I hear a popping from one of my old double switches. I opened it up to understand the wiring before replacing. I have 4 blacks and 1 red. I have attached pictures. One of the switches controls a light that is controlled by a different switch as well. That switch has a dimmer. The other switch is the only control for another light. How do I go about replacing this? Also, why do I have no ground included?

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • The red, and one of the blacks, goes into the same cable. Which black? Can you mark it and the red with yellow tape? – Harper - Reinstate Monica May 14 '19 at 18:23
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    Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Big, big props: you did NOT pull everything apart and then come to us when it didn't work, as 90+% of our new visitors do. Makes things much easier for us. – Daniel Griscom May 14 '19 at 18:26
  • It looks like the black, directly under the red, is in the same sheath. IE, the top left black cable. – ian May 14 '19 at 18:28
  • Also, why do I have no ground included? Not all (older?) switches have ground connections. – mike65535 May 15 '19 at 12:39

It looks like you have something like this. enter image description here

The top switch is the three way and controls the light along with the other dimmer switch. The bottom one is is a single pole that controls a light by itself. You're going to want to buy a switch just like this and wire back the same. As long as you make sure the wires go back in the same positions, you'll be fine.

As someone mentioned, putting some tape around the wires as they are pulled off might help to identify them later. You can get different colors of electrical tape at a hardware store. Also important is to make sure the power is turned off to that switch before working on it to avoid being shocked.

When in doubt, call a professional.

  • That's the solution. Thank you. I missed this switch the first time I walked through the store. – ian May 15 '19 at 17:18

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