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How do u change a house hold light switch on a wall


Turn off power.
Unscrew cover plate.
Unscrew both screws holding switch into wall box.
Pull switch outward to stretch wires.
Take photos so you can reconstruct wiring if necessary.
Note color of each screw.
Green is for ground wire.
There are many different kinds of switches.
Single pole switch has two wires plus ground, and both screws will be same brass color, plus green ground screw.
3-way switch has 3 wires plus ground, and one screw will be different color than other two screws, plus green ground screw.
Remove wires from switch.
If wires are attached into holes on back of switch, notice there is small slot next to each hole.
Insert small screwdriver or metal nail file into slot while pulling on wire. This takes 3 hands, and then wire will come out of hole.
Replace each wire onto new switch, matching the old switch, tighten screws very tight, and then put switch back into box.
When pushing wires back into box, you want to keep the wires folded behind the switch as much as possible.
Wires are not harmed when scrunched back into box.
Put switch cover over switch so no possible spark can exit box.
Turn power ON, and try the switch.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-wire-switches.html

Jul 17, 2012 | Electrical Supplies

1 Answer

I have a harbor breeze cieling fan with a 3 speed pull switch. It has 4 wires black /gray /brown and purple. The switch has L/1/2/3. I need to know which wire goes in which position ?


Old switch and new switch have to be compared using multi-meter or continuity tester.
Each 3-speed switch has identical pull-chain sequence: off-high-medium-low.
Each 3-speed switch has only one wire that connects to Hot wire.
But the other three wires can vary.
For example connect power to switch Hot wire. Let's say switch is in off position. Pull chain once for high speed and power might flow to just one wire, or it might flow to two wires, depending on the switch.
Pull chain again for medium speed, and power might flow to just one wire, or it might flow to two different wires.
Pull chain again for low speed, and power usually flows to just one wire.

Easiest place to start is to find which wire is Hot.
Only one wire connects to Hot power.
That same wire on the new 3-speed switch will connect to all other wires. When testing, only one wire connects to all other wires.
Once hot wire is determined.
Then test which sequence of wires receives power each time chain is pulled.
Repeat same test on old switch.
Note how old switch was connected. And then map the change-over to new switch.

Open following link for resources:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-wire-Cooper-277-pilot-light-switch.html#3-speed

Sep 01, 2011 | Electrical Supplies

1 Answer

I have a single pole switch that currently controls a bedroom outlet. i am installing a fan and light in the bedroom. i have a new triple switch that i want to control the existing outlet, the fan and the...


Wiring is not fully described: Location of hot wire and neutral wire from breaker box are unknown.
If Hot wire arrives in ceiling box first, the switch box will not have white neutral wires that are twisted together and covered with wire nut. Neutrals will be in ceiling box.

What is known: You are replacing single pole switch attached to one 14-2 wire going to light.
You are replacing light with a fan-light and replacing switch with a 3-pole TM8111 switch.
You have replaced 14-2 wire with 12-3 wire.

TM8111 wiring shows following link:
http://waterheatertimer.org/images/TM8111-switch-wiring-500.jpg
Fan pull-chain wiring shows following link:
http://waterheatertimer.org/images/Fan-motor-1-344.jpg
Assume neutrals in ceiling box.
Assume Hot wire in ceiling box: Connect 12-3 black wire to black Hot wire. Connect 12-3 white wire to black wire on light. Connect 12-3 red to red wire on fan.
White neutral from fan and white neutral form light connect to other white neutral wires and covered with wire nut.
Wiring at switch:
Black Hot wire from ceiling box connects to A COM terminal.
White wire to ceiling light connects to A SP2
Red wire to fan connects to A SP1

Jun 21, 2011 | Pass & Seymour Legrand TM8111 Three Single...

1 Answer

Cannot get the decora 4 way light switch to work - 2 of the 3 switches work but cannot get the 3rd to work. Replacing regular toggle switches which all worked but wiring different for decora switches.


