with one probe the wire you removed from the switch and the other probe on a known ground. (You have to be certain it is definitely grounded for this test to work.) Each of the two wires that go to separate light fixtures should read zero volts, and each of the two remaining wires should read approx. 115 volts. When wiring the switches back up, each separate switch should get one dead wire and one live wire. Somehow you have effectively put two dead wires on one switch along with at least one live wire.

If you don't have a volt meter you should have one, if you're going to do electrical work. Home Depot sells one by A.W.Sperry, a top name, for about $9.95.

Let us know how this works out.

Old 04-25-01, 09:31 AM
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Could be that old break-out tab situation again. Dual switches sometimes have a break-out tab on one side. Either the new switch wasn't done the same way, or wires that were formerly hooked to the tab side have been incorrectly hooked to the other side.
Old 04-25-01, 10:21 AM
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Light Switch

Thanks, I'll get a voltage meter. I was speaking of two separate switches in one box.
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