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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    7

    Default electrical switch

    I replaced a single pole paddle light switch. I replaced wire for wire and now the light is on all the time. It won't shut off. I even switched them just in case I screwed up. It still won't shut off. I then bought a new switch. Accidently I bought a 3 way switch. I know I don't need a 3-way switch, but just to see if it would work I hooked it up. The switch still stay on. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Happy New Year.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    7,032

    Default Re: electrical switch

    Describe the wires in the box around the switch and attached to the switch.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: electrical switch

    There are only 2 wires in the box. 1-black and 1-blue. I have the black attached at the top and the blue wire on the bottom.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    69

    Smile Re: electrical switch

    Tract the wires, to see if you can find out where they go. Could be that the other end of that feed wire is hooked up incorrectly, too, resulting in 2 hot wires. Get your tester, and see which wires are hot. Always remember, black wires are attached to the copper colored screw, while the white is the neutral, attaching to the silver screw. Since you said you have a black and a blue wire, only, something sounds fishy to me. By all measn find where those wires are attached.

    If there are more switches or outlets in the room, check to see if all of them are hooked correctly. I ran into this problem when I was doing some interior painting work on another home. It was only 4 years old !!! The ceiling fan would always stay on, no matter where the switch was placed. After investigating with my tester, I found out the wires were incorrectly attached at another box. There are too many "fly by night" electrical people around today, always thinking they know everything. In the case I found, nothing was hooked according to code, resulting in lots of switches in the house not working properly. The previous owners apparently though that was how it was supposed to work. Never did discover who the person was who replaced something, but it was not correct. A good tester is your cheapest investment.

    You do not need a 3-way switch, unless there are two switches for the same light. Then, you must have a 3-way switch. Since you only have the 2 wires, something must be wrong at the other end of them. Was something replaced elsewhere on this circuit? Does this circuit not have a ground wire? If this is old, old wiring, it probably did not have a ground wire.

    I know, this is kinda long, but, just trying to help. Having several uncles as electricians, I have learned alot over the years.

    Good luck.

    woodworker08@gmail.com

    Last edited by reenieandrod; 01-01-2010 at 08:46 AM. Reason: added note about wire coloring

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    693

    Default Re: electrical switch

    Quote Originally Posted by reenieandrod View Post
    Tract the wires, Always remember, black wires are attached to the copper colored screw, while the white is the neutral, attaching to the silver screw. Since you said you have a black and a blue wire, only, something sounds fishy to me.

    woodworker08@gmail.com

    On a switch? You have got to be kidding me!

  6. #6

    Default Re: electrical switch

    Not sure what you mean by paddle light switch. Going to guess you meant you recently installed a ceiling paddle fan with a light where a light only or fan only used to be, or where you had a paddle fan & light and the switch controlled the light and you controlled the operation of the paddle fan using its pull chain.

    If that is the case, most such devices have to have a wiring alteration in the paddle fan/light, which will be described in the instructions, if desiring to control only the light with a switch on the wall, and to wire the fan to an always on condition, and then using the pull chain at the fan to control fan on, speeds, and off. Some of these devices come out of the box set up to control with two indepedent wall switches, some come set up out of the box set up to be wired always on and controlled by their own two integral pull chain switches; either way most require following the instructions to adapt how the item comes out of the box to allow for always on for the fan - to be controlled by its integral pull chain switch and for the light to be controlled by a hard wired wall switch.

    Would you please explain what the situation is and what you mean, it would help to answer you with information that might actually help instead of guessing, having to assume, and probably just confusing you.

    Next cavaet - if you don't know what you're doing, hiring someone who does might be a good idea.


    First off what prompted you to replace the switch? Did the original seem to stop working or was it to change the color or style of switch on the wall?

    If stopped working, did this follow recent work Such as a replacement of the device you're looking to control with the switch?

    Does this device have a pull chain or switch control on IT?

    Is this a combination light and fan device?

