I thought this would be simple but of course I'm in over my head. We have a two button (paddle style) light switch in the bathroom. The top turns on a ceiling light and the bottom turns on a heat lamp and exhaust fan (both run together).

The back of the existing switch has 2 black wires plugged into bottom holes on back and 1 red wire plugged in top hole on back.

(Click for larger views)

I went to Lowe's and bought a 2 in 1 paddle switch but I'm confused on where the wires should go.
Left side has 3 screws (gold,black,gold) and right has 1 black screw. There is also a fuse that can be pulled out on the back?

How this should be wired? Do I even have the correct type of switch?

ETA: The switch is a Legrand RCD11WCC6.

  • Where are you on this planet? Sep 14, 2018 at 0:10
  • Unfortunately, these pictures are illegible and the color/lighting insufficient. What is the model number of that switch? (EG: "Legrand RCD33W") Does it have a green terminal? Does it have a nightlight? Sep 14, 2018 at 1:21
  • Oh. Sorry about the pics??. The new switch is a legrand,1 pole, radiant, RCD11WCC6. I almost think that it's over complicated for what I need. I haven't had much luck "matching" my situation to this type of light switch. That's why I added so many pictures, in case some other foolish mom shuts off her power and tears apart a light switch while the kids are at school! Sep 14, 2018 at 10:05

1 Answer 1


You need to identify the wires in the switch box. They are possibly like so:

      (Click for larger view)
      Possible wire id

(The Hot wire is usually either in the center or isolated on one side, in such combo switches.)

But you need a voltage tester or ohmmeter to be sure.

If you get it wrong, swap the wires around as indicated in the testing section, below.

Once you have identified the wires, hook them up like so:

      Switch terminals

  1. Make sure the breaker(s) is/are switched off.
  2. Use a voltage tester to ensure there are no live wires in the switch box.
  3. Screw the COM B screw in all the way, it will not be used.
  4. Leave the jumper alone (it is not a fuse).
  5. Connect the Bare (ground) wire to the ground/green terminal at the bottom.
  6. Connect the Light wire to the SP A terminal.
  7. Connect the Hot wire to the COM A terminal.
  8. Connect the Heat wire to the SP B terminal.
  9. Screw the switch into to the switch box, keeping it plumb.
  10. Install the cover plate.

Test the switch:

  1. Turn the power back on.
  2. The top switch should control the light (for safety and by convention) and the bottom should control the heat.
  3. If both come on but the bottom switch controls the light, turn the power off and swap the wires on SP Aand SP B.
  4. If only one of the 2 circuits comes on, you have the hot and that circuit's wire misidentified. Turn the power off and swap the corresponding SP wire and the COM A wire.
  • YOU ARE AMAZING!!! I bought a tester today. I will attempt tomorrow and let you know how I make out. This house has some of the strangest "handy man" things going on. For instance, the switch pictured above, has the grounds wrapped together under a nut, the outlet in a different room that I replaced, had two wires wrapped around one top screw and you don't even wanna see my breaker box! Lol Sep 15, 2018 at 1:22
  • @Haleyinthevalley, use that nut to "pigtail" a 3rd piece of bare copper wire to the existing two, then connect the free end of that pigtail to the switch's ground. Sep 15, 2018 at 1:32
  • Sorry took a bit to get back, everything is up and going. Thank goodness. My light bill should be lovely for leaving the lights on for 3 days. HA! I can't count how many times I tried to turn it off and remember "oh, yeah the switch is jimmy rigged". Thank you again for such wonderful diagrams, explanations and advice! Sep 16, 2018 at 17:51
  • Lol forgot to thank the "post" fixer uper too! I'm not sure what happened but on my end things looked fine and then I was able to see all the weirdness going on with my post. Sep 16, 2018 at 17:56
  • You're welcome; glad you got it working, and your question was actually better than most beginner Q's here. .. But please tick the checkmark next to this answer so that others know this is "solved" for you. Sep 16, 2018 at 18:06

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.