Help, New Light Switch Doesn't Work


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Old 06-09-16, 07:53 AM
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Help, New Light Switch Doesn't Work

Hello All,

I hope you'll forgive my ignorance, if this has been asked before or if this is in the wrong forum. I'm a first time home buyer who's trying to learn things as I go.

One of the first things I'm doing is switching out the outlets and light switches in the house as they're stained. I ran into an issue where I have two single pole light switches (no dimmers or anything) where one goes to a ceiling fan and the other goes to the ceiling fan light.

I personally believe I wired them correctly as I just switched one wire at a time from the old switch to the new switch and the connections seem good, but the light switch for the light doesn't turn the light off and on, the light just stays on. The ceiling fan switch does work however. I tried two different light switches as well.

There was no ground wire attached to either light switch before but there seems to be a ground wire within the light box. I'm unsure if I need to connect this or if this is the problem.

The light switch has two red wires to the upper screw and two black wires to the bottom screw (unsure if this helps or if additional info is need).

Any advice you could give me would be tremendously helpful. Thanks

Jordan
 
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Old 06-09-16, 07:59 AM
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Just a thought. Did you by mistake pull the chain to the light to turn it off ? Most fan/light combos have a separate chain switch at the appliance to turn each one on or off,
 
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Old 06-09-16, 08:06 AM
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Nope, the chain still functions so we checked to make sure that the light turns on and off with the chain and then tested the switch. Unfortunately, it still didn't work
 
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Old 06-09-16, 08:09 AM
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Send us a pic of your wiring at both fan/light and at the wall switch. The electrical experts will along today at some p[point in time.
 
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Old 06-09-16, 08:26 AM
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Will do once I get home, though I don't know how to get the fan down but I'm sure I can figure that out
 
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Old 06-09-16, 08:33 AM
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One More Question

Am I able to compare the wiring from the same setup in a different room? I have another room that has the same two single pole switches (one for fan, one for fan light) and was wondering if I could compare them to see if they are wired the same and that I didn't mess up the wire transfer to the new switch
 
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Old 06-09-16, 08:44 AM
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So you did not touch the wiring at the appliance. So that narrows it down to the fact that most likely you mis-wired at the switch. Yes, by all means compare the two switches. Lets assume both were wired the same. Sometimes new switches might have different orientations compared to an old one. But a switch should have two terminals that the hot wire attaches to in order make or break the flow of current. The white wires should be ganged together as do the ground wires. You may have a red wire there also and it will be considered hot.
 
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Old 06-09-16, 09:19 AM
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Correct I didn't touch the appliance wiring, just the switch. The wiring actually had two red wires attached to the top screw and two black wires on the bottom. There was no ground though
 
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Old 06-09-16, 09:50 AM
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there seems to be a ground wire within the light box. I'm unsure if I need to connect this or if this is the problem.
Grounds are for safety not function.
The light switch has two red wires to the upper screw and two black wires to the bottom screw (unsure if this helps or if additional info is need).
Only one wire per screw is allowed. If you really need two wires they should be pigtailed. However two wires on both sides of the switch is unusual. Odd enough to make me question if it is correct. Please tell us all the wires in the switch box. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/li...rt-images.html
 
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Old 06-09-16, 01:34 PM
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As promised, here are two photos of the OTHER setup, that is working. This has two single pole light switches. One operates the fan while the other operates the light.
 
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Old 06-09-16, 01:38 PM
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And here are 3 pictures of the light fixture that does not work. To me it seems that they're wired the same. One black wires goes between both switches.
 
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Old 06-09-16, 01:41 PM
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And here are 3 pictures of the light fixture that does not work. To me it seems that they're wired the same. One black wires goes between both switches.

Not sure why the other post has them rotated but I fixed it here.

Attachment 67109

Attachment 67110

Attachment 67111
 

Last edited by ray2047; 06-09-16 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 06-09-16, 01:47 PM
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Sorry the images are giving me issues. :/ Let me know if you have a hard time seeing any of them
 
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Old 06-09-16, 02:29 PM
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Same pictures twice. You are not leaving a paragraph space between each picture.

I see back stabs being used. They are less reliable and best practice don't use. If you have two wires pigtail them. (Wirenut the wires to a 6" length of wire [pigtail] the same color and size. Pigtail to the screw.).

The black wire is your power in and is connected correctly. Eliminate the back stab by pigtailing just to eliminate that as the problem.

Another problem with back stabs I have seen is people mix then up and don't realize that if there is two wires to a terminal they must be pared. I almossuspect one of those reds goes on the other switch terminal (which has the hot wire) and was power out to somewhere but that doesn't quite make sense either.
 
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Old 06-09-16, 03:28 PM
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Sorry about the pictures. I was in a rush. I'll send the appliance wiring soon. Thank you for your help
 
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Old 06-09-16, 06:30 PM
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Hopefully these help, if not I'll have to completely take down the fan which is going to be a pain. Looks like the white, red black and ground wire go to the switch

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Old 06-09-16, 07:38 PM
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Looks like the white, red black and ground wire go to the switch which begs the question why two red wires at the switch. Just to verify at the fan is blue connected to house red?

This is where I'd disconnect the two red wires from the switch and connect them one at a time to the black hot wire and see if the lights work with one of them connected directly to the hot in the switch box.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 06-10-16 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 06-10-16, 04:04 AM
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Ok I will try this when I get home along with pigtailing the black wire. Will update once I try it and may post new pics.
 
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Old 06-10-16, 10:25 AM
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The red wires are the one that would need pigtailing if they are correct. The black is fine.
 
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Old 06-11-16, 07:28 AM
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So here is what I found,

I pigtailed both the red and black wires (didn't see your previous post in time) and the switch did not work.

I then connected the black wire to each red wire individually bypassing the light switch and only one red wire let the light turn on.

I put this red wire (and black wire) to the light switch and voila the light switch now works however I do have that extra red wire.

I also checked the appliance end and found that the red wire is connected directly to the blue wire. Hope this helps.

Should I leave this configuration for now? I'm unsure why there's an extra wire though but I have it capped off with a pigtail cap for now.
 

Last edited by Jordan Wood; 06-11-16 at 08:15 AM.
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Old 06-11-16, 09:35 AM
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Should I leave this configuration for now? I'm unsure why there's an extra wire though but I have it capped off with a pigtail cap for now.
Till you find something that doesn't work, yes. Check both the top and bottom plug-in of all the receptacles in the room and see if one doesn't work.
 
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Old 06-12-16, 11:40 AM
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So all the receptacles work so for now im going to just leave it wired that way. Thank you so much for all your help. Couldn't have done it without you!
 
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Old 06-12-16, 11:47 AM
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Glad we could help. The red may be left over from a receptacle that was changed to always hot. If you are really curious and bored some rainy afternoon you could remove the plates from each receptacle looking for the red wire.
 
 

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