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Questions tagged [switch]

For questions about switches, i.e. electrical devices used to manually open and close an electric circuit on a routine basis.

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13
votes
5answers
10k views

Do I NEED to use correct colors when wiring always?

What I am wondering is if there is any code that is violated if the wrong colors are used in wiring outlets? For example, it is standard to use white as neutral and black as power but if I only had ...
11
votes
2answers
82k views

Is it ok to wire light switches and lights with 12/2 cable?

It sounds like light switches and lights are usually wired with 14/2 cable. Is it okay to use 12/2 cable instead? Would I need special switches?
8
votes
1answer
47k views

What type of wire should I run when updating a ceiling fan?

I started to change out my ceiling fan and noticed the support brace is actually laying on the drywall and not firmly attached to a beam. I also noticed the new fan has a blue wire where the wiring in ...
7
votes
5answers
6k views

How to turn a pump on or off from any of 12 switches

I have a water pump at my home that I want to connect to 12 switches, so that each one of them can turn the water-pump on/off. Can it be done? Thank you!
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Can I use metal masonry device (switch) boxes in a stud wall?

I am installing new wiring and need to place 5 lighting switches in one location (yes, I understand the problems/issues of confusion, etc.). These will all be 3-way switches, non-dimmable. I plan on ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I wire a switch/receptacle combination?

Here's my current situation. I've got 14/2 to the ceiling. The hot wire has a runner, which runs down to the switch, and the other wire is a switched hot, back to the light. The other side of the ...
5
votes
4answers
6k views

Concerns about replacing a worn out light switch

Our home is about 3 years old. New construction. New parts. The main lights in the kitchen are a 4-way circuit (3 switches, + lights). Since we primarily come into the room from one side, one ...
4
votes
2answers
15k views

How do I replace a single pole light switch with a programmable timer switch?

We have a light switch box containing three single pole switches (no ground terminal) in the foyer near the front door. I would like to replace the light switch controlling the porch lights with the ...
3
votes
5answers
903 views

How can I 'share' lights between multiple circuits?

I am installing a rectangle of 3 x 4 recessed can lights in the ceiling and would like to have 4 separate circuits where each individual row of lights can be illuminated by its own switch. This means ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Trying to identify the neutral in my switch box for home automation switch.

My house was built ~3 years ago and i am trying to add some smart switches. I see that nearly all require a neutral wire. When i pull apart any of my switch boxes i see that a neutral wire is not ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

How to identify the purpose of this switch?

I have three switches in a box. One controls the light on the ceiling fan and one controls the ceiling fan. I cannot figure out what the third switch is used for. I thought it might have controlled ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

What are switches activated by a closet door called?

My father-in-law set up all of his closet lights to turn on and off when the door opens. He used a switch that was apparently designed for that purpose, with a largish contact switch that turned on ...
3
votes
1answer
19k views

Can I replace two light switches with a single light switch?

In my basement family room I have two sets of track lighting on either sides of the room. Each set is controlled by it's own dimmer switch, and both dimmer switches are in the same box in the wall. ...
3
votes
1answer
271 views

How do I make two wall switches work in coordination, wirelessly?

I remodeled my kitchen and added under cabinet lighting. The under the cabinet lights are controlled by a wall switch on one side of the kitchen. The overhead recessed can lights have a switch on ...
3
votes
3answers
432 views

Why can I not turn off my ceiling lights?

Three ceiling lights which worked for years, cannot be turned off. There are three switches, each of which controls all three lights (they are all on or all off). Is there a simple fix or must I ...
3
votes
2answers
512 views

2 gang boxes installed side-by-side; How do I fix this?

Recently I took a wall plate off a 4 switch box to paint the wall. When I did this, I found that the wall plate was being held on by paint alone. It appears that 4 light switches were installed ...
3
votes
1answer
808 views

Timer for house ventilation switch - high/low voltage wiring

I have a home ventilation switch that I would like to wire a timer to. This switch is located in my upstairs hallway, and when flipped it turns on the furnace fan blower and the main bathroom exhaust ...
3
votes
1answer
15k views

How to add GFCI to a box with one outlet controlled by a switch?

I'm pretty inexperienced when it comes to electrical work, though I do know my way around a circuit diagram, thanks to some EE courses in college. I think this is one I can do myself, I just would ...
2
votes
1answer
662 views

Adding new lights to a switch

I have a single light controlled by a switch in my garage. It's really pathetic, so I decided to add some shop lights to the same switch. Upon opening up the light wiring box, I found not 1 but 4 ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

Can I install a dimmer switch on a 2 way circuit?

I have a 6 lights controlled by 2 normal switches (2 Way Circuit). I want to replace one of the normal switches with a dimmer switch. Is this possible?
2
votes
1answer
27k views

How do I add a light fixture to an existing 3 way circuit when the existing one is powered directly?

