2 Horizontal Switches working only as regular single pole switch-What did I do wrong?

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vyacheslav

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Hello,

I originally had two horizontal switches that take up the same space as a normal, vertical single pole switch. I replaced the switch to a more modern dual horizontal/rocker switch. I took pictures with my phone, made notes and hooked up everything exactly as it was with the old switch. Here is the issue:

On the original switches (photos below), the top switch operated two kitchen overhead lights, the bottom switch operated an outdoor light (that was also on a different circuit). After I hooked everything back up, now the top switch turns on both the kitchen and outdoor lights simultaneously. When I turn the switch off, it turns them both off simultaneously. The same is true for the bottom switch. When I turn one switch on (either top or bottom) and turn the other one on as well, they both stay on. So the "Cycle" is : One switch in the on position: Both lights on. Both switches in the on position, both lights on. One switch in the off position, both lights on, both switches in the off position, both lights off.

The only thing I did differently is that on the outdoor light (the bottom switch), the ground wire was not hooked up to the old switch, so I hooked the ground wire up properly to the new switch. Could that be the culprit?

The photos attached are of the old switch, but everything is hooked back up in the exact same way, except the grounding wire as noted above. For the kitchen overhead lights (there are two), the two white wires are wire nutted together and the two grounding wires are wire nutted together. The two black wires are connected to the switch (top terminals). Before I disconnected the wires from the old switch, I marked what would be the common or white wire with orange electrical tape, since they are both black. Photo 4 is the new switch I installed (stock photo from Home Depot, but it's the same exact switch). I made sure to put the white wires in the terminals marked "common" on the new switch (on the right side when switch is correct side up, meaning the switch is "on" when the right side of the switch is lower, and the switch is "off" when the left side of the switch is lower, and with the writing/marking on the switch from the factory right side up. In photo 4 below, the switches are in the "off" position).

Any insight you can give would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

V
 

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bud16415

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Those switches have a jumper that can be used to just put power on one screw and the jumper passes it to the other switch.

If you are using it as two separate switches you need to break out that jumper. They are made to snap out with a pliers or some have a slot you can twist them out with a screwdriver.
 

Snoonyb

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On the switch in photo #4, is there a tie strap connecting the two brass screws on the left? If so, break it.
 

vyacheslav

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Thanks for the replies. There is no tie strap connecting the two brass screws on the left as far as I am aware of. I'll look again soon (It's not my house).
Those switches have a jumper that can be used to just put power on one screw and the jumper passes it to the other switch.

If you are using it as two separate switches you need to break out that jumper. They are made to snap out with a pliers or some have a slot you can twist them out with a screwdriver.

Could you include a picture or tell me what to look for? Online pictures/videos/searches aren't turning up anything relevant. Thanks.
 

kok328

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Thanks for the replies. There is no tie strap connecting the two brass screws on the left as far as I am aware of. I'll look again soon (It's not my house).



Could you include a picture or tell me what to look for? Online pictures/videos/searches aren't turning up anything relevant. Thanks.
I know what they are talking about but, I don't see it either.
Basically your looking for brass going from one terminal to the other. You want to eliminate that brass so you can have 2 lines & 2 loads instead of 1 line and 2 loads.
 

bud16415

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Thanks for the replies. There is no tie strap connecting the two brass screws on the left as far as I am aware of. I'll look again soon (It's not my house).



Could you include a picture or tell me what to look for? Online pictures/videos/searches aren't turning up anything relevant. Thanks.
 

Snoonyb

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I called LEVITON and there is a strap tying the black screws together.
 

Jeff Handy

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The jumper is the brass piece with the slot.
It sits between these two screws.

Put a flat screwdriver in it to lift it up a little, then grab it with needle nose pliers and bend it up and down like a hinge, several times, until it comes off. 834E1AA7-5112-4C3A-9022-77B0CB52A41A.png
 

Jeff Handy

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Jump to 4:00 in this video.
It shows the jumper being broken off.
They just used a flat screwdriver to lift it and wiggle it til it snapped off.

 

bud16415

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I think we got the jumper covered now. :thumb:



One small point in looking at the photo in post #1 one side looks like the wires were done correctly with a nice hook bent in the wire and wrapped around the screw CW. The other side was wired with the wire straight and just tucked under the screw head a little and wedging against the plastic barrier. This is not good practice and when you wire the new one or did wire the new one make sure you do the hook.

Other than that don’t be a stranger @vyacheslav.
 

vyacheslav

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Thanks so much for all of your help! I was able to get it working by breaking off the jumper. bud16415, thanks for the tip. When I reconnected the wires to the new switch, I made sure to bend them into a hook shape so they are making very good contact. Thanks again everyone! I'm sure I'll be back with more questions as I continue to do more work!

V
 

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