Pilot Light switch

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  #1  
Old 04-04-06, 12:54 PM
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Pilot Light switch

I've installed plenty of switches, but this has me stumped. Maybe I'm getting old.

I have a 110V line that feeds an electric water heater in my RV. The line is wired in to the panel correctly and the breaker/ switch works fine.

I want to install a switch on this line so that I can turn on and off the electric water heater inside the RV, rather than having to get dressed and go outside to turn it on in the heater controls.

So, I figure a simple in-line switch inside the Rv will do the trick and I got one that has a pilot light, which will help me to remember when the circuit is on. But I'm darned if I can figure out how to make the pilot come on!

The switch has three terminal in addition to the ground.
One of them is marked "common" and the other two on the other side of the switch are marked "A1" and B1". The "A1" terminal is next to the switch and the "B1" is next to the light.

The card the switch was mounted on from the store says that the pilot light is connected to the ON side of the switch and indicates the switch is ON.

There's a dopey little drawing to wire it, but it shows four terminals.

Usually, what I'd do is feed the source and load wires into the box, join the white wires(neutral) and put one of the hot wires(black) on one side of the switch the other black wire on the other side of the switch. If I do that, the switch works, but no pilot light. Does the load (the water heater) actually have to be on for the light to work? As mentioned above, there IS an outside switch and I know that would have to be on... does it need to be on for the pilot light to light? Hmmmm

Help!

Thanks

Peter
 
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Old 04-04-06, 01:04 PM
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And what are you connecting to the common terminal?
 
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Old 04-04-06, 01:10 PM
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I know

Originally Posted by racraft
And what are you connecting to the common terminal?

I connected one black to the Common and one to the A1.... one on each side of the switch... then the switch works but the light doesn't light.

That's the only way the switch will work.

If I put the neutral on the comon and hot source wire on A1, it would short the circuit and the breaker would trip.

What am I missing?
 
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Old 04-04-06, 01:12 PM
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the load

Does the load have to be enabled for the pilot to go on?
 
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Old 04-04-06, 01:14 PM
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Pilot light switches require a neutral wire to be connected to the switch for the light to work. Look at the directions for the switch, they will tell you the correct wiring.
 
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Old 04-04-06, 01:28 PM
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The instructions are useless.

The little diagram shows FOUR terminals on the switch,

Ok, if I must connect the neutral wire, the only place it makes sense is to "B1". That will give me source hot wire to common which feeds thru the switch and connects A1 to the load black wire and the neutral on B1 which completes the circuit for the pilot light.

I'll try that and letcha know.

Thanks
 
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Old 04-04-06, 01:32 PM
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The instructions you have are probably correct, but you are reading them wrong. If you really think they are wrong, check on the Internet for instructions.

Do not guess. That is stupid.
 
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Old 04-04-06, 02:42 PM
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Stupid????

Gee Bob, and here I thought we were buddies!

First of all the instructions with the card ARE wrong. I'll scan them and send them to you, if you care.

Second, I was at no risk, because the circuit is on a breaker and the whole service is on a GFCI.

Third, all I needed was that vital bit of information, which you gave me, that the neutral had to be connected. Once I got that, I saw exactly how the circuits worked and was willing to try and see if my understanding was correct.

And guess what, it was! The circuit and pilot light work perfectly and despite the fact that called me stupid, I thank you for the bit of information that I needed to solve the problem.

Have a great day.

Peter
 
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Old 04-04-06, 04:46 PM
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Breaker or not, GFCI or not, guessing when it comes to electricity is stupid. Electricity can and does kill people.

I don't know whether the instructions that came with your switch are wrong or not. I do know that many manufacturers include instructions that apply to a variety of switches and the user is supposed to figure them out. I am thinking that perhaps the instructions you have apply to three ways switches as well as to two way switches, and that you are supposed to understand which wire doesn't apply.

When I saw your question I did a quick Google search for wiring diagrams of a pilot light switch. I found plenty on the Internet, including ones for three way switches. Unfortunately none of them discuss terminals labeled A1, B1 and common. However, ALL of them clearly show a neutral wire as part of the circuit.

I'm glad you have things working. However, I'm still not convinced you have it wired properly. Sometimes what works is not always what's correct, or what's safe. I urge you to figure out the wiring diagram to make sure you have a proper and safe installation.
 
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Old 04-04-06, 05:09 PM
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its wired right

Thanks Bob, for your concern

I certain its wired right.

I have at advantage of seeing the switch, and how its working, rather than trying to describe it to you.

And, once I realized that obviously the pilot light MUST have a neutral connection, it was all very clear.

Like I said, the "common" feeds the line and the light, and testing it with my multimeter, and in place, confirmed that.

Thanks again
 
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Old 04-04-06, 05:51 PM
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Who makes this switch? What is the model number or part number?
 
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Old 04-05-06, 03:30 PM
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where's it from?

The switch is sold by Leviton Manufacturing of Canada Ltd, their model number 5226/722.

I checked out their website and found a wiring diagram for that switch, but its more if a schematic. However it confirms my wiring.

Their site is http://www.leviton.com/ and then click on Tech Support, then Circuit Wiring Diagrams and then find the Pilot Light link.

I wrote to them to complain about the bad wiring diagram on the packaging... we'll see what they say. I'll letcha know.
 
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