My dining room has a box on each wall with a single pole switch (for exterior light) next to a three way switch (for dining room interior light) that I attempted to replace with new switches. After changing all four switches out, all of the lights (two exterior lamps, dining room, kitchen, hallway, and bathroom) go out when I flip the first single pole exterior light switch off. This switch has 3 black wires connected to it which I’ve identified as the exterior switch, exterior hot, and the third is carrying power to the other light sources. I’ve tried wiring it multiple ways but it’s gotten me nowhere. Does anyone have an idea as to why this one single pole switch is controlling basically all of the general lighting in my house? Not sure what I did wrong. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks


I did a pigtail of the supply and onward wires and attached the pigtail to the lower screw on the single pole switch, but the single pole switch is still controlling multiple lights. Very unsure what the issue could be. Would greatly appreciate any help. Thanks

  • Thanks Ed, you were right. I had them mixed up. Now the single pole on the other side of the room is controlling everything.. looks like I’ll have to pigtail that switch as well
    – Eric Brown
    Jul 20, 2020 at 21:46
  • If the answer was helpful accepting the answer will help others find it and possibly keep the downvotes from coming I reversed one but there have been many lately on open questions without a reason from some.
    – Ed Beal
    Feb 8, 2021 at 2:08

1 Answer 1


It sounds like you swapped your hot and load on the first switch pigtailing the wrong one because when it is off everything else is off. So your incoming hot should be on 1 side of the first switch that hot should jump to each of the other switches. If everything works correctly when switch one is on you have to figure out the mixed up wires , lucky thing you won’t hurt things by trying different combinations with them all on the same breaker or circuit.


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