Wall switch


Old 12-09-01, 05:19 AM
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Question Wall switch

I have a wall switch in my bathroom that I want to replace. When I pulled it out of the wall, I saw 3 black wires connected to the switch and 3 white wires in the back of the box connected to each other (with a wire nut).

Is this normal?

The instructions on the new switch indicate a single black and white wire?

Do I need to get a different switch?
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Old 12-09-01, 05:30 AM
Join Date: May 2001
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If two of the wires were under the same screw, then you can use this switch and just mathch the wires up on the new switch screw for screw.
Old 12-09-01, 06:52 AM
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Most likely, you won't see two wires under the same screw, but will see one wire under a screw and another wire using the push-in connector next to the screw. These two wires are connected to each other inside the switch (regardless of switch position).

Here's my recommendation.[list][*]Leave the white wires alone -- don't even touch them.[*]It would be better to use a pigtail on the two black wires. But this will require that you buy a yellow wire nut and a 3-inch section of black wire. This black wire may be 14-gauge if the light is protected by a 15-amp breaker, or a 12-gauge if protected by a 20-amp breaker.
  1. Disconnect the two black wires that are connected as indicated above.
  2. Strip 5/8" of insulation off both ends of the 3-inch wire.
  3. Connect these two wires, together with the 3-inch wire, with a wire nut.
  4. Connect the other end of the 3-inch wire to one of the screws on the switch (not the green screw).
  5. Disconnect the remaining wire from the old switch and reconnected to the other non-green screw on the new switch.
  6. Connect the grounding wire to the green screw.[/list=1]
  7. If you don't want to mess with the 3-inch wire and the wire nut, you can wire the new switch just like the old (using the push-in and screw). But this is an inferior solution.
Pack the wires very carefully back in the box.
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