The bathrooms in my house all have 3 switches, controlling the main light, the exhaust fan, and a shower light, in that order. However, in my master bath, the first switch is accidentally controlling an outlet (just outside the bathroom). The second switch ends up turning on the main light, and the third switch turns on both the fan and the shower light. The second and third switches, however, will only work when the first switch is turned on.

My guess was that the first switch had line/load flipped by accident, but when I made that change, turning the switch on just flips the breaker. Inside the box all three wire pulls look identical, so I'm at a bit of a loss. Could it be the third switch that has the line/load mixup? I can post a picture tomorrow if it's helpful.

edit: Electrical was all installed new 3 years ago, so it's all up to code, has neutral, etc. This seems like it must've been a Monday morning screwup as they finished the job.

edit 2: Maybe unrelated, but the main light has also burned out multiple bulbs in the past 2 years (edison and LED bulbs). I thought this was a fixture issue, so I swapped that out, but it continues to happen. Eats a bulb every 6 months or so.

  • Pictures of the three switches with all their wires, the back of the box they go into, and the switched outlet with its wires would be helpful. – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Jan 9 at 6:20
  • How many breakers do you have to turn off to power everything down in this switch box? Is it a double breaker that looks like 2 handles tied together? – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jan 9 at 7:42
  • Yes, can you post photos of the inside of the switch box please, as well as the breaker that controls this circuit? – ThreePhaseEel Jan 9 at 12:45
  • With the lamps lasting 6 months I would guess crappy manufacturing, possibly vibration / excess heat because over the shower it should be in a damp/ wet listed fixture. Faulty wiring would cause immediate failure (mwbc getting both hots on the lamp) other than that anything that would cause a short service life would damage other items. – Ed Beal Jan 9 at 14:56

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