I'm trying to update the outlets in my parent's old rental for them and I've run into a problem.

In the master bedroom, the light switch had two black wires connected to it, and a third one just floating behind it not connected to anything.

I took it off and put a new one on, except it didn't work. So I connected the other wire and it now has the ability to shut off the lights in the hallway, bathroom right across from it, and bedroom behind it when flipped on.

Held in between "on" and "off, all the lights go out. You can turn the other lights on independent of them, but if they're on when that switch gets flipped, they go out.

I'm more of a carpenter than I've ever been an electrician. Any advice would save me a headache.

Edit: Alright, there are three families of wires, black, white, and grounds. The three grounds are capped together, the whites are capped together, and when I removed the original outlet, only two black ones were connected. One was just hanging out. The wires are brittle and I ended up breaking one to the point I needed to add a wire to it and cap it together. That in mind, I figured I should see what happens if I cap the black wires together. No light switch but the chandelier and fan turns on by pulling the cord now, and all the lights on that side of the house work concurrently without going out when one gets flipped on. Wired with a functional current uncapped Now what I need to do is somehow wire a switch to it. I attempted to connect a white and a ground to a switch along with a black and no lights on that side of the house would turn on. I alternated wiring configurations and the wires themselves to no avail until I thought about capping them all off.

  • 1
    "I took it off and put a new one on, except it didn't work" You wired it up exactly like it was before? You connected the other wire How? A photo of the box and it contents would be helpful.
    – Alaska Man
    Feb 23, 2020 at 0:30
  • 1
    Can you post photos of the inside of the box in question please? Feb 23, 2020 at 0:54
  • I think in order to get an analysis of your problem you will need to post a more complete description of your wiring. How many lights are involved? That is, is "the bedroom behind it" the same as "the master bedroom"? "You can turn the other lights on independent of them" How? How many switches are involved in all? - Don't be afraid to post too much tedious detail. Give all the lights and switches names ("bedroom", "hall") or aliases ("switch A", "switch B") and describe what's on and off for every combination of switch settings. Feb 23, 2020 at 1:04
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    I'm not going to say stick to carpentry because we're here to help but I will say take pictures of the switches, fixtures, outlets, etc., before disconnecting anything.
    – JACK
    Feb 23, 2020 at 1:13
  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Unfortunately, we'll need more info before we have any chance of helping you. Please take our tour so you'll know how best to participate here. Feb 23, 2020 at 13:55


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