If you have one of these, you may have fastened the fan and light to separate the Switches. Now, they would like to operate both of the same Switch. This detail greatly simplifies the electrical procedure you are about to Undertake. If the light and fan are separate accessories, you are going to have to run a short length of cable through the attic to connect them. Turn off the switch that controls the light and fan circuit. This is the most important part of any domestic wiring procedure. Even after turning off the circuit breaker, it is still a good idea to use a voltage checker to test the cable connections before working with them.
There are three basic types of light switches used in the home: single-pole, 3-way, and 4-way switches. The single-pole switch is used when one or more lights are to be controlled from a single location. The 3-way switch is used in pairs when one or more lights are to be controlled from two locations. The 4-way switch is used in combinations with two 3-way switches when one or more lights are to be controlled from three or more locations. The terminology used with these switches may sound daunting but the actual wiring is straight-forward and simple.
Turn off the circuit breaker supplying power to the switch circuit that you will be working on. Check the wires in the device box with the non-contact voltage detector.
The non-contact voltage tester will beep loudly if there is still voltage present in the box and remain silent if the circuit is safe to work on. The black wires running to the two separate light fixtures are each connected to one of the switches.
Wiring a Double Switch
The source neutral and ground wires are spliced to the wires running directly to each light fixture box. This diagram shows two switches in the same box with a separate volt source feeding each. Three-wire cable is supplying the source for the switches and the black and red wires are each connected to one switch.
The black wire from each light is connected to one of the switches and the source neutral and ground are shared by the two light fixtures. In this diagram, a light switch and receptacle are wired in the same box. Both devices are spliced to the same hot source. The neutral is spliced with a pigtail to the neutral terminal on the receptacle and to the white wire running through to the neutral at the light fixture located in a separate box. This diagram illustrates a switch and receptacle in the same outlet box located in the middle of the circuit.
This wiring allows the electricity to continue from the receptacle, on to any other outlets in the circuit and it provides a switch for controlling a light fixture or other load such as another wall outlet or a ceiling fan. In this diagram, a switch and receptacle outlet are installed in the same box and the switch controls the power to the outlet.
The hot source connects to one terminal on the switch and the other terminal connects to the hot on the receptacle with a short wire. The neutral wire from the source connects directly to the outlet neutral and the switch and outlet share the source ground.
It's common to describe household wall receptacles that are wired together using the device terminals as wired in series. But, in fact, all household receptacles are always wired in parallel, and never in series.
In a series circuit, current must pass through a load at each device.
The load itself conducts current down the line to the subsequent loads in the circuit. A series circuit will drop use some voltage at each load until it dwindles to an insufficient level at some point down the line. If wall receptacle circuits operated like that, you wouldn't be able to plug an appliance in down stream from another appliance in the same circuit because the voltage wouldn't be sufficient to run it.
And if the appliance in the first receptacle shorted out or failed in some other way, it would interrupt the current to the other outlets in the circuit. Household circuits don't operate like that, you have a consistent average of volt at each receptacle, no matter how many loads you have on the circuit. By contrast, switches and circuit breakers are wired in series. For example, you might want to turn on a bathroom light separately from the ceiling fan.
To wire a double switch, you'll need to cut the power, remove the old switch, then feed and connect the wires into the double switch fixture. Though it is not difficult to wire a double switch, careful attention to safety is crucial to prevent injury.
Note: This article only describes installing the switch itself, not rewiring two conjoined feeds that need to be separated. If you are trying to separate two lights that use the same wiring, as opposed to two already separate sources, you will likely need a trained electrician.
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Related Articles. Co-authored by 8 contributors Community of editors, researchers, and specialists March 29, References. Part 1 of Cut the power to the room you're working in.
Head to your circuit breaker and turn off the flow of electricity in the room you are working.
Usually the correct circuit is labeled, but if it is not you should turn off all the power in order to be safe. You should still wear gloves and grounded, rubber soled shoes in order to be safe while working.
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Use a voltage detector to ensure that there is no power coming to the wall. Touch the device to the old light switch or any exposed wires to ensure that there is no power coming to the wall. Some contractors will lump certain rooms together when wiring, meaning that a nearby bathroom that you thought was turned off could have several wires hooked up to the bedroom fuse.
Simply touch the end of the detector to the light fixture in several places. If the detector light turns on, then power is still running to the switch. You can never be too careful when working with electricity. Unscrew the old switch and pull it off the wall. Remove both screws and set them aside for later. Pull off the fixture gingerly, removing it from the small switch box embedded in the wall.
There should be three or four wires attached to screws on the switch, though they are usually not labeled. You will need to find out which wire is which through some simple tests later on. The feed is a hot wire, meaning it is always running with electricity.
This wire sends electricity to the switch, which then controls whether or not to send electricity to the light, fan, etc.
They are often, but not always, red or black, and on the side with a small metal tab, or fin. There will be two neutral wires connecting to your two appliances, and each one will correspond to a switch on your double-switch when you are done. They are often, but not always, white. The grounding wire, which is often green, yellow, or bare copper, and is attached to a green screw, helps to protect the switch and your house from an electrical short.
Because it was not legally required in all houses for a period of time, some switches may not have grounding wires. Take a picture of the current fixture for future reference.
Nov 17, Connect a light and a fan to a new switch. Locate the switch cable, which must be glued through the top or side of the box that serves the fan or the Light. Using wire strippers, peel an inch of insulation from the end of the black and white Wires. Connect the black fan cable together with the black light wire and the black switch wire, and. How to Hook Up a Home Light Switch. There are three basic types of light switches used in the home: single-pole, 3-way, and 4-way switches. The single-pole switch is used when one or more lights. Connecting up a double switch light is essentially the same as connecting up a single switch light. Pick up the hot feed wire with some pliers and using your screwdriver join it to the hot connection on the double switch light. Once you have connected the hot feed, the black and red wires that are connected to the light need to be attached to.
If you're not an experienced electrician, take a quick picture of the fixture to determine how the wires are placed. You could also draw a simple diagram. Note each wire and the location it is attached.
Unscrew and detach all of the wires from the old switch. The wires are held in place by screws, often called "terminals. To remove the wires, unscrew the screws and pull the wire off of the body of the screw. If you can keep the wire bent into its current shape it may be easier to attach later.
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You should have 3 or 4 exposed wires coming out of the switch box. Carefully note and separate any conjoined wires. This is likely how two lights or appliances have been run to the same switch.
One of the wires, for example, might be for your fan, and the other for the light. These two conjoined wires are wrapped or joined at the terminal, and wrapped around the same screw.
They are likely your two feed wires, and will need to be installed on separate terminals later on. Part 2 of Ensure that none of the wires are touching metal.
You're going to need to test the wires now, and if they are touching the metal switch box or the walls you could cause a short.