Jim wrote:You are switching the "hot" black wires. The white commons are tied together. The red is likely another hot if used in a 3-way application. The grounds may be tied together in the back of the box. Since you have metal boxes I'm going to assume the house is an older one. It's always a treat to figure out how an older home was built.
If the grounds are tied together and to the box in the back of it, then the switch will be grounded when you screw it into the metal box.
Thanks for the reply Jim!
Before I forget: the ceiling candelabra lamp has the two black (one with a stripe) - hot and neutral - and a third wire that is simply a long silver strand.
Is that 3rd wire simply to prevent it from falling to the ground?
What I mean is that I don't know / believe this wire is a ground wire (although to be safe I connected it to the metal of the ceiling electrical box).
The instructions are terrible (just diagrams without text - although they do appear [haven't looked at them in several days since they were basically useless] to show THREE sets of wires being connected as opposed to two).
Yes, it is an older house (1960s).
It hardly looks like one though, other than a few signs, since many parts of it, or its components, have been updated/renovated/remodelled recently by both the previous owners and myself.
I have a question or two:
What do you mean by "[b]switching the hot black wires"?
So the beige (that are tied together inside the box [with a nut] are the commons?
The red is maybe for a fan circuit (or another 3 way type application)?
I followed the wiring instructions for a "single pole" (as opposed to "3-way system") [exact wording not in front of me], since the connections matched that diagram's description as opposed to the alternative diagram (they give two wiring options depending on what kind of system you have).
You mention commons being tied together and, later, say if the grounds are tied together, then...
Unfortunately my box only has ONE set of wires (beige) tied together.
[These are also connected to the back of the box].
I assume that means they are the commons, since I don't think the system would function without commons?
Note: For hallway and bedrooms ceiling lamps, some of which have now been connected for months without any problems, I connected the lamp fixture's ground wire to a metal part inside the box or metal part of the lamp that was in direct contact with the ceiling electrical box, since in all these ceiling electrical boxes there was NO ground wire or I couldn't be sure which wire was the ground wire; in any case, there was no bare copper wire (that would have been clearly for grounding).
Is it possible that there indeed is no ground since these boxes may be old?
By the way, the house's main electrical panel is very new (i.e. was completely replaced a few years ago with a 200W model).
Thanks for any additional tips!