I bought Enerlite single pole paddle switches to replace my old switches. I am replacing a switch for my dining room and it has two screws on the right and one on the left.

How do I am connect the wires on the new one with (3) screws instead of (2) screws?

Old light switch right side

old light switch left side

new light switch left side

new light switch right side

inside box

There is only one switch that controls the dining room. There was only one wire connected on the right side of the old switch. The other wire was connected on the left side.

  • 1
    Can you post photos looking into the switch box please? – ThreePhaseEel Nov 27 '20 at 23:17
  • Is there more than one switch controlling the dining room light? – JACK Nov 27 '20 at 23:18
  • 1
    the new switch has only two power screws ... the third one is a grounding screw – jsotola Nov 28 '20 at 0:09
  • Is there a bundle of bare wires buried in the back of that box somewhere? – ThreePhaseEel Nov 28 '20 at 15:30
  • Don't buy electrical equipment on Amazon. I know they're convenient, I know you sunk $100 into Prime, so did I. But a) the cheap junk sold on Amazon Marketplace intermixed with regular results... and b) Amazon allowing third parties to sneak counterfeits into their own "Sold by Amazon" goods... nope. Don't buy electrical there. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Nov 28 '20 at 17:44

This screw on the new switch is where you are supposed to connect the safety ground wire.

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The following two screws on the new switch are where the switch wires connect. These would be the two wires that each connected one or the other side of the old switch.

enter image description here


Sometimes. on a service call. electricians don't have a single pole switch (your new switch). so they wire up a 3-way switch (the old one) to act like a single pole.

or during trim your apprentice mixed up the singles and 3-ways when they were loading for the job that day.

if you need help with the wiring just post a comment.

bare wire to green screw.

black wires on gold screws.

  • Thank you, @radiospace. There are only two black wires, no bare wire (see additional picture placed in my post). That is what I’m struggling with. – Anne White Nov 28 '20 at 15:23
  • @AnneWhite if your home was built after the late 70's. I bet if you dig behind that bundle you'll find one tucked away. however it does not affect the function of the switch. just use a non-conductive cover. – RadioSpace Nov 28 '20 at 15:28

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