Decora 3-way and 4-way switches do not wire differently than toggle-type switches.
Instructions below are tedious but will accurately guide you to solution.

Let's break down the problem starting with 3-ways.

1) Start with 3-way switches:
Old 3-way switch has 2 brass screws and 1 dark screw
New decora has same color screws.
Wire that went to dark screw on old device must attach to dark screw on decora device.
Other two wires can attach to either brass screw.
Wires that attach to brass screws are travelers ... these wires travel to the 4-way switch.
So there are 2 traveler wires at each 3-way switch.

2) Let's test if 3-way switches are wired correctly by taking 4-way switch out of equation.
We will resolve problem with 4-way switch after 3-ways are correct.

There are 4 wires at the 4-way switch.
These are the 2 traveler wires that arrive from each 3-way switch.

At the 4-way switch, 2 wires arrive in one cable, and 2 wires arrive from another cable.
To say it differently, there are 2 wires from cable1 and 2 wires from cable2.
Connect 1 wire from cable1 to 1 wire from cable2 with a wire nut
Now connect the 2nd wire from cable1 to 2nd wire from cable2 with another wire nut.
So now the traveler wires are connected, and the 4 way switch is out of equation.
Turn on power, and click 3-way switches to see if both switches turn lights on-off in all positions.

Do your 3-way switches work correctly?

3) If 3-ways are not correct, then you have wrong wire connected to dark screw.
First thing to check is if you can identify traveler wire colors by looking at wires at 4-way switch.
Remember, traveler wires at 4-way switch go back to 3-way switch and connect to brass screws on 3-way switch.

4) If you cannot tell traveler wires by looking at 4-way switch, then you can try different combinations until both 3-way switches work.
Or you can test: disconnect wires from one of the 3-way switches. Separate 3 wires for testing. Move other 3-way switch to down position. Turn on power. Test each wire to bare ground wire. Mark wire that lights up. Now move other 3-way to up position. Test each wire to bare ground wire. If same wire lights up each test, then that wire goes to dark screw. If different wire lights up, then mark that wire. The two marked wires are travelers, and they connect to brass screws. Other wire connects to dark screw. Repeat identical test for other 3-way switch.

At this point your 3-way switches will work, if light bubs are not burned out.

5) Last step, the 4 way switch.
Remember from step above, that 2 wires arrive in cable1: These 2 wires connect on one side of 4-way switch. The other 2 wires that arrive in cable2 connect of other side of 4-way switch.

Add a comment if you need more help.

Dec 23, 2010 | Leviton Decora Light Dimmer Switch

1 Answer

I think I have a Leviton double pole dimmer switch. It used to operate track lighting along with an on/off light switch in the same room (different entrance). I replaced the track lighting with a fan...


You mention a dimmer and a 2nd on-off switch.
You purchased a 'double pole' switch which I believe is a 3-way switch.

3-way switch has 3 screws (plus ground screw which will not be mentioned further)
3 screws on 3-way switch = one is dark colored, and 2 are brass colored.

You can guess. There are only 3 wires and you can keep trying different combination until both switches work. Do not change wiring on 2nd switch and sooner or later the right combination will appear.

On the other hand, electricians test wires using ordinary tester, before connecting anything.
If you want to test, it takes 3 ez steps.

Here's what I would do.
1) Look at wiring on 2nd switch.
Notice switch has 1 dark screw and 2 brass screws.
If you can identify the two wires on the brass colored screws, these are the 'travelers' and same two wires connect to brass colored screws on new switch. And then last wire connects to dark colored screw.

2) You have noted the wires carefully on dimmer, so remove dimmer, and separate wires for testing.
2nd switch is moved to down position.
We are NOT going to test wires on 2nd switch.
We are just testing wires at old dimmer.
Turn on power.

Power is on.
2nd switch is in down position.
Test each wire to bare ground wire.
One and only one wire will light up the tester.
Mark this wire.

