DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum

DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum (
-   Electrical and Wiring (
-   -   PLEASE HELP: Wiring two light switches in one box (

jukim39 10-13-2011 05:20 AM

PLEASE HELP: Wiring two light switches in one box
Hi all,
I have an electrical box that controls two lights - one indoor and one outdoor. In an effort to replace one of the light switches to the one with timer, took the box apart without writing down which wires were which.
So now there are 7 wires coming into the box and I am not sure what to do with them. There are one black, one yellow coming up from the bottom on one side; one black, one yellow coming down from another side; and one black, two yellows coming down from another side. I am guessing blacks are hot, yellows that come down/up with black is neutral and one last yellow wire is the ground?? But doesn't seem to work when I wirenut the neutrals together and attach blacks to the switches.
Any help/advice greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance.

nealtw 10-13-2011 05:11 PM

Is there another switch for one of the lights?

kok328 10-13-2011 06:59 PM

Do not guess at anything and do not wirenut wires together to test the combinations.
Black is consider a hot color as is yellow.
Yellow is never a ground color.
Wish I could help beyond that but, I'd just be guessing too.
You may want to get a volt/ohm meter and test wires for power and/or continuity to help determine the correct combination.
Best of luck to you.

jukim39 10-14-2011 04:52 AM

There are two switches to control two light sources. I took apart another light switch box to see how the wiring was done and confirmed that blacks were hot. Now i just have to figure out which ones are ground or neutral...
Thanks for your replies.

kok328 10-14-2011 03:25 PM

Keep in mind that the wiring may be a switch leg.
This means that you have hot coming in and hot going out of the switch.
This is often done with one romex wire where the neutral assumes the place of a hot wire returning to the fixture.
If possible, open up the light fixture to help you decipher what is going on and how it may be wired.

jukim39 10-15-2011 03:56 AM

Finally figured it out. So what i had was four blacks and three whites. One hot coming into the box and three pairs of load and neutral. So i didnt have ground which threw me off. Out of the three pairs, two are from the light sources and the third goes out to another outlet.
Thus, pigtailing hot into three blacks and wiring all the whites together solved the problem!
Thank you all for your insights.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:55 PM.