Electrical device used to open and close an electric circuit.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

32
votes
8answers
16k views

When I turn down the dimmer switch on my lights, do I actually use less electricity?

My wife and I have several lights on dimmer switches throughout our home. We generally prefer the ambient lighting provided by dimmed lights. I am curious, though, if we are saving any electricity by ...
14
votes
3answers
34k views

How should I rewire a miswired 3-way switch?

I have a 3 way switch that was wired incorrectly when the switches were replaced with a different color switch. Is there a methodical way for me to identify which wires represent which piece of the ...
10
votes
1answer
8k views

How exactly does a 3-way switch work?

I just finished replacing all of the switches and outlets in my apartment, after fighting a long war with a weird 3-way switch. Needless to say, I won, but I'm still trying to grasp the concept of how ...
9
votes
5answers
11k views

Should I put a dimmer switch on a ceiling fan?

I have a ceiling fan on our bedroom's vaulted ceiling. Since we don't want 7' pull-cords, the speed is stuck at full-tilt, which is no good. The fan has separate switches on the wall for lights and ...
9
votes
3answers
402 views

How should I rewire this situation?

In my dinning room, I have this: There is a wire run going up through the floor from the basement. It then goes outside the wall, around a stud (or studs, I'm can't tell there is more than one), back ...
9
votes
2answers
407 views

Where can I get a switch for a 30A circuit?

I would like to add a switch to a 30A plug, but I am having trouble finding one (they are all rated at 15a/20a). Is there a reason you can't buy 30A switches or is it called something different? To ...
8
votes
7answers
4k views

Home light switch circuit with 5 switches

I'm new to the amazing wold of electronics and starting out small. I think... Early 2010 me and the wife bought a house that was build in 1979. Now I started replacing light switches and encountered ...
8
votes
1answer
28k views

How can I override a motion detector light?

I am going to be installing one or two motion detector lights to cover my backyard. I would like the ability to "override" the motion detector. What I mean by this is that I would like to be able to ...
7
votes
4answers
883 views

What should I do with a double gang box if I no longer need two separate switches?

We're relocating our TV to a side of our living room that has a power outlet controlled by a wall switch. The switch is part of a double gang box (1 switch controls the porch light, the other ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Should switches in a kitchen area have GFCI protection?

Do the switches on the wall and over the counter areas have to be on a GFCI protected circuit? As there is live power at the switch all the time, I would think this to be true, but I'm not sure.
7
votes
1answer
2k views

How can I remove a switch and terminate a circuit in its place?

I have a switch that used to control outdoor lighting. It no longer does any more and I'd like to just leave it off permanently. Is there an easy way I can terminate it from within the gang box? ...
7
votes
3answers
5k views

How do I install a one-way switch w/ pilot light?

I am trying to replace a very old one-way switch with a pilot light (light comes on when the switch is on). The original switch was extremely old, and used quick-install terminals ONLY. Even worse, ...
6
votes
1answer
502 views

What do I need to replace 4 light switches on the same circuit?

So we have a single light in our living room that can be turned on/off from four different switches at various entrances to the living room. We're currently replacing all the switches in our house as ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

How do you weatherproof a light switch?

I have a switch that I would like to put in a workshop in a potentially damp location. It's not going to be outside in the rain, but it's entirely possible that at some point water might get splashed ...
6
votes
1answer
10k views

How should I wire a GFCI outlet and a switch to isolate the switch but provide GFCI protection further in the series?

I am replacing the outlets for my garbage disposal/dishwasher circuit in my kitchen. Currently on that breaker there is one non-GFCI outlet with a pigtailed switch controlling the garbage disposal and ...
6
votes
1answer
305 views

How can I get my Self-Destruct switches to do something?