I am trying to add another light fixture to an existing 3 way circuit. The power source feeds to the ceiling light fixture which is connected to the first three way switch using a 2 wire cable. That ...
2
votes
1answer
292 views

What year did the NEC (US) require all new construction switches and outlets to have ground screws?

I just opened up the garbage disposal switch in my condo built in 1977 in the US. I believe this is the original switch, and therefore I will be replacing it right away with a new switch that has a ...
2
votes
3answers
23k views

Is there such thing as a 4-way dimmer?

I have a 4-way switch I want to replace with a dimmer. I understand I can put the dimmer at one of the other 3-way switches, but they're more out of the way. Does such a device exist? If not, what ...
2
votes
1answer
12k views

How do I know if a ceiling fan with light and the switch are wired correctly?

There was a old ceiling fan with light and remote in a bedroom of my house that didn't work. It also had a switch with 2 knobs that pushed in and turned labeled motor control and 300 w perm instld ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it safe to replace a Furnace pressure switch with a different one?

So I had some problem with my gas furnace and a technician came by to install a new one but it doesn't have the same rating and only has one tube instead of two. He assures me it's fine but I thought ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Electricity passes through a bulb holder, even when the switch is off

In my home, electricity passes through a bulb holder even when the switch is off. I heard that happens due to 3-way switches. Could anybody tell me if it is okay or worth worrying? Update Let me ...
1
vote
1answer
103 views

What device allows me to recover a hot wire from two travellers coming from a 3-way switch?

At some spot (call it, say, S1) I have a 3-way switch with two incoming travellers from another 3-way switch downstairs (say, S2) and for some reason I cannot easily rewire things between S1 and S2. ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Can I use a switch loop to power a ceiling fan?

Need your help, please. I have a single pole switch that controls the wall’s receptacles. It has one 14/2 cable, white/black/ground, where the white is hot. I would like to install a ceiling fan. I ...
1
vote
5answers
11k views

How do I take a live wire off of a two way switch?

if I know how to take the live wire off then my job is easier.
1
vote
1answer
156 views

What does this shutoff switch in a 100 year old house control? Located in plaster wall near top of basment steps

This shutoff switch, near the top of the basement steps in an old home confounds us.
1
vote
2answers
78 views

Confusing ceiling fan wiring

Long story short, moved into this house 2 years ago, 2 gang switches in bedroom, one for ceiling fan and light, one supposedly for switched outlet. Finally got around to finding which outlet was ...
1
vote
1answer
556 views

Leads from wall fan control switch are aluminum wire?

My new house in the US has a Harbor Breeze combination fan/light switch with a remote control as seen here (different brand is shown, but it's basically identical). While checking some wiring (...
1
vote
1answer
135 views

How to wire a switch-controlled GCFI but retain downstream protection even with switch off

I'm wiring an outbuilding and would like to put GFcI first for downstream protection. Only catch is that the first outlet (the one I want to be a GFCI) needs to be controlled by a switch because its ...
0
votes
2answers
78 views

I am replacing a ceiling fan in a bedroom and the wiring in the receptacle is confusing me

I am replacing an old ceiling fan and combination switch in a bedroom in my house. I am trying to connect a new switch that controls both functions (fan and light) separately, as well as a dimming ...
0
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I install a dimmer switch?

A friend was trying to help me install new dimmer switches and instead of disconnecting one wire and putting it on the new switch, he just cut the wires and couldn't figure out how to put them back. ...
0
votes
3answers
135 views

Installing a Smart Light Switch

I would like to install a Smart Switch (in the UK). I am confused regarding what wires go where and the fact that this requires a neutral wire. This is the back of the new switch: Although I know I ...
0
votes
1answer
280 views

Two switches, two lights, one light always on.

I would like to use two switches to operate two lights, where as one light goes off the other light goes on so there is always one light on. When you flip either switch one light turns on and the ...
0
votes
1answer
723 views

Controlling two fixtures on same circuit independently

I currently have an existing loud bathroom and a ceiling light on he same circuit. The wiring goes from the switch to the ceiling box and then to the fan. Both of these are controlled by the same ...
0
votes
1answer
191 views

Light switch wiring

hi all, went to replace a dimmer with a conventional light switch and found this wiring, it's different to what I've seen before (I'm a bit of a novice and can do basic wiring). Anyone able to point ...
0
votes
2answers
383 views

Replacing a switch where power comes thru the fan to the timer switch, with only 2-wires? [duplicate]

I can see an answer where it suggests a 3-wire run from the fixture but I'm hoping to use existing wiring and it only has black and white wires coming from the bathroom fan to the old timer switch. ...