Two Way Switch

Old 09-12-02, 01:18 PM
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Lightbulb Two Way Switch

I have a two way switch that conctols a ceiling light.
Switch one works fine, only if switch two is in the up position.
Switch two will turn lights off if they are on. Switch two will not turn light on if they are off.

Does that make any sense?

Is this a simple fix?

Thanks for any help.
Old 09-12-02, 03:07 PM
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Sounds like a "poor-mans" 3-way configuration.

Main power is fed thru sw1 then to sw2 and then to light. turn off sw1 and there is no power to sw2 or light. turn off sw2 light goes off but still has power to sw2 and of course sw1. sound right?

I have seen this a few times, usualy out of convenience. Prevents owner from having to walking all the way across the room to turn out the lights. Sounds like a good idea at first but becomes a big pain in the arse later on.

If you want to control the light(s) with both sw's independently you will need to install a 3-way switch(s) and 14-3 or 12-3 wiring.


p.s. check out dkerr's site here

Old 09-12-02, 03:17 PM
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Brian your description of the problem is correct.
But I opened the boxes and both switches are two way.
The whites are all bound together in the back of the box and a red and black go to the switch.
Ground wires are also bound together.
There is another swich for another light in the same box here that works fine.
Thanks for any help
Old 09-12-02, 03:41 PM
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Look at sw.1,How many and what color wires are on it? Look at sw.2,how many and what color wires are on it?Remove fixture and see what color wires are there.Are there any wires not being used in the switch boxes?Post back with these answers.Your description of red and black wires on the switch makes me think it was wired as a three way originally.
Old 09-12-02, 04:08 PM
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Sounds like somebody replaced a pair of 3-way switches with a pair of standard switches without realizing that there was a difference. Answer tex's questions and we'll be able to get you back up and running. Be sure to also note any wires connected to each other in the back of each box. We need to know exactly how many wires of each color are in each box.

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