Two Single Pole Switch Problem

Old 06-24-02, 11:29 AM
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Angry Two Single Pole Switch Problem

I am having a problem with a new Two single pole switch that I put into an existing box. The previous single pole switch operated the FAN in the ceiling (with a light). I have added a new light in a different location, and ran a 12 gauge line to the existing switch box. When I hooked up the new light and the old fan to the new Two Single Pole Switch, I ran one power into one switch and a pigtail to the other (Note that the brass tab has been removed). Now the light will only turn on if the Fan is on. I want both the fan and the light to be independant of each other. How can I achieve this and where did I go wrong?
Old 06-24-02, 11:47 AM
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How many wires originally entered the box, what color were they, and how were they connected?

It sounds like you originally had a switch loop (one black and one white connected to the switch, possibly a bare ground, and nothing else). If this is the case, you can't add the second light the way you are trying to.
Old 06-24-02, 12:00 PM
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Thanks for replying Mike,
all the whites were connected with a wire nut, as were the grounds, I simply added my white to the wire nut, my ground to the that wire nut, and a black to the power. There were two romex's coming into the box, one for the existing fan and one for the power, I added one for the new light.
Old 06-24-02, 12:16 PM
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Safety first. Never connect a bare grounding wire to neutral wires. Remove that connection immediately. Better to have no grounding than to have a "bootleg ground". (I'm sorry if I misunderstood your comments, and you didn't really interconnect the grounding wire with the neutrals, but I wanted to ensure safety.)

Sounds like you pigtailed the wrong black wire. I believe that what you think is the power cable and the cable to the fan are really vice versa. Simply reverse the two black wires from the original two cables.

Not sure why you remove the tab. This job would have not required the pigtail if you'd have simply left the tab in place.
Old 06-26-02, 08:32 AM
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Thanks for the help, You were EXACTLY CORRECT. It seems when I removed the previous switch, I made the assumption that the power was on the left and the fan wire on the right. The only reason this assumption was made is because the new switch had the power in on the left.....DOH!

Last night, I removed connections, and I hooked up on the left what I thought was the fan, on the right I hooked up what I knew was the light, Whala! Power to the light.

My new Mantra:::: Assumptions with Electricity are not only stupid, but can be extremely dangerous!!!

Thanks very much for all of the wisdom received.


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