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Trying to slowly replace all of the old switches in our 1980s home and having trouble getting the new Leviton switch to operate the ceiling fan and light. The two switches operate a ceiling fan and the lights attached to fan. I've attached a photo of old configuand 2 of the new config--box has 3 black wires and 1 red and of course a ground wire and white wire (never used) in box that are capped ... tried a few different config with the wires with the new switch but it either turns the light on/no fan or turns the fan on and the hallway light ! Config help please? Thank you!enter image description hereenter image description here

  • You have identified wires, but wires come in cables which are several wires wrapped in a sheath. We need to know how the wires are grouped in cables. Which wires are together in the same cable? Also, on the new switch is there any marking to indicate that two screws are connected together, any markings like "common"? Sep 3 '19 at 18:33
  • 2
    Wire hooks should go around the screw in a clockwise direction.
    – JPhi1618
    Sep 3 '19 at 19:04
  • I will try to upload a photo of the box Content. The top most switch operates the lights which are coming on the ceiling fan but the bottom switch does nothing and now the hallway lights won't come on 🙄. Have not utilized green screw on switch possibly I bought the wrong switch ?
    – DIMDS
    Sep 3 '19 at 19:05
  • Wait, is that red wire coming from that white bundle? That's a big problem if so... That in addition to your comment about the ground wire makes me think you have a switched neutral (confusing and not safe).
    – JPhi1618
    Sep 3 '19 at 19:06
  • 2
    you need to add that jumper back in... on the black screw side.
    – JACK
    Sep 3 '19 at 19:24

My hunch is you have 3 cables in this box:

  • A /2 cable (black white ground?) which delivers power from the panel
  • A /2 cable (black white ground?) which carries power onward to other loads
  • A /3 cable (black white red ground?) which carries switched fan power, switched lamp power, and neutral to the fan.

Your old switch had two screws which were joined with a "tab", and the tab was NOT broken off. If the tab is broken off, the screws are totally separate. If the tab is NOT broken off, then it's a fat 4-way splice, connecting (that side of) both switches, and both attached wires also. This is confusing, but it's also just what is needed.

Each switch has power on one side, and on the other side, switched-power to the fan or lamp. So you make the "one side" the "common" side with the tab not broken off.

Based on my earlier assumptions, the black wires from both /2 cables go on the "common" side.

That leaves the red and black from the /3 cable going to the 2 screws on the independent side.

  • Problem is the red wire goes to a bundle of whites.
    – JPhi1618
    Sep 3 '19 at 20:39
  • @JPhi1618 I see where it looks that way, but the red must surely go behind them. If the red actually goes into the white wire nut, then the red in the /3 is unaccounted for, and there may not even be a /3. That is a "grenade in a puzzle factory" tier mess. I hope not! Sep 3 '19 at 20:41
  • He took a "before" picture (a rarity) when everything was working and the red was attached to the load side of the switch.
    – JACK
    Sep 3 '19 at 21:13

you've got the switch wired in reverse. Take the red and black wires from the black screws and move them to the other side of the switch to the gold screws, and take the two black wires from the gold screws and attach them to the black screws. It makes a difference.

  • No way! Thank you! I'm on it
    – DIMDS
    Sep 3 '19 at 18:43
  • OK I flipped it reversed it perfectly but now the fan won't come on 🙄. Wonder if I should've /shouldn't have taken out that gold tab between the two switches ?
    – DIMDS
    Sep 3 '19 at 18:58
  • 1
    – JACK
    Sep 3 '19 at 19:04
  • It is from 1988 but it appeared to have been removed I will add a photo
    – DIMDS
    Sep 3 '19 at 19:07
  • 2
    The jumper in the old switch has not been removed and should not have been removed in the new switch...
    – JACK
    Sep 3 '19 at 19:14

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