3) Change 2nd switch, and move 2nd switch to up position.
Test each wire again to bare ground wire.
Again only one wire will light up tester.
Mark this wire.
If same wire lights up tester each time, then this is the Hot wire and it connects to new switch dark screw. And the other two wires go to brass colored screws.
If a different wire lights up each time, then these two wires are 'travellers' and they connect to each brass colored screw. And the last wire connects to dark colored screw.

Dec 16, 2010 | Electrical Supplies

1 Answer

I have a 3 way fan light switch but wires don't match the colors on my hamton bay fan what wires go where i have a black wire and a brown wire and a grey wire on the switch in the hamton bay i bought...


It takes 2 testers.
699b7e0.jpg regular tester

c7b2876.jpg
Continuity tester has battery and light bulb.

Use regular tester to find Hot wire that feeds old-switch.
Remove old-switch from fan
Strip back wires
Separate wires so they can be tested.
Turn on power.
Test each wire to bare copper wire -or- to green wire -or- to metal part of fan
One of the fan wires will light up tester.
This is the Hot wire.
Mark Hot wire.
Mark which color wire on old-switch went to the hot wire.

Use continuity tester on old-switch.
You know which wire is hot-on-old-switch
Pull chain and test hot-on-old-switch to both of the other wires.
When tester lights up, mark this wire.
Pull chain again and test hot-on-old-switch to both of the other wires.
When tester lights up, mark this wire.
At some point when you pull the chain, the tester will light up both the other wires.
This is the high speed.

Use continuity tester on new-switch.
Repeat the test for old-switch.
Identify which wire will be the Hot wire by process of elimination.
Mark this wire.
Identify high-speed wire.
Pull chain again, and tester lights up on medium speed.
Pull chain again, and tester lights up on low speed
Identify these wires and match pattern to the old-switch

If you need more help, add a comment, and I will answer

Oct 29, 2010 | Westinghouse Electric Ceiling Fan 3-way...

1 Answer

Need a replacement, where do I get one?


If I understand correctly you have a 3-speed fan.
And you need a 3-speed replacement pull-chain-type switch

Lowes carries 3 speed fan switches in the light fixture department.
These switches have multiple wires.
At any given time, there is one-and-only-one wire that connects to power from wall switch.
Lets call this the Power wire.
As you pull the chain, the power passes through the switch and goes to one-and-only-one of the other wires.
The other wires connect to windings in the motor.
The different motor windings control fan speed.

The key to replacing the switch is recording where each wire went before you disconnect old switch.
Once you know which of these wires is the Power wire, then you can test other wires with a continuity tester.
You also know the pull-chain sequence is OFF - HIGH - Medium - Low
Mark wires in fan and mark wires on old switch.
Pull out old switch.
Use regular electrical tester to find which wire in the fan is the power wire (separate wires, turn on power and test each wire to metal part of fan)
Now test the switch wires.
The switch is out of the fan.
You marked the wires so you know which wire is power wire.
Put the continuity tester on the power wire.
Test power wire to each of the other wires.
Click the switch and test to each of the other wires. Mark which wire lights up continuity tester.
Click the switch and test again. Mark which wire lights up continuity tester.
Click again, until each wire is marked in the sequence.
When you click the switch and no wire lights up, then that is the Switch OFF position.
Do the same test on the new pull-chain switch.
Connect the wires to match your testing.
78532d3.jpg

Oct 25, 2010 | Westinghouse Electric Westinghouse...

1 Answer

Installing a 7 day digital wall timer


Swylite LST100 timer has 4 wires. Red, Blue, Black, White
Timer has more wires than wall switch because timer has electric clock inside. And with + series Swylite timer, it also has led bulb that needs power.

Timer can replace ordinary on-off switch
-On-off switch has 2 screws, so 2 wires (plus ground wire) connect to on-off switch
-Three of the four timer wires are used when replacing on-off switch
-Red wire is not used, it is capped off

Timer can replace 3-way switch
-Three way switch has 3 screws, so 3 wires (plus ground wire) connect to 3-way switch
-One of the screws on 3-way switch is colored dark (it is crucial to identify the wire that comes off dark screw so timer can be wired correctly)

Lets replace on-off switch see diagram
Timer black goes to Hot wire
Timer blue goes to Load (light, fan, motor)
Timer white goes to Neutral
Timer red is capped off.

