wiring up 2 switches

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  #1  
Old 04-19-07, 06:09 PM
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wiring up 2 switches

Hi,

This is going to sound a little old for some people. My parents have a house that was built in the 70's. Their dining room light was wired to 2 different switches on the 14/2 wire. One of the switches went bad and my dad replaced it. He wired it up the way the old one came out, but it doesn't work. The way it is wired right now is the new switch has to be off for the other switch to work. If you turn it on, the other switch won't turn it on or off, until you turn the new switch off. My dad and I think he wired it up wrong but every way we try, it doesn't work. I know it has to work, because it was working with the old switch before it went bad. Does anyone know how he can wire this up on the 14/2 wire?

Thanks,

Chris
 
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Old 04-19-07, 06:38 PM
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What kind of switch did you get? You need a 3 way switch.
 
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Old 04-19-07, 06:50 PM
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Not sure if it is the basic switch that came from home depot or if it is the 3 way switch. He has some 3 way switches though. What does a 3 way switch look like? Is the 3 way switch have 2 hot, 2 nuetral, & 1 ground screw? I have a switch that only has 1 hot, 1 nuetral, & 1 ground screw. If I am not mistaking, I want to say he has the switch with 2 hot, at least 1 nuetral, & a ground. It has been about 5-10 years since he put the switch in.
 
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Old 04-19-07, 06:52 PM
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yes, a 3 way will have 3 terminals and a ground.

http://www.indepthinfo.com/3-way-switch/3-way-switch-explained.shtml
 
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Old 04-19-07, 07:18 PM
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If he only changed the wires on the switch and nothing else this is very simple to fix. The three way switch has three terminals. Only one of them is important. That is the common terminal. It will be coloured black or marked common. The ground is green and is always the bare or green wire.
If the switch doesn't work now put a different wire on the common. If that doesn't work then put the other wire on the common. The position of the other two wires does not matter.
 
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Old 04-19-07, 07:34 PM
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A regular switch has the words "on" and "off" on the lever. If the lever is blank, then it is either a 3-way or 4-way switch.
 
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Old 04-19-07, 07:35 PM
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None of the switches you are discussing have any neutral connections. Neutral wires do not connect to switches (except for some special purpose switches).

Three way switches do not have an on and off. They have an up and down, but those are not on and off.

You need a three way switch. A 3 way switch will have three terminals plus a ground terminal.

Get a three way switch then tell us ALL the wiring in the box and we can tell you how to connect it.
 
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Old 04-19-07, 08:10 PM
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Souds like mixed up common , but without all the facts it is hard to be certain. Just because he put the wires on the same side screws does not mean they were the correct ones for that switch in general. The common screw can move all over the place and it seems like it was a little difrent than his previous switch .
 
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Old 04-26-07, 05:36 PM
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Burkej62,

You are correct in the switch is different than the previous switch. When we replaced the switch, we hooked up the wires exactly like the old switch was connected. I would bet that the common is in a different place on the new switch.

Thanks,

Chris
 
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