Home>Discussions>ELECTRICAL & LIGHTING>Help Request - replacing a switch
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Help Request - replacing a switch

Hello, Im new to the boards but a long time viewer

Im having trouble after replacing a switch.

There was an existing swtich, a sliding dimmer, that I wanted to replace. Coming out of the slider there was three wires, two solid copper wires, and one stranded wire that was connected directly to the box. There is also another switch in the same box, it operates an exterior light, and I believe it is on a separate breaker. I replaced this switch, from an older simple on/off to a new one, simply to match the other new switch, and this light is still operational.

After replacing the switch with a new, regular on/off switch, the light doesn't work. Originally I had only connected the two wires (no ground) to the switch. After finding out the light didn't work, I attached a ground from the switch directly to the box. Still no luck.

Also, I tried switching the new switch with one that I know works, so I can eliminate a bad switch as the culprit. I had also switched the hot/neutral's on the switch (in an act of desperation).

After all this, I reverted back to the way it was before we started. I put the old slider back in, and reattached the stranded wire directly to the box. Still no luck.

I am not exactly sure where to go from here, so I am putting out a call for help from you all. Any advise or ideas are greatly appreciated, thanks!

Timothy Miller
Re: Help Request - replacing a switch

Howdy. This might be way simple... Check the bulb it might of burned out. Check the breaker that operates this circuit.

Re: Help Request - replacing a switch

Thanks for the quick reply.

When replacing the switch, I also wanted to switch to some efficient bulbs. Also, when troubleshooting the problem, I reverted back to the old bulbs to see if maybe the fixture didn't like the new bulbs. Breakers seem to be in working order, I switched the whole house off when I did this, and none of the breakers tripped in the process. Every other outlet/light works except this one.


Re: Help Request - replacing a switch

I feel like an idiot!

Thank you Tim!

I realized that when I replaced the new energy efficient with the old bulb as a trial, I must have picked out an burnt out bulb!

I just went over and replaced the burnt bulb with another one I had laying around, and it works!! I have been stressing about this for two weeks now, and I cant believe that it was something as simple as that...

Now, my question is, why wont the energy efficient bulbs work with this fixture? They are the smaller sized bulb with the mini-pendant socket, and I thought I picked out the right bulb. Is it possible to get efficient bulbs that might work???

Thank you again Tim, you made a light bulb go on for me (literally and figuratively) !

Timothy Miller
Re: Help Request - replacing a switch

Howdy- you are welcome! Glad it was not a biggie repair. The bulbs should work if they are the fixture size- fit the socket. Some if CFL take a few seconds to start up. Or if in a cold area below 15* will not work. Have a splendid day.

Re: Help Request - replacing a switch

Lint, not all dimmers work with CFL's and not all CFL's work with dimmers.

Replace the bulb w/ a standard incandescent if it works OK try get a dimmable CFL. Still no luck replace the dimmer w/ one made for your new dimmable CFL.

When done you will have a very limited range of dimming and will have spent about $50

Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
Maurice Turgeon, http://thesemi-retiredelectrician.com

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