In my house, there were some confusing panels of that had lots of switches on them, so I bought a labeling machine and put labels over all the switches in the house. There are two blank switches next ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I wire these dimmer switches? The current wiring is crazy

I've installed light switches in other parts of our house, but there is one pair of dimmers that mystifies me. One is a normal dimmer and one is supposed to be a three way dimmer, but the latter is ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Light flashes on then turns off. What do I look for?

I just moved into my first home and the light fixture in the water closet broke. I replaced the fixture with a new one, but the light only flashes on, then turns off. I checked for loose ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

What about a light switch in the closet?

Okay you guys I have next question. And like all good questions this one begins with a story. I was reading the post about a nick in a wire and read a couple of you mention that light switch in a ...
5
votes
1answer
10k views

Is it ok to wire light switches and lights with 12/2 cable?

It sounds like light switches and lights are usually wired with 14/2 cable. Is it okay to use 12/2 cable instead? Would I need special switches?
5
votes
1answer
562 views

How do I mount this non-standard wall plate to a completed drywall wall?

I have this But it only has what you see in that pic. I was told I needed the box thing to go behind it to mount it to in the wall. There is no hole in the wall right now, so how do I get this to ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

What type of wire should I run when updating a ceiling fan?

I started to change out my ceiling fan and noticed the support brace is actually laying on the drywall and not firmly attached to a beam. I also noticed the new fan has a blue wire where the wiring in ...
5
votes
1answer
17k views

How do I wire a GFCI/Switch Combo?

I'm replacing an old GFCI/Switch combo. In the old one there are two wires coming into the line side, a hot wire and a neutral. On the load side there is one wire leading up to the lighting fixture. ...
5
votes
1answer
4k views

How can I replace multiple 3 way switches with motion sensors?

My tenants never turn the lights off in the stairwells of my 3 family house, so I'd like to replace all of the light switches with motion sensors. Here is a crude diagram of how this is set up now. ...
5
votes
1answer
392 views

What should I do with a 3-way light switch that is no longer needed?

How do I get rid of a 3-way switch? I am rewiring some lights in an older home and found that one of the switches is a 3-way. However, the light it was originally for was removed years ago. So we ...
4
votes
3answers
967 views

How can I utilize a light switch for a specific outlet?

I just moved into a new apartment and in one of the bedrooms, there is a light switch that switches one of the outlets on and off. Unfortunately, this outlet is placed in the opposite side of the room ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

How do I raise light switches so my kids can't keep toggling the light?

My flat at the moment has all the switches at about 1 meter off the floor. Naturally my growing kids are starting to toggle the lighting now that they are tall enough. Is it possible to raise the ...
4
votes
4answers
5k views

How can I remote control a switch for a pool pump?

I want to be able to start and stop two pool pumps by remote control, independently. Each one works at 220V, 1 kW (i.e. around 5A, expect a current spike when starting.) Do you know an off the shelf ...
4
votes
3answers
425 views

Concerns about replacing a worn out light switch

Our home is about 3 years old. New construction. New parts. The main lights in the kitchen are a 4-way circuit (3 switches, + lights). Since we primarily come into the room from one side, one ...
4
votes
1answer
978 views

How do I wire a switch/receptacle combination?

Here's my current situation. I've got 14/2 to the ceiling. The hot wire has a runner, which runs down to the switch, and the other wire is a switched hot, back to the light. The other side of the ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Should I convert a single light switch to a receptacle/switch combo?

First I want to say I've done a little research on my question. I'm familiar (I think) with the wiring, but I'm uncertain if my solution is a good one because of what I plan on using the outlets for ...
4
votes
2answers
442 views

Is this switch properly grounded?

I replaced a standard single pole switch with an Intermatic ST01 timer switch, into a metal electrical box with three other switches. The switch I was replacing had no ground connection, but some of ...
4
votes
3answers
535 views

What's a good way to customize or recess a lightswitch?

I saw this etsy project: Working Arcade Light Switch And while it's pretty cool, I'm not huge into arcade or fighting games, so I was going to make my own, and change the buttons. How would be a ...
4
votes
1answer
229 views

Where can I purchase push button electrical switches?

