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Troubleshooting Wires to the Light Switch


By Dave Rongey - Summary:

How to Wire Light Switches: Types of Circuit Wires Typically Found in a Switch Box and How They are Connected, To Get Your Light Switches Working it is helpful to understanding that a light switch is basically the switching of a the power source as explained here with the help of Wiring Diagrams for Light Switches.

How to Get Your Light Switch Working

Electrical Question:  I am confused about the wiring of  a light switch.

Received from Gilbert a Handyman in Sacramento, Calif.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question.

How to Wire Light Switches

Preparations
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience and ability to work with tools.
Precaution: Identify the lighting circuit, turn it OFF and  Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Notice: Installing additional electrical wiring for light fixtures should be done with a permit and be inspected.

Identifying the Circuit Wiring
It is very helpful to identify the wires and then organize them together into groups so you understand which wires will be spliced together and which wires will be attached to light switch.

Types of Circuit Wires Typically Found in a Switch Box and How They are Connected

Grouping the Wires Together
Once the wires have been identified, then the wires can be organized into groups that will be spliced together to keep the circuit connections, and the additional wires that will be necessary to connect the circuit power to the light switch.

For More Complex Wiring for Switches
To Get Your Light Switches Working it is helpful to understanding that a light switch is basically the switching of a the power source as explained here with the help of Wiring Diagrams for Light Switches

How to Troubleshoot Light Switch Wiring
Troubleshooting electrical wiring begins with identifying the problem, asking a lot of questions, then start the process of elimination. Work the problem backwards starting with what does not work and travel back towards the source until you find the problem.

More about Wiring Light Switches

Wiring Diagrams
wiring-diagram

Electrical Wiring Diagrams

Home electrical wiring diagrams are an important tool for completing your electrical projects. An electrical wiring diagram can be as simple as a diagram showing how to install a new switch in your hallway, or as complex as the complete electrical blueprint for your new home or home improvement project.

How to Wire a Switch
electrical-switches
Troubleshooting Electrical Wiring



Learn How to Wire it Right with my
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2 Responses to “Troubleshooting Wires to the Light Switch”
  1. Dave Rongey says:

    Wayne, the incoming power should be the primary power for the switches and the line connection for the gfi outlet. Basically your attaching three pigtails to the power source for these three devices. The neutral is shared for the light, the fan and the line side of the gfi outlet.

  2. wayne says:

    I would like to install the following switches for, a bathroom ceiling fan, a bathroom light fixture, and a GFI receptacle, all in a 3 gang box. I have the power supply now in a junction box that was for the existing ceiling fan that I can access.

    How do I wire the existing fan, and light with the gang box switches and GFI

    Thank you for the help.