In our guest bath the horizontal light bar has a switch on two different walls. Since we bought the house, one switch has never worked properly, and the hubby thought slapping duct tape over the switch was “fixing it” 😜😜😜

I thought I could just remove the switch, cap the wires & put on a solid plate & just use the other switch. BUT once I cut the switch out & capped the wires, I turned the breaker back on to discover that the other switch doesn’t work now either!!! Is there an easy fix for this???

A video or set of step by step instructions that will either help me connect the one switch that did work back up OR even a way to make sure that both switches work. The problem with the switch I removed was that it never stayed on. It would be in the ON position but the light would either flicker or completely go off AND when this happened unless it was turned to the off position the other switch wouldn’t work either. This is one of my first attempts at electrical DIY ... is this a situation where it’s advisable to just call an electrician??

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    This can be fixed by connecting two of the wires where the old switch was removed... Of course which two wires is a more complex issue. – JPhi1618 Mar 18 at 15:08
  • Number one rule: If you don't have training in electrical wiring, don't do ANYTHING. You found out you did it wrong; you're lucky you didn't injure yourself via electrocution in the process. – Carl Witthoft Mar 18 at 15:09
  • Why didn't you just replace the switch? – Carl Witthoft Mar 18 at 15:10
  • I’m thinking now that I just want to change the switch. After it being non-fictional with tape over it for too long, I really just wanted it gone. We weren’t using it so obviously it wasn’t needed BUT now that the old switch is out, I may just put on a new switch. – MelMC Mar 19 at 12:19

The switches were probably (almost certainly) wired like this:

enter image description here

This is the method to have two switches operate one light, common for stairs etc When either switch moves to the dotted position, then the light is on. If both switches are in the dotted position then the light is off as it is in the position shown.

What you need to do is to make a connection between two of the wires you capped off then the other switch will work fine. If you connect two and it still does not work then you have to use the third wire with one of the other two.

The original fault sounds like a broken switch anyway.

If you are not sure then it will be an easy job for an electrician either new switch or connect the wires...

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