Do I have a 3 way switch or a single pole switch

Reply

  #1  
Old 08-04-18, 07:47 PM
F
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Do I have a 3 way switch or a single pole switch

Hello all,
I am attempting to replace two different switches (opposite ends of my garage) that both control the same 5 outlets. From what I am researching it sounds like these are 3 phase switches, however they both have ON/OFF written on them. Also they both are wired the same way, with just three black wires, two of which are pigtailed. The switches only have two screws and no ground. My question is do I just buy a single phase switch and wire them as before, or should I buy a 3 phase switch and not pigtail them? any help is appreciated
 
  #2  
Old 08-04-18, 08:00 PM
pcboss's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 15,218
Received 103 Votes on 89 Posts
Of they say on and off and only have two terminals plus the ground they are single.pole switches. The two wires on.one end should be pigtailed.
 
  #3  
Old 08-04-18, 08:11 PM
F
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Ok thanks... i forgot to mention that two of the three black wires are hot. The one that is not hot is pigtailed with a hot. Im not sure if that changes anything. I guess I was just confused as to why they control multiple outlets if they are only single phase, did not think it was possible. Thanks for the advice, much appreciated
 
  #4  
Old 08-05-18, 06:11 AM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 13,799
Received 252 Votes on 220 Posts
Normal snap switches come in single pole, three way, and four way. You will only find these for general lighting or to control 120 volts receptacles.

Three phase in only used in commercial buildings where equipment needs to be disconnected.
 
  #5  
Old 08-05-18, 06:47 AM
Geochurchi's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 4,956
Received 88 Votes on 83 Posts
Hi, by the way those are either 3 way or single pole ,not 3 phase and single phase, so you have 1 single pole on each end of your garage and you can turn the outlets ON & OFF from both locations, correct? Go from 1 switch turn the outlets ON , walk to the other side of the garage and turn them OFF.
Just trying to figure out what you have there.
Geo
 
  #6  
Old 08-05-18, 07:17 AM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 13,799
Received 252 Votes on 220 Posts
replace two different switches (opposite ends of my garage) that both control the same 5 outlets
It sounds to me like you have 2 - 3 ways
 
  #7  
Old 08-05-18, 10:35 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 60,786
Received 1,324 Votes on 1,224 Posts
however they both have ON/OFF written on them
Then they are standard single pole switches. If they are wired as you have described..... when either one is on.... the receptacles are on. That means if one switch is on..... the other cannot turn the receptacles off.
 
  #8  
Old 08-05-18, 03:14 PM
F
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
So I replaced the switches with new single pole switches and just wired them the same way (pigtail). Now, when I plug in a outlet tester it reads that everything is wired correctly. BUT, when I turn on either switch and place a load on the outlets this changes the reading to HOT/GROUND reversed.

I have replaced 3 of the 5 outlets (the other two look to be in good shape), any ideas? I should mention that the outlets stopped working correctly one day and shorted out my TV that was plugged into the circuit.

BTW thanks for all the replies
 
  #9  
Old 08-05-18, 03:28 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 60,786
Received 1,324 Votes on 1,224 Posts
We're just doing a lot of guessing here. That was apparently wired by someone not familiar with wiring. Two single poles controlling the same circuit is not a plus.

If the switches are off..... there should be no reading from any tester.
We'd need to know more about is in place for wiring.
Like previously mentioned.... pictures are very helpful.
 
 

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