I just a installed a new outlet and powered it from an existing light switch. I replaced the single switch with a double switch.

Wiring: hot to black (common) double switch terminal. Black wire from light to one brass terminal. Black wire from outlet to other brass terminal. Neutrals connected. Grounds connected, then connected to green terminal on double light switch.

When breaker is restored, the light switch operates normally. The outlet is only powered when both the light switch is on and the outlet switch is on.

Why are both switches not independent?


  • 2
    I can't follow your wiring description, but you connected the new switch to the wrong side of the old switch.
    – Tyson
    Jun 9, 2016 at 21:44
  • Can you post a photo of the double switch wiring? Jun 9, 2016 at 22:23
  • I'm trying to figure out how to insert or paste a picture. First time user . . . Hang on.
    – Terry
    Jun 9, 2016 at 23:40
  • Since your new and have a 1 rep, just upload it to imgur.com and put a link here in comments, someone with more rep can edit your question.
    – Tyson
    Jun 9, 2016 at 23:54
  • 1
    What model is the double switch? Jun 10, 2016 at 0:50

1 Answer 1


I believe that you have mixed up the light-hot and the panel-hot wires. So when you flip the first switch it supplies power to the (whole) switch. You need to move the light wire (yellow in the picture below) and put it on the brass screw corresponding to the one you thought was the light wire. The wire that you thought went to the light is the power/panel hot.

enter image description here

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  • That's exactly what I did. You are awesome, Ben - thanks!
    – Terry
    Jun 10, 2016 at 20:56

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