Dual toggle switch - did I kill it?
OK, so I'm going to quickly prove that I'm not an electrician.
I was told that the Leviton switch for my light / disposal was obsolete and finding a plate would be difficult, so I opted to replace it.
I turned off the power, put in the toggle, then turned the power back on and flipped the switch (using insultated pliers). There was a big flash and sparks shot out, then it died. I went downstairs and saw that two circuits had tripped.
OK, so that explained why I had two black wires. I then found out that one of the blacks went to a circuit for my dishwasher and the other was a different circuit. I removed the dishwasher circuit wire from the toggle and hooked it up so that the garbage disposal and the light are on the same circuit. I capped and taped the other black wire.
Last night i noticed some funny things. The dishwasher made new sounds. The cordless phone charger station died. And the light can take a moment or two before it turns on.
Did I kill the switch or the gear?
I'm not exactly sure what happened here. You didn't mention two black wires when you changed the switch so I have to assume that you simply reversed procedure with the switch replacement. From what I'm reading here, your saying that the dishwasher, light and garbage disposal are all on the same circuit/toggle but, you tripped two breakers.
Sounds like someone hacked the wiring job (not to code). My first guess is that the switch you used to replace the toggle isn't rated for 120V/20A. You may have fried the switch. Is a light switch and a toggle switch the same thing in your book?
Look at the old switch and see if there is a tab broken of that is still present on the new switch. You have two circuits in the same box. Probably one was for the dishwasher and the other was for the disposal.
Tell us all the wires in the box, How they were connected and how you connected them?
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