Our old house has push button light switches. I would like to find some modern replica switches and face plates for use in some electrical improvements. I have checked at our local home improvement ...
4
votes
2answers
10k views

How do I replace this dimmer switch to a conventional switch?

I want to replace the dimmer switch in my kitchen with a conventional light switch. However I could use a little guidance. I understand the two black wires are the hot wires, and the green is ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

How to add indicator on a light switch to indicate the outdoor 3-way light is on?

Have some carriage lights outside my garage that can be turned on from inside the house. It's common that the switch will get flipped and the lights will stay on when they're not wanted. Is there ...
4
votes
2answers
476 views

Triple switch plate size issue

I have a plate of 3 light switches that's just taking up too much real-estate. See picture below: As you can see, I've got a bookcase right next to it, and I could use a little more room there. The ...
4
votes
1answer
362 views

How can I add a switch to separately control a light and fan?

I have a single switch that turns on/off both a light and a fan. How do I add a switch so that each is controlled by its own switch?
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Why does voltage still exists when a circuit is broken by a 3-way switch?

My parents got a ceiling light for my parents for Christmas, which I was tasked with installing. I don't know why I bothered to check the voltage before putting the new fixture on (and after taking ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

What can we use as a wireless switch for a ceiling light?

I removed a light/ceiling fan that had a pull string when we installed my son's bunk bed (we didn't want the fan blades knocking him in the head). We now want to install just a ceiling light. There ...
4
votes
3answers
5k views

Convert One 3-Way Light Switch to Belkin WeMo Light Switch (Single Pole)

Our foyer chandelier has three outlets that control it. I want to control it with a Belkin WeMo light switch, which specifically states is not compatible with 3-way switches/fixtures, sadly. Well, if ...
4
votes
3answers
918 views

Why did my circuit blow after replacing a switch?

I replaced an older switch yesterday on an existing line of recessed lights. There are five lights on the one switch. On the same breaker; but different switch, there are 7 more recessed lights (all ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

How do I fix drywall around wall box so switch plate covers damage?

In my house, there are maybe three or four outlet boxes and switch boxes where there was damage done to the drywall surrounding the box at some point. There are no structural or electrical issues ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How to determine what 3-way switch system was used?

How can I tell if an old Knob & Tube 3-way switch is still legal by the modern NEC? Specifically I am trying to tell if my switch is a "California 3-way" (or "Coast 3-way", "Hollywood 3-way", ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I secure electrical wiring to a pocket door frame?

I recently installed 2 pocket door kits together from one room to an adjacent in my house. The building inspector said he saw no problem with me installing a light switch in a shallow electrical box ...
3
votes
3answers
722 views

Is there a way to mark/label a special use switch?

I'm going to be rewiring my front porch light, and in the process I've decided to pull cable for a switched receptacle for Christmas lights. I'm going to install a 2 gang box for both switches ...
3
votes
2answers
175 views

How do I trade the lights that these two light switches control with each other?

I have two light switches in my bathroom. I'd like to swap the lights that they operate with each other. I have no experience with this kind of thing, but I'm hoping the proximity of the two ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Do you know any switches which turns on/off based on day light?

I am looking for having some sensor based switches which will turn on/off the lights based on the light conditions during the day (i.e. turn on when there is less light and turn off when there is more ...
3
votes
3answers
6k views

is it possible to do a 3 way switch if power source is in the second switch?

In my research on how to install a 3 way switch, i've seen different ways on how to install the wires but i haven't found the schema that would help me in my situation. Here's a screenshot of my ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

What kind of wall switch is needed for a natural gas fireplace to ignite consistently?

When we moved in, our natural gas fireplace worked well: Flick the switch & it would ignite. Years later, it started acting erratically: Sometimes, the switch worked, other times, no luck. We'd ...