Two-Way Switch wiring?


  #1  
Old 11-28-03, 07:22 PM
Elaine1963
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Unhappy Two-Way Switch wiring?

We just moved into a townhouse that is about 10 years old. The two-way switchs for the light that lights the stairway up to the bedrooms were/are not functioning correctly. The previous owners did some funky things with the lighting. You have to have the bottom switch on all the time for the switch at the top of the stairs to work. I tried changing out the 2-way switches, but have not alleviated the problem. There are 4 wires - ground, black, white and red. I have the ground going to the green screw, the red in the clamp by the green screw, the black in the top clamp on the other side and the white on the bottom on the other side. I have the wires going to the same places in both switches - do they need to be in different places in each switch? I have no idea why this isn't working and it is driving me NUTS! Any help would be appreciated.

Cheers,
Elaine
 
  #2  
Old 11-28-03, 07:33 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Indiana
Posts: 317
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
You will need to have an electrical tester to determine which wire is the feed for the switches then you will need to lookat both switches and tell us exactly what is in each box including the wires that connect and those that just splice through. with this info we will (through trial and error and alot of swearing ) determine what is what. Post back with the additional info.
 
  #3  
Old 11-28-03, 07:46 PM
Speedy Petey's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,262
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Also, just to clarify, you are referring to 3-way switches. I know it's confusing but switches in two locations controlling the same load are 3-ways.
 
  #4  
Old 11-28-03, 07:48 PM
Elaine1963
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
I'll get an electrical tester at the hardware store tomorrow and try to determine the feed. I thought that the black wire was supposed to be the feed, or is that incorrect? There will be a feed for each switch, correct?

One additional question - how do I know the answer to the other questions that you asked without taking my wall apart? When I look in the box in the wall with the cover off, each box has the 4 wires I described coming through the back. They are bundled with what looks like tape around the bundle as they come into the box. How will I know whether they connect vs. splicing through, etc. so that I can answer your questions?

Sorry to sound like such an idiot, but I'm used to just changing switches where the wiring isn't screwed up and have found it to be straightforward enough that I haven't had to do much extra reading. I'd hate to cough up the $$$ to pay an electrician to come out for something that *should* be easy enough that I can fix myself, but will if y'all recommend it.
 
  #5  
Old 11-28-03, 07:56 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Indiana
Posts: 317
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
There will be only one feed for this set of switches. No the hot wire does not have to be the black one.

Do all the wires in the switch boxes connect directly to the switch or do some of the splice and pass through the box ?
 
  #6  
Old 11-29-03, 03:53 PM
R
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,245
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
To help clarify the switch terminology, two-way switches have two terminals. Three-way switches have three terminals, and four-way switches have four terminals. These terms do not count the ground terminal, as years ago switches did not have ground terminals.
 
  #7  
Old 11-29-03, 04:13 PM
J
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 17,733
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
Well, the store doesn't sell anything that is actually labeled a "two-way switch". A switch that allows control from only one location is normally just called a single-pole switch.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: