(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Weird Switch wiring

  1. #1

    Default Weird Switch wiring

    I have a total of 4 switches in a bathroom 1 to overhead lite; 1 to lite beside sink - 1 to fan and 1 dead . It's the Leviton switch - I attached a pict. In wiring it if I have my Hot wire attached to one bottom brass screw of switch 1 and jump the top brass screw of switch 1 to the top brass screw of switch 2 and then connect the lead to 1 lite to the bk wire of switch one; the second lead to the other lite to the other bk wire of switch one and the lead to the fan to the bk wire of switch 2....shouldn't that work?? when I did it and turned on one of the light switches (switch 1) both lights came on????
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  2. #2
    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY and Fire Island, NY
    Posts
    1,244

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ms21117
    In wiring it if I have my Hot wire attached to one bottom brass screw of switch 1 and jump the top brass screw of switch 1 to the top brass screw of switch 2 and then connect the lead to 1 lite to the bk wire of switch one; the second lead to the other lite to the other bk wire of switch one and the lead to the fan to the bk wire of switch 2....shouldn't that work?? when I did it and turned on one of the light switches (switch 1) both lights came on????
    Can you rephrase that, slowly, with shorter sentences & more punctuation? I've read it 4 times, and I'm still not making sense of it.

    You have 2 double switches, for a total of 4? Are switch 1 and switch 2 each one half of a single double switch? Or are they the two double switches that equal a total of 4 switches? and so on. More detail, please...
    Master Plumber Mark:

    there is nothing better than the
    manly smell of WD 40 in the air
    while banging away on brass with a chisel and hammer...

    it smells like......victory......

    do not hit your thumb...
    __________________
    Just so everyone's clear: I'm the POODLE in the picture ("french", get it?) The hot woman is my wife.

  3. #3

    Default

    sure- I have 2 of the above switch units - for a total of 4 switches- switch unit #1 has 2 switches as does switch unit # 2. does that clarify? Thanks!

  4. #4
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    3,307

    Default

    Look carefully at both switches. Is one of the screw terminals on one side connected to the other screw on that side by a little brass tab?

    If one of the screw terminals on the switch is connected to the adjacent screw terminal, then that is intended to be where the hot incoming lead is connected. Then you use a jumper between the dual-switches to make the input sides of the other switch hot.

    THIS NEXT TEST IS PERFORMED WITH NOTHING CONNECTED TO ANY OUTPUT:
    Using your meter (You MUST have one to be working on electrical things), check to verify that each of the unused terminals is off when all of the switches are off, and that each one (and only each one at a time) comes ON when its switch is on. If you don't have a neutral in the box with the switches you can test to the ground (You should have a ground).

    Now connect your wires. I suggest that the fan and the light with the fan be connected to one dual switch; and the other light be connected to one of the switches on the other dual switch.

    Sometimes the fan and the light are connected at the fan, and that could be the cause of your problem if you have installed the fan and the light in the fan on different dual switches.

    You haven't mentioned the neutral, but I assume that the neutral is correctly connected to each light or fan.

    You haven't mentioned if you have a multi-wire branch circuit. Is there only one HOT coming into the switch box?

  5. #5
    Electrical Contractor jbfan74's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Newnan, GA
    Posts
    129

    Default

    If you look at the pic. you posted, you will see the two screws that are close together. On the oppisite side of the switch, the screws wil be more toward the top and bottom. These are your load connections, and the screws that are close together are your line connections.
    Make sure all your hots feeding the switches connect to the screws close together. Make sure that the loads, lights, fans, etc. are connected to the screws on the other side!
    Yes I am A Pirate-Jimmy Buffett

  6. #6
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,633

    Default switches

    Why did you use a double switch for the final light, instead of a conventional single device switch? In essence, assuming everything else is proper, you connect the hot wire to both common terminals, (they are the ones close together with a jumper bar between them. Do not remove the jumper connection). Then you run your device wires to the darker screws on the other side, these are usually far apart. If you do this properly, there is no way for one switch to operate two devices.

  7. #7

    Default

    Thanks- Bob yes the tab is there and intact. You mentioned the fan and light connected at the fan...and that made me think...there is a plug near the switches that I changed and when I took it out I noticed that the black and white wires were reversed (that is w/ grounding "hole" facing down - the white wire was on th right) When I put the new plug on I wired it correctly....now I wonder if the previous owner "Jerry rigged" this wiring in some way???? I'll perform the tests you suggested and see what happens.....could the previous owner have back fed the circuit in some weird way??

    hj- I agree with you and the wiring you desribed (except that I have 2 double switches) is the way it is....

    Thanks!

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •