Most of the wiring in the house is daisy chained, meaning one switch has the wires to go to the next. One failure and everything down the line dies. I say this for information in case it is relevant.
Anyway, I am trying to install some X10 switches (not those nasty cameras, the remote controlled light/electrical/etc devices) in the place of my standard toggle switches. The problem is, that each time I do this, I lose something. On a downstairs light switch, I lost the outlet below the switch. On the upstairs light switch, I lost the bathroom light.
The wiring on the existing toggle switches is as follows - 3 wires:
* One wire going into the push hole in the top rear
* One wire going into the push hole in the bottom rear
* At least one wire being wrapped around the screw on the left of the switch.
This last wire is different in place to place. Downstairs (where I lost the electrical socket), there was just 1 wire going to the screw. Upstairs (where I lost the bathroom light), there were 2 wires going to the screw.
The X10 switch is different. It has 3 wires. The instructions say that the red wire is for 3 way switches and should be capped off if this is not a 3 way switch (it is not). Then there are a black and a blue wire. When I hook that switch up, it works just fine - but I lose those other connections. Right now I have replaced the original switches and all is working again.
That's the story. I really want to install the X10 switches, but something is going on. Switching the black and blue wires does not change anything, so it is that darn wire (or wires) going to the screw on the side of the light switch.
So I have 3 questions which I hope can be answered:
1) What does this screw do?
2) Why would other things would stop working, even when only 1 wire goes to the screw?
3) Is there any way for me to get the X10 in there given this wiring?
PLEASE HELP - I am going nuts.