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Can I first connect the main power coming in to the light out to the combination switch for two different lights

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The short answer is yes. If power comes into the light box then split the power (black wire) when it goes down to the switch box.

Posted on May 02, 2015

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SOURCE: out of the light box i have three sets of wire one

you cannot cobine two hot wires to two different lights to one switch you must run each hot wire to seperate switches but the common can run to both

Posted on Sep 14, 2009

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In the kitchen I have replaced the light sockets a double inside the the main entrance & a single switch by the utility room the double switch controls the lights under the units & the main light,...


can't quite make out the question, but feel your fear-o-stick.

You have 3 way switch.
So 2 different switches control same light(s)
If this is true, then wires are reversed on one switch or the other, or both switches are wrong.

I've been there.
Copy following links to see illustration of typical 3-way switch wiring, and then lets do some testing.
http://waterheatertimer.org/images/GE-15312-3-way-circuit-600.jpg
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-wire-switches.html#3-way

Each 3-way switch has 3 screws (plus green ground screw)
We are not going to discuss the green ground screw.
Each 3-way switch has a 'common' screw. And two traveler screws.

Th common screw should be different color than other two screws.
Or there is a marking on back of device that denotes 'common.'
Please note your common screws.

Disconnect all wires from both switches.
Separate wires for testing.
Turn power ON.
Tape wood sticks to tester so hands are away from power.
Stand on dry surface or boards. Never stand on bare ground.
http://waterheatertimer.org/images/GFCI-protection-2-402.jpg

Power is ON. All 3 switch wires are separated on both switches, so you have 6 total wires to test.
Test each wire to bare ground wire.
One and only one wire will test for live power to ground.
This is Hot wire, and it will connect to 'common' screw.
Other two wires will connect to two traveler screws.
Switch #1 is done.

Turn power ON again. Three wires are still separated on second switch.
At second switch, test each wire to bare ground. Note which wire shows power. This is a traveler wire.
Go back to first switch and flip the switch other direction.
Repeat test at second switch. Note which wire shows power. This is also a traveller wire.
There should be 2 traveler wires.
Connect these two wires to the screws that are NOT common.
Other wire connects to 'common' screw.

ADD A COMMENT for more help.

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1 Answer

I have a light switch in my apartment that controls both the light in the kitchen and power to both sockets of a dual outlet. How do I adjust the wiring so that the outlet is always powered? The wiring...


This is not good wiring option. It is not good to have light and outlet on the same switch without different fuse. I suggest to insert another little switch on light connection. Than you can have control of both. Or you must find main phase (hot wire) inside switch box. This will be always on for tester when you try different switch position. When you find this main (hot) wire, you disconnect one of another two wire (after you disconnect power), than give power on and test light and socket (one of them will not work). If this is outlet, you must connect this wire to main (hot) one. Don't work when power on. Just test it with tester, and than disconnect when you change position of wire.
Good luck and be careful!

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Don't break away the tab.
It sounds like you have Hot wire connected to wrong side of device.

Electricians don't guess, they test.
Separate wires. Turn power ON.
Test each wire to bare ground.
Tester lights up on Hot wire.

Hot connects to brass screw(s). This will feed power into each switch.
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Don't hardwire the disposal. That's against plumbing and electrical code. House will not pass inspection.

That being said.
Electricians don't guess, they test.

Note which wires were connected on same screw.
Do not untwist any wires..
Separate individual wires for testing.
Turn power ON.
Test each wire to bare ground wire.
Tester lights up on Hot wire. Hot connects to Brass screw on ordinary receptacle.
Hot is identified.
Test Hot to each other wire, except bare ground.
Tester lights up on Neutral. Neutral connects to Silver screw on ordinary receptacle.

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I think you have your wires connected to wrong screw.

Wiring devices have screws that are color-coded as you noticed.
The Hot wire from breaker connects to dark colored screw(s).
The wires to Load (ceiling light-outdoor light) connect to brass screws.

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By two wires if you mean just a black and white wire then this is a switch leg and you cannot use this switch at this location. All you have here is the power coming in on the black wire an leaving on the white wire. The switch just breaks the flow of electricity. An outlet cannot be used here because there is no neutral wire. This is how a switch leg is wired. a8179fb.png
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