Hello I have a two switch with three black wires all connected on one side. The three black wires are all connected on the side with the three screws (two gold and one black). Pictures are below. I’ve seen two black wires on a single switch and a similar scenario (for an outside light) and understand why both the wires are black there, but this involves two separate lights. I haven’t seen a switch quite like this either although I imagine it’s an older version of a single pole? Any idea what’s going on here?

left side

right side

  • What do the switches control? What are you trying to do with this switch? Commented Nov 18, 2018 at 0:25
  • Top turns on external sconces and bottom turns on a floodlight
    – Jordan
    Commented Nov 18, 2018 at 0:34

1 Answer 1


Its just two separate switches in a single yoke.

Also, the supply wire is common to both switches, because the switch is configured that way. The black screw is the common.

Note that there is another black screw on the other side of the switch... If for some reason you needed each switch to have a separate/different supply, the other black screw would come into play. Right now both black screws are internally jumpered to each other, but that jumper could be removed if you needed each switch to have a separate supply. So if you see anything weird on that switch that looks removable, don't remove it. That's the jumper.

  • That’s what I thought, but just wanted to make sure. Didn’t seem that much else would make sense unless one of them was a wire to nowhere.
    – Jordan
    Commented Nov 18, 2018 at 12:26
  • I see now that there’s a black tab on the back that can be used to split the circuit
    – Jordan
    Commented Nov 18, 2018 at 12:50

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