    I am guessing first that there was a change up in the box at the ceiling and your goof is first up there - it is likely power from the panel at the ceiling box and you've wired the device to an always on position or goofed up a jumper or pigtail.

    Just guesses but without info and pics or diagram can't help you further.

    It is pretty easy to verify a spst switch is working, but you need some idea how it works to do so. Someone already has posted dangerously wrong information on how a switch loop is wired.

    A switch loop does not use a neutral - it is fed by a hot and the switch interupts the hot supply to the item being worked (light, fan, etc.). The branch circuit neutral is at the item being worked - NOT the SWITCH (it might feed through the switch box but is NOT connected to the switch). It is possible to use a white insulated wire contained in a cable assembly in a switch loop, the rules are specific, not always were followed - and often done incorrectly, and for many years have required reidentification - which may not have been done or fallen off like old tape, a tag, or faded like marker. A 120v switch loop should never be interupting a neutral. If someone who doesn't know what their doing or what they are talking about did or directed the project unknown what hazards you might encounter.
    Last edited by Moon Over My Hammy; 01-01-2010 at 01:07 PM.

  7. #7

    Thumbs down Re: electrical switch

    Quote Originally Posted by reenieandrod View Post
    Tract the wires, to see if you can find out where they go. Could be that the other end of that feed wire is hooked up incorrectly, too, resulting in 2 hot wires. Get your tester, and see which wires are hot. Always remember, black wires are attached to the copper colored screw, while the white is the neutral, attaching to the silver screw. Since you said you have a black and a blue wire, only, something sounds fishy to me. By all measn find where those wires are attached.

    If there are more switches or outlets in the room, check to see if all of them are hooked correctly. I ran into this problem when I was doing some interior painting work on another home. It was only 4 years old !!! The ceiling fan would always stay on, no matter where the switch was placed. After investigating with my tester, I found out the wires were incorrectly attached at another box. There are too many "fly by night" electrical people around today, always thinking they know everything. In the case I found, nothing was hooked according to code, resulting in lots of switches in the house not working properly. The previous owners apparently though that was how it was supposed to work. Never did discover who the person was who replaced something, but it was not correct. A good tester is your cheapest investment.

    You do not need a 3-way switch, unless there are two switches for the same light. Then, you must have a 3-way switch. Since you only have the 2 wires, something must be wrong at the other end of them. Was something replaced elsewhere on this circuit? Does this circuit not have a ground wire? If this is old, old wiring, it probably did not have a ground wire.

    I know, this is kinda long, but, just trying to help. Having several uncles as electricians, I have learned alot over the years.

    Good luck.

    woodworker08@gmail.com

    This wrong information does not help anyone. Dangerously wrong information.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,387

    Default Re: electrical switch

    Quote Originally Posted by susieski View Post
    I replaced a single pole paddle light switch. I replaced wire for wire and now the light is on all the time. It won't shut off. I even switched them just in case I screwed up. It still won't shut off. I then bought a new switch. Accidently I bought a 3 way switch. I know I don't need a 3-way switch, but just to see if it would work I hooked it up. The switch still stay on. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Happy New Year.
    Why did you replace the switch to begin with? If you did not replace the three way with a single pull switch you need to first then see if it still stays on....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    693

    Default Re: electrical switch

    Will call the hand and say it is pure BS.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,796

    Default Re: electrical switch

    Quote Originally Posted by susieski View Post
    I replaced a single pole paddle light switch. I replaced wire for wire and now the light is on all the time. It won't shut off. I even switched them just in case I screwed up. It still won't shut off. I then bought a new switch. Accidently I bought a 3 way switch. I know I don't need a 3-way switch, but just to see if it would work I hooked it up. The switch still stay on. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Happy New Year.
    A single pole switch basically shorts the two wires together or disconnects them. It doesn't matter which screw which wire goes on. A 3-way can be used as a single pole switch and preform the same function. It would appear you have not furnished us with all the pertinent information. Disconnect one of the wires from the switch and turn on the power. If the light is still on then it is not the switch.
    Jack

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

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