How to Correct Light Switch Wiring that Does Not Work
How to Identify and Repair Light Switch Electrical Wiring: Repair Guide for Light Switch Wiring Problems, The key for each of these light switches is to identify where the power source is, which may be at the same location or there may be two separate power sources.
Repair Guide for Light Switch Wiring Problems
Electrical Question: I have two light switches side by side. I recently replaced both with newer switches of a different color.
- Now, neither works. One has three wires — two black and one red.
- The other has one white, tied to a black that then attached to one side of the switch.
- A black wire is attached to the other side.
- One switch controls an outside light, the other controls a ceiling fan.
- On the opposite side of the room, another switch also controls the ceiling fan.
- Now, that switch doesn’t work either.
- Is that enough information to tell me who it should be wired to the two switches?
I have obviously done something wrong.
This electrical wiring question came from: Gary, a Homeowner from Hendersonville, Tennessee.
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Gary.
How to Identify and Repair Light Switch Electrical Wiring
Light Switches and Switch Boxes
- Light Switches and Light Fixtures
Light switch wiring may vary depending on the home and what is being controlled by the light switches, and it is important to note that just because there are two light switches in the same box does not mean that they are fed by the same electrical circuit.
- 3Way Switch Wiring
The discussion of this question leads me to believe that there is a pair of three way switches for the ceiling fan, and the other is a single pole switch. To understand the wiring for the three-way switch it would be helpful to examine the wiring of the other three-way switch.
The Key to Wiring Light Switches
- The Power Source
The key for each of these light switches is to identify where the power source is, which may be at the same location or there may be two separate power sources. Once the power source has been identified then the wiring for the switches will be revealed.
White Wires Used for Switching Power
- White Switch Wires and Neutral Wires
It is important to not that “white wires” may be used for the switching process, however they should be marked with black tape or marker for clarification.
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Wiring a Light Switch – Diagram 1
Fully explained pictures and wiring diagrams about wiring light switches describing the most common switches starting with photo diagram 1.
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wiring!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester, [amazon.com], I use for the detection of Standard Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
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