two questions, 3way and whole house surge protection


Old 11-11-06, 07:44 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: us
Posts: 268
two questions, 3way and whole house surge protection


house built in 55
three way switch in garage for overhead light.
i wanted to change out what looks like original
switches from 55.
the three way switch i purchased looks the same
with the pole/terminals all inthe same locations
two on the left and one on the bottom right
with a ground .
although after installing and being sure i reconnected
the wires to terminals the same it does not work as a
three way anymore.
question is wheather or not the older threeway is
somehow different than new three way. for i
re installed the old threeway and it worked fine.
whole house surge protectors,
opinions please?

tks in advance
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Old 11-11-06, 08:40 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Not all three way and four way switches are wired the same. You absolutely cannot go by the terminal position on the switch. You must look at the terminal/screw color and make your connections from there.

On a three way switch, one terminal will be an odd color from the other two. (This does not include the ground screw, which is green should be obvious.) The same should be true for the switch you are replacing. Place the wires on the new switch based on what terminal they are connected to on the old switch. Connect the ground wire to the ground switch.
Old 11-12-06, 07:42 PM
hornetd's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Maryland
Posts: 695
Common terminal is the darker one.

The common terminal of each switch will be marked with the word common or by the screw being a darker color then the two other terminals. As long as you keep the same conductor on the common terminal of both switches the circuit will resume working. If you cannot find any marking for the common terminal then use a continuity checker to check between all three screw terminals with the switch in both positions. With the switch disconnected from the circuit the terminal that is always connected to one of the other two is the common. The two terminals that are never connected to each other are the point terminals.
Old 11-12-06, 08:42 PM
hornetd's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Maryland
Posts: 695
Whole House surge protection

The use of these protectors is made necessary by the number of solid state devices in use in our homes. It is worth remembering that a lot of the problem comes from the fact that so many of the most delicate devices are connected to two or even three separate wiring systems such as power, copper plant telephone, and cable or satellite antenna systems. The result of these multiple connections to expensive devices is that any spike on one system is likely to find it's way through the device to the other system in a destructive manor. For that reason it is important that all of the wired utilities that enter your home be protected with an appropriate device and more importantly that the devices used all connect to a single common earth electrode system. Without a common electrode system the surge protection you install can cause damage rather than prevent it.

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