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joewho
Premium
join:2004-08-20
Dundee, IL
Reviews:
·Comcast

[Electrical] Bathroom switch.

Backround: I replaced the b'room countertop, fixture and sink, so then wifey wants new cabinet and light. Did everything necessary to go from surface mount to recessed. I also replaced the light over the cabinet.

Issue: The switch on the wall has a gfi outlet on one side and a single switch that controls the ceiling light, fan and cabinet light all at once. I bought a double switch to replace it so I can seperate the cab. light from the ceiling fixture. The current switch has two wires running to ground and two seperate black wires to two seperate terminals. When I take one wire off the terminal, all the lights go out. I was hoping only one would go out. Came here before doing anything else.
Here is the switch I purchased:
»www.westsidewholesale.com/levito···od9BMA_g
--

we're all connected


robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1

Pics please



mattmag
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-04-09
NW Illinois
kudos:3
reply to joewho



You don't understand some basic electrical facts, and that is going to hinder your progress.

If the "two wires running to ground" are bare copper, then that is all they do; provide a ground for the switch housing. It normally should only have one connected, but it is likely being used as a splice point, which isn't the proper way of doing things.

Second, a switch does not provide a ground; it is only an on/off device, which either passes current through or does not. One of your two black wires is power coming "in" to the switch, (it will be "hot" at all times) the other is power "out". The wire going out splices into the different loads, either within that switch box (you will see a connector on the wire) or elsewhere, such as a junction box above the ceiling. If that second scenario is true, you can't easily separate the loads, it will have to be done at the junction box by running a new cable.

Best get someone there who has some better working knowledge of electrical wiring methods.



Camelot One
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-21
Greenwood, IN
kudos:2
reply to joewho

You might also make sure you didn't just remove a GFCI that is supposed to be protecting downstream outlets. (might even be in another bathroom)



nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
·surpasshosting

1 recommendation

reply to joewho

There isn't magical switch that will break up the circuit for you. Each fixture will need a separate hot conductor if you want them individually switched (e.g. new wire probably needs to be run).
You should probably strongly consider hiring an electrician.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.


joewho
Premium
join:2004-08-20
Dundee, IL
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to joewho

Click for full size
Click for full size
Thanks for your replies. Didn't do anything with gfi. I'm pulled it all and got pictures. The ground wire broke on removal, it went to the cap as well as another short piece that was attached to a screw in the box. This was an fha repo, after the last owner did a lot of his own work. Note that the ground wire came straight from the wall to switch ground terminal and there is also a ground from the gfi to the switch.
--

we're all connected

joewho
Premium
join:2004-08-20
Dundee, IL
Reviews:
·Comcast

Click for full size

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
reply to robbin

said by robbin:

Pics please

Of the switch you are taking out and clear shots of all of the wires connected to it.

joewho
Premium
join:2004-08-20
Dundee, IL
Reviews:
·Comcast

switch is in the foreground, 2 black on one side and 2 green going to one terminal on the other. There are no other terminals on the switch. GFI is in the background. Black and white wires from basement go to the gfi. Then a black wire goes from gfi to switch and the white wire goes from gfi into the wall, to the fixtures I suppose. The other black wire goes from the switch to the fixtures too.The ground looks like bare aluminum, spliced.

the ground is spliced into copper which runs to the switch and another copper jumper goes from the switch to the gfi, which doesn't seem right.
--

we're all connected


robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1

You only have one lighting circuit in that box. The only way to switch the lights separately is to pull a new wire to whichever light does not have the light wire going directly to it.


joewho
Premium
join:2004-08-20
Dundee, IL

I get the gist of it, but if the hot wire goes into the gfi and then out to the switch, how would I get two hot wires into the gfi? And what is a traveler?



nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
·surpasshosting
reply to joewho

The little aluminum bonding wires you are referring to as "ground" are actually bonding strips for the AC cable. They should have been cut off or terminated to the box when originally installed. They are only there to ensure a continuous path along the sheath of the AC cable.

Your devices should be grounded via pigtail to the box (or by using self grounding devices).

Long story short - your new switch isn't going to work. You need new wiring in order to accomplish what you want.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.


joewho
Premium
join:2004-08-20
Dundee, IL
Reviews:
·Comcast

thanks nunya. That's dissapointing news. I'm willing to do it. But shouldn't both new switches run through the gfi? I just found the black and decker wiriing guide. But it doesn't address my situation. Also, the bonding strip did go to a pigtail that attaches to the box, they just have another copper wire pigtailed in with it that grounds the gfi and switch.
Not complaining about the ground, just letting you know that it is safely grounded and I understand that I don't need the bonding strip grounded to the box.


robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
reply to joewho

said by joewho:

I get the gist of it, but if the hot wire goes into the gfi and then out to the switch, how would I get two hot wires into the gfi? And what is a traveler?

You only need one hot wire going into the GFCI. Then you pigtail two coming off of it to the two light circuits. A traveler is the extra wire or wires needed in 3 way and 4 way switch setups (more than one switch on one light circuit) going from switch to switch.

joewho
Premium
join:2004-08-20
Dundee, IL

Could I run a traveler to a fixture, using your method and leave the tab in on the 3 way switch?



nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12

Traveler has nothing to do with your setup. Forget it was ever mentioned. You are starting to confuse terminology. You do not need a 3-way switch.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.


joewho
Premium
join:2004-08-20
Dundee, IL
Reviews:
·Comcast

2 edits

Heavily edited. I guess I have 3way confused with dual rocker. Been in the attic, found the juncion box and it's all 2 wire. Is it possible to run a seperate wires from the junction to the gang box in the b'room, or are we talking new wire from the panel?

At any rate, nec doesn't usually require lighting to run through a gfi, does it?



cybersaga

join:2011-12-19
Welland, ON

You don't need another wire from the panel.

This might help: »waterheatertimer.org/images/Doub···-600.jpg

The page it's from has some good reads too (didn't read it all): »waterheatertimer.org/How-to-wire···hes.html. The picture is from where it says "Connect switch to GFCI".


joewho
Premium
join:2004-08-20
Dundee, IL
Reviews:
·Comcast

Saw that, then saw this: »www.doityourself.com/forum/elect···s.html#b, lol. I'm being forced to learn more about this quickly, and I'm glad the people here make it so. Basically, I can run another wire from the junction box in the attic from either fixture and make this all happen.



cybersaga

join:2011-12-19
Welland, ON

said by joewho:

I can run another wire from the junction box in the attic from either fixture

End state, you need a dedicated run from each switch to each fixture it's controlling.

So you need two runs: from the switches to each of the fixtures.

jkxmlr

join:2007-04-03
Freelandville, IN
reply to joewho

You bought a 3-way switch/single pole. Are any lights controlled in two locations? You needed to buy 5634.


Beezel

join:2008-12-15
Las Vegas, NV

He is right. One of those switches in the dual setup you bought is a three way switch. The other is a single switch. You need both to be single switches.


joewho
Premium
join:2004-08-20
Dundee, IL
reply to joewho

I get it now. Not sure if it has to be run through the gfci though. I thought nec says no, unless it's on a 3 way switch, at least that's what I saw in another forum.

Thanks guys.