I am attempting to install a dimmer switch and a separate 3-way rotary fan control switch. The task seems simple enough match wire for wire right? Well Murphy's law has intervened and now I need help.
I opened the double panel and removed the old fan switch. When I did this a black wire popped out before I could see what it was attached to.
The fan switch itself still had 3 wires connected to it: the bare copper ground wire and two black wires so I attempted to install the new control switch.
When I turned the main power back on neither the new fan switch nor the old light switch (which I had not touched at that time) worked.
Thinking that it might help if I could get the new dimmer switch wired and working I removed the old light switch. The switch only had 2 wires connected: a red one and the bare copper ground wire.
At this point I'm thinking the black wire that popped out be must missing from the light switch. I pulled it from the box in order to attach it and the entire wire came out of the wall.
Now this errant black wire is stripped at both ends. So now I do not know if it was ever connected to anything in the box.
In summary, my switch box contains two black wires, one red wire, several capped bare copper wires, one bare copper wire attached to the fan switch and one to the light, and two capped white wires.
Needless to say I have stopped all work.
Is there any way for me to tell what this loose wire is for?
Is it possible for my light switch to only have had the one red wire.
How can I tell if I have all the wires (for both the lights and the fan) going to the correct switch.
Can anyone help with this or is it time to admit defeat and call a professional?
PS Yes, this is, my first attempt at an electrical project.
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