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# Dual Switched Receptacles

#1
11-08-09, 01:39 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Northern California
Posts: 130
Dual Switched Receptacles

I stayed in a hotel once that had two receptacles at the bathroom counter. One receptacle served the hair dryer, the other served the coffee maker. Well, apparently the circuit couldn't handle running both at once. There was a decora switch installed horizontally and depending on which way you switched it, you would get power to either receptacle. This got me to thinking, how is this wired? I don't really understand how a 3-way switch works. Would I need to understand that first?

#2
11-08-09, 04:54 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: NY
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A three-way switch isn't an on-off proposition. It's an either-or proposition. It switches the path of current flow from path A to path B. If you have two three-way switches wired to control a light, and both switches are on path A, then power is allowed to flow to the light. If you flip on of the switches to path B, then current flow will be interrupted. It looks like you've turned the switch to an off position, but you haven't. You've merely directed the electricity to flow in path B. If the second switch isn't on path B also, then there IS NO path for the current to flow.

In this case, path A would send power to the hair dryer, and path B would send power to the coffee maker. It's important to note that the power is never "turned off." It is only redirected. So no matter which way the switch is flipped, one of the receptacles will always have power.

#3
11-08-09, 07:23 AM
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Location: USA
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A basic "three way" switch: As you can see the British term "two way" is more accurate and less confusing.

Last edited by ray2047; 11-08-09 at 07:42 AM.
#4
11-08-09, 09:21 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: NE Wis / Paris France{ In France for now }
Posts: 4,808
The reason why they put in three way switch in that useage so it will prevent tripping the breaker when you have coffee machine is on plus hair dryer running escpally when you first start makeing coffee { perking cycling } the current drawage is pretty high pretty close to simaur to hair dryer about 900 to 1200 watts for few minutes once it get done then it will switch over to warming mode that typically draw about 60 or less watts depending on which type.

The other hand the hairdryer can draw 1500 watts or more no question asked and you can see why if you have both on the same time a good chance you will trip the breaker.

so they put in a three way switch typically the three way switch do the trick to prevent both are on the same time as other member above post the photo it will redrect the current one way or other.

Merci.
Marc

#5
11-08-09, 01:25 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Northern California
Posts: 130
So if I understand correctly, this is how it would be accomplished: They bring the hot from the source onto the common terminal of the 3-way switch, and then each receptacle gets it's hot from one of the traveler terminals?

#6
11-08-09, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by romexican
So if I understand correctly, this is how it would be accomplished: They bring the hot from the source onto the common terminal of the 3-way switch, and then each receptacle gets it's hot from one of the traveler terminals?
Yes;

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