I have a two light switch in the bathroom. One for the wall over the sink lighting and the other for exhaust fan. One day the lights dimmed in the bathroom and would only be bright if the exhaust was on. Later on when the exhaust switch is on the over the sink light won't turn on at all. Must only have one switch on and exhaust won't work at all now. Electrical outlet works beautifully its just this weird switch issue. The lights are just so dim.

  • 3
    Can you turn off power, remove the switch cover plate and pull out the switches, without disconnecting any wires, and upload pictures showing all the wires connected to the switches (and if the receptacle is in the same box, include that too). Jul 24, 2022 at 17:20
  • 2
    Have you or anyone else done any wiring in the bathroom or any other work?
    – JACK
    Jul 24, 2022 at 17:57
  • If any of the wires falls off as you're pulling the switch out of the wall, you have the explanation for the problem right there...
    – FreeMan
    Jul 25, 2022 at 12:45

1 Answer 1


The evidence seems to indicate a broken neutral connection in split-phase 120-0-120 VAC household wiring. This can be particularly dangerous if it happens at the power entrance or transformer, because it means many devices in the house on one side of the line have a serious under-voltage issue, while those on the other side experience serious over-voltage.

It might be that the neutral wire from the mains to the fan and lights broke or came loose at a connection, e.g., wire nut or "stab-in" connector on a switch, leaving the two in series across 240 VAC, which should be fixed quickly.

Shut the circuit breaker for both devices (they would be on two separate breakers, because they have separate hot wires), or shut the main breaker for the house if you can't identify both breakers. Look inside the boxes for the switches for a disconnected neutral wire, white or gray in USA and Canada. If the wires are pushed into holes in the back, connect them to the appropriate screw terminal, instead.

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