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Forum topic by Rob posted 11-12-2017 10:23 PM 523 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Rob

316 posts in 3010 days


11-12-2017 10:23 PM

I know this is not woodworking related so please forgive me but hopefully someone can help me with this. Feel free to PM me if that would be more appropriate. My Sister-In-Laws husband wired this 20 years ago and he has since passed away. The double switch on the right side failed and needs to be replaced and she can’t afford to hire an electrician. Someone from where she works looked at it and wasn’t able to figure things out but disconnected all the wires and this is what I’m left with. There is one 2 wire Hot lead coming into the box that I tested with a meter, another 2 wire piece of romex and a 3 wire piece of romex. To make matters worse, nothing is marked but those other wires have to lead to the lights and fan. I just don’t know which wires go where. All neutral wires are twisted together and wire nutted. Two of the ground wires I assume were connected to the ground screws on the switches because they have been bent at the end of two of them to go around the screws, while the third ground wire is twisted around one of the others. My problem is my Sister-In-Law explained to me that the switches worked according to where I’ve labeled them. Now I can’t figure out where the red wire and black wires get connected. I can’t figure out how one hot wire feeds a closet light and the ceiling fan with a light. There is no hot lead pigtail wires to branch off to both switches. Can someone with an electrical background give me some advice on how to hook this up so it works like it used to?


14 replies so far

View sras's profile

sras

4806 posts in 3152 days


#1 posted 11-12-2017 10:38 PM

Not an expert at all. I’m going to guess that the romex on the right side of your drawing goes to the closet light. I’d start with that guess and see if it works.

Then the romex on the left side of your drawing would feed the fan/light. That would explain the extra wire. One should power the fan and the other should power the light.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View richardchaos's profile

richardchaos

583 posts in 403 days


#2 posted 11-12-2017 10:45 PM

I would make sure the SWITCH is not a three way switch first. And if it suppose to b a three way that its not a standard switch. Cant tell from the plan

-- “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” ― George Orwell

View B4B's profile

B4B

162 posts in 1381 days


#3 posted 11-12-2017 10:51 PM

As long as these are not three way switches and power is fed from the switch box to the fixtures and are not switch loops.

The 14/3 probably feeds the fan. The red and black are hots, one would power the light and the other would power the fan. Trial and error.

The 14/2 thats not hot probably feeds the closet light.

Then there is the 14/2 hot.

Keep neutrals wire nutted.
Grounds Should all be connected and then attached to each switch.
2 or 3 pigtails off the hot black one each to the line side of the switches (if the double switch is fed from one hot then you only need 2 pigtails.)

Load side is the black, red, black from each of the non-hot wires.

Hook it all up and hope it works.

Any pictures from before you started for reference?
Are you sure the switch is faulty and not something else?

-- There's two routers in my vocab, one that moves data and one that removes wood, the latter being more relevant on this forum.

View Nick424's profile

Nick424

94 posts in 663 days


#4 posted 11-12-2017 11:03 PM

Not an electrician either, but I would put three pigtails on the black feed and run them to one side of each switch. All whites should be tied together. The black on the right goes on the closet light switch, the black on the left most likely goes to the fan light switch, and the red goes to the fan switch. grounds should tie together and go to the two ground screws.

View John_H's profile

John_H

175 posts in 1729 days


#5 posted 11-12-2017 11:06 PM

Not an electrician but I would do it something like this. (white wires wire nutted togethor and the black for the hot feed wire nutted with 3 jumpers. You may have to change the switched black and red wire to the ceiling fan/light

Power to the switches

Power to the fixtures

The ‘Hot’ black wires usually go to the gold/brass colored screws while the ‘load’ wires got to the black/silver colored screws

View Rob's profile

Rob

316 posts in 3010 days


#6 posted 11-12-2017 11:13 PM

Ok. I know these are not 3way switches. Would this work? A single feed to the double switch leaving the tab between screws in place so the current flows to both switches and then out to the other switch by a pigtail lead from one switch to the other?

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

6764 posts in 2222 days


#7 posted 11-12-2017 11:23 PM

Man… you guys are quick :)

Here is mine:

Just need to determine which wire (red or black) is the fan and which is the light… should be pretty easy though.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Rob's profile

Rob

316 posts in 3010 days


#8 posted 11-12-2017 11:40 PM



As long as these are not three way switches and power is fed from the switch box to the fixtures and are not switch loops.

The 14/3 probably feeds the fan. The red and black are hots, one would power the light and the other would power the fan. Trial and error.

The 14/2 thats not hot probably feeds the closet light.

Then there is the 14/2 hot.

Keep neutrals wire nutted.
Grounds Should all be connected and then attached to each switch.
2 or 3 pigtails off the hot black one each to the line side of the switches (if the double switch is fed from one hot then you only need 2 pigtails.)

Load side is the black, red, black from each of the non-hot wires.

Hook it all up and hope it works.

Any pictures from before you started for reference?
Are you sure the switch is faulty and not something else?

- B4B


Unfortunately, there were no pictures before. I haven’t done anything other than look at all the bare wires sticking out of the box. At least the breaker was off so no electrical hazard. Yes, the double switch is faulty. The bottom switch is loose and pretty much dangling. It appears that someone hit it causing it to break but that’s just a guess.

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

6896 posts in 3391 days


#9 posted 11-12-2017 11:50 PM

If in any doubt, you can continuity check from loads, the fan and the light, back yo the wires in the box.
It would take some long test leads and a continuity (volt/ohm) meter!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Rob's profile

Rob

316 posts in 3010 days


#10 posted 11-12-2017 11:55 PM

thanks oldnovice. I may resort to that if the advice given doesn’t solve the issue. I’m going there tomorrow to try to get things to work

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

6764 posts in 2222 days


#11 posted 11-12-2017 11:58 PM

Testing the ceiling fan light should be easy… Also, since you need to rewire anyway, I’d make the double switch dedicated to the ceiling fan – one switch for the fan, the other for the light. Then make the single switch just for the closet. Just seems more intuitive to me :)

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

9606 posts in 1509 days


#12 posted 11-13-2017 12:05 AM

Usually the black of the 14/3 is to the fan motor since the fan lead is black. Usually.

You only need two hot pigtails. The stacked switch has a tab going between the two hot screws.

There is no way there can be a proper three way with the wires you have.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Rob's profile

Rob

316 posts in 3010 days


#13 posted 11-13-2017 12:27 AM


Testing the ceiling fan light should be easy… Also, since you need to rewire anyway, I d make the double switch dedicated to the ceiling fan – one switch for the fan, the other for the light. Then make the single switch just for the closet. Just seems more intuitive to me :)

Cheers,
Brad

- MrUnix


I agree with you wholeheartedly Brad but these switches are in a bedroom for her developmentally disabled son so I have to wire it the way it was or he won’t be able to figure things out

View Rob's profile

Rob

316 posts in 3010 days


#14 posted 11-13-2017 12:28 AM


Usually the black of the 14/3 is to the fan motor since the fan lead is black. Usually.

You only need two hot pigtails. The stacked switch has a tab going between the two hot screws.

There is no way there can be a proper three way with the wires you have.

- TheFridge


That’s good to know Fridge. I’ll try the black wire for the fan first and the red wire for the light and see what happens.

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