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I am trying to install a new single pole light switch in a restroom. I previously had a push button switch that has an off, light, heater, and fan button's and also a light to show when the heater is on. When I pulled it out there were wires everywhere I cut all wires to switch. I have 3 black wires, 3 white, and 3 ground. I have no clue what to do. I think the hot wire black goes to the bottom screw of the switch once I locate it. Most of the grounds are connected to the box except one that is connected to a neutral wire...Does anyone have a clue what I am talking about? Do I connect the black wire going to the ceiling light to the top screw of the switch? What about the grounds do I need one to the switch or is the box grounded enough? Do I connect all neutral white wire together? Help Me!

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    Can you post photos of the inside of the box? – ThreePhaseEel Jan 20 '19 at 3:37
  • It sounds like you originally had light, heater, fan controlled independently. Is that what you want to have now? Or just light? Or 2 out of 3? It also sounds like you have 3 cables coming in to the box, which would typically be for "power in" + 2 separate devices (e.g., light, heater) out, not 3. – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Jan 20 '19 at 3:38
  • Yes, sir, you are correct. I just want the light to operate off switch no heater fan light combo this time doing away with that going with the no bulb changing LED. Ok was not sure were the third set of wires came into play you are saying one controlled the light and probably one went to the heater and fan??? That would make sense so I would eliminate that set of wires totally is that correct? Would not need that extra wiring for new light fixture. – James M. Munro Jan 20 '19 at 4:03
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    Neutrals together. Grounds together. If switch has a ground screw (green) then connect that to the other grounds. I would cap (wire nut) the unused black/white on both ends (inside box and in the ceiling). – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Jan 20 '19 at 5:08
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    Well, I truly thank you both for your help. I will bookmark this page and visited you guys in the future with my Home Improvement projects this is a great page we are thankful for people like you that can give there time and advice to do it yourselfers without costing us an arm and a leg the cost of materials now days is enough expense to a homeowner...God bless – James M. Munro Jan 20 '19 at 23:30
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Based on comments, you want to install an unswitched outlet next to the switch. Since you have confirmed that you have neutral in the box, that should be straightforward:

  • Unless the circuit is already GFCI protected, you MUST use a GFCI receptacle. The following is based on a typical GFCI receptacle.

  • Add two pigtails on the incoming hot wire with a wire nut. Connect one to the switch (where the incoming hot was previously connected) and one to the hot screw on the LINE side of the receptacle.

  • Add a pigtail to the neutral bunch and connect it to the neutral screw on the LINE side of the receptacle.

  • Add a ground wire to the rest of grounds and connect it to the ground screw on the receptacle.

Nothing goes on the LOAD side. Those terminals are covered with tape, leave the tape on there, it will save you unlimited grief.

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