How to check which wire is Hot, Neutral and Load
Switch you are replacing has 2 wires > one is Hot, the other goes to Load
Remove these two wires. Separate wires so you can test. Turn on power. Tape tester leads to wood sticks so hands are away from power. Test each wire to bare copper wire.
When tester lights up >> that is Hot wire >> please connect this wire to Timer black wire
The other wire goes to Load >> please connect this wire to Timer blue wire.
Now test for Neutral. Test Hot wire to other wires inside box. Neutral should be white. When tester lights up, that is Neutral. Please connect Timer white wire to neutral. IF YOU DO NOT have a neutral, you can connect Timer white to bare ground wire until you have time to drop a Neutral into the box.

Replace a 3-way switch see diagram
Three-way switch has 3 wires.
Identify which wire connects to Dark screw on switch >> and then please connect this wire to Timer Black wire.
Timer white wire connects to Neutral
Timer blue and red wires connect to other two wires that came off switch ... they connect to either one.

Oct 01, 2010 | Solar Ivory Swylite Lst100+ Back-lit...

1 Answer

I have an ST01 timer that I want to place in a three way circuit that appears to be different than that shown in the directions. My circuit has power (black/white/ground) coming into switch 1 with a three...


One caveat of most In-Wall electronic switches/timers is that the device _must_ be installed at the switch box that has the power, in your case switch #1. In order to install it at switch #2, in your case, you need an extra wire between the switches (to carry the HOT wire), and unfortunately, the bare ground(ing) wire is not permitted to be used to carry current per National Electric Code (NEC).

In your case the wiring for the ST01 is as follows:

Switch box #1: Connect the incoming White wire to the White wire in the 3-wire cable that goes to switch box #2. Connect the incoming (Black) HOT wire to the Black wire on the switch/timer. Connect the Red wire in the 3-wire cable to the Red wire on the switch/timer. Connect the Black wire in the 3-wire cable to the blue wire on the switch/timer. Connect the green wire on the switch/timer to the 2 bare ground(ing) wires. If you have a metal box this connection should also have a pigtail that connects to the box with a green ground screw.

Switch box #2: Remove all of the existing wires from the 3-way switch. The three-way switch will have 2 screws the same color (usually black) and 1 screw (usually brass). For this scenario, one of the black screws will _not_ be used.

Connect the Black wire in the 3-wire cable coming from switch #1, the Black wire going to the lights, and a short Black pigtail together under one wirenut. The pigtail is then connected to the brass screw on the 3-way switch. The Red wire in the 3-wire cable coming from switch #1 is connected to one of the 2 black screws on the 3-way switch (pick one).

In effect you are installing a single switch at switch box #2. In fact, you can use a regular single pole switch if you want too.

To finish, connect the White wire in the 3-wire cable coming from switch #1 to the White wire going to the lights.

Grounding is the same as switch #1 except you'll need a pigtail to connect to the green screw on the 3-way switch.

That's it. You may want to check the battery compartment in the switch/timer, as sometimes they put in a pullout plastic tab to keep it from being energized until needed.

Now, the E1210 is a different animal, and can only be used to replace a single pole switch. You could use it by basically passing the power through to switch box #2 from switch box #1 and then cover switch box #1 with a blank plate. The ST01 could be used that way too, in which case the black on the device connects to the hot, the blue to the lights, and the red on the device is not used, nor will the Red wire in the 3-wire cable between the switch boxes be used.

Sep 11, 2010 | Intermatic EI210 Electronic Auto Shutoff...

1 Answer

2-wire pull chain switch wiring in a ceiling fan light kit


If you removed a switch there should be two wires. Connect one of the wires to each of the switch wires or screws. good luck

Jan 21, 2009 | Solar 2-wire Pull Chain Light Switch For...

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