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Jason
Jason, Service Technician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4278
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience in all types of installations, troubleshooting, and repairs.
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Problem: Kitchen lighting. I have a 2 switch wall plate....1

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Problem:
Kitchen lighting.
I have a 2 switch wall plate....1 switch controls a fan & fan light. The other (right hand) switch controls the main over head light.
The house is all wired with 12 ga copper.
The r/h switch is faulty. I have made several trips on Home Depot, Lowes,etc.
The problem is this: the r/h switch has 3 wires...all black. the top-wire is connected to the left-hand switch ...and I assume this is the ON pole. The bottom part of the switch has 1 black wire to the post, 1 black wire to the push-in-slot in the back.

No one carries this old style of switch....the only push-in-switches I can find are for 14 ga wire.
I bought a new 12 ga light switch....it has only 2 posts....no push-in slots at all.

How do I install the new light switch?
Marc

Jason :

Hi Marc. Welcome to Just Answer.

Jason :

This won't be terribly difficult.

Jason :

Just to verify... do you already know where each wire goes? Is it not so much that you need help figuring out which wire goes where, as it is that you need to know how to get the switch to accept two wires in the same location?

Jason :

If you just need to know how to reference two wires to the same point on the switch, please proceed as follows...

Jason :

Bring the ends of those two wires together. Take another short piece of wire (6" or so), and splice one end of it to the two wires that need to go to the same location on the switch.

Jason :

That will give you 3 wires in one wire nut - the two wires in the box, and a third, short "jumper" wire.

Customer:

Jason

Jason :

The other end of the short piece can now be connected to the switch. Ideally, it should be curled around the side screw. Even if it would fit in the push-in hole on the back, I wouldn't recommend connecting that way.

Customer:

My attempt was to do that using a the newer push-in wire connector. I connected the 2 bottom

Jason :

OK

Customer:

wires into the connector, then a jumper wire from the switch bottom-side post. The light came on....but stayed ON when I turned the switch off.!

Jason :

OK, that sounds like the switched hot that goes up to the light fixture is tied in with the constantly hot supply wire that feeds the switch. That's usually a matter of just having a couple of wires mixed up.

Jason :

Normally, with the setup you have, the constantly hot wire would have a second wire with it, and the switched hot would be on the other end of the switch by itself.

Jason :

You have a single pole switch, not a 3 way, so that makes things a little easier. The only time we'd see a second wire tied in with the switched hot is if the switch controls more than one fixture, and the wires from each fixture are brought back to the switch, instead of fixture to fixture.

Customer:

OK....do you have time for me to try your suggestion? It will take a minutes.

Jason :

Sure. I'll keep an eye out for your reply.

Customer:

OK...I can send you a pic of the current setup....do you want this?

Jason :

Probably not necessary.

Customer:

OK. This setup showed me the dining room light goes on/off but the kitchen light stays ON!

Jason :

The switched hot for the kitchen light must be tied in with the constantly hot feed wire. If you don't mind, go ahead and post your photo(s). It may help in getting this resolved more quickly.

Jason :

Do you mind if I step away for 10 minutes while you upload the photos?

Customer:

no problem.

Customer:

Jason...with your help...I got it working. The pigtail works. Now, can I substitute a push-ni

Customer:

sorry....can I use a pushin connector in lieu of the ' 3wire' twist? 3wire 12ga is not east to work with.

Jason :

Sorry for the delay. Any type of connector you are able to get working is fine.

Customer:

Jason...THANKS for the help. I will rate you as EXCELLENT...and would like to offer a bonus to you...how can I do this?

Jason :

I really appreciate that. There should be a button on the screen you can click to add a bonus.

Jason :

You may not see it until you rate my service.

Jason :

I know the customer experience is different than the experts', relative to what is shown on the screen.

Customer:

Good night...and I cannot say Thank you enough!

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