Latest Discussions : Electrical & Lighting


06:46PM | 11/01/08
Member Since: 10/31/08
3 lifetime posts
Hi all I have a old wall switch im trying to replace with new wall Switch

Problem is the theres three wires Black,Red,White. I know that Black on Gold and White on Silver where do put the Red wire.. Thanks Bill.... ps my Eletrical skills are not the best.


07:51PM | 11/01/08
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
"I know that Black on Gold and White on Silver where do put the Red wire."

Not always true. That is for receptacles, not switches.

Is this a 3-way switch? How many terminals on it.

EXACTLY how was the old switch wired?

And other wires or cables in the box? And if so how many and what colors connect to what?


02:29AM | 11/02/08
Member Since: 10/31/08
3 lifetime posts
Here is a picture of switch
8446 wall switch


05:18AM | 11/02/08
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
Look on the new switch.

You will have a green terminal, that is for a ground. You don't have a ground wire in your older wiring leave it unused.

Then you will have 2 screws of one color, those are for the Traveler wires.

A one screw of a different color. That is the Common terminal.

This switch could be several place in the circuit (as to if it connects to the power source or if it connects to the light) and that would determine the which color is used for which. But even that minimal standard was often ignored.

Look at the old switch. See if you can determine any colors are markings that identify one terminal (the common) as being different that the other two (travelers).

If he has an ohmmeter or continuity tester after making a diagram of which wire went where and removing the switch measure the continuity between the 3 terminals. You will find 2 that have continuity.

Then flip the switch and you will hve continuity between a different pair of terminals.

One of those terminals will have continuity in both positions. That is the common terminal.

If you can't find which wire is the common then trail and error.

First try the black as the common. If that does not work the white, if that does not work then the red.

The other 2 wires connect to the travelers. It does not which connects to which terminal.

When checking if it works turn if on at the first location, then turn if off at the 2nd and then turn it back on at the first. If you can do that it is wired correctly.

If it wrong wire is selected at the common you won't have a short. It just wont' work right.

If it does not work make sure to turn the breaker back off before making a change.


06:42AM | 11/02/08
Member Since: 10/31/08
3 lifetime posts
Thanks Bill got it wired Correct

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