I have a family room ceiling fan connected to a single pole light switch. However, that switch also controls a bathroom light, staircase light and a bedroom receptacle. There is only 1 cable coming into the switch from above. No other cables go out of that switch box. How do I go about deciphering the circuit and removing the power from the switch to all fixtures/outlets besides the ceiling fan?

  • When you flip the switch the fan, bathroom, bedroom, and stair lights all come on/go off?
    – Tester101
    Feb 23, 2015 at 14:41
  • 1
    That's indeed an odd setup. Do you mean they are on the same circuit or actually on the same switch? Should your title be "...from [controlling] multiple..."? Feb 23, 2015 at 20:17

1 Answer 1


First thing you'll have to do is determine where the wire from the switch is going. I'm guessing that all those lights,fan, and receptacle are just daisy-chained with the switch interrupting the neutral inside a fixture box or separate junction box. (Why, why, why?) If you make the existing switch control only the ceiling fan, you'll of course, need to decide where you want to add a switch or switches to control the others. Additional wiring may involve crawling in the attic if there is one, drilling top plates, and dropping wire to new switch locations. That's the best I can offer given the vagueness of the problem as described. I will add that, if necessary, you could probably rent a toner and probe to trace wiring (with circuit breaker turned off). Or, more practical, find the suspected other end of the switch wire, disconnect it, and gently wire nut the pair together and then check with a multimeter for continuity at the other end to confirm that's your wire. HTH

  • 2
    The switch actually sounds like it's a switch loop in the hot, not the neutral. Apr 25, 2015 at 15:24

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