switching switches...


  #1  
Old 02-24-05, 05:51 PM
layman
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switching switches...

I'm simply changing out the traditional switches with flat switches throughout the house. Haven't had any problems until now, in the kitchen (flouresent light). The light is controlled by 3 switches and have changed out 2 of 3. The last one -- a single switch -- has 4 wires running to it: 2 black 2 red and says AC only. I'm a "layman" here, but my switches I've been using have room for only 2 wires and the ground (a green screw). None of the other 2 controlling the same light had this problem. Do I need a different switch for this outlet or are the additional wires useless?
 
  #2  
Old 02-25-05, 06:56 AM
J
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You need a different switch at all three locations for this circuit. You will need two 3way switches and a 4way switch. If you used single switches in the place of the 3ways the light will not be swithced properly.
On the 3way switches look for a common screw. That wire must go to the common screw of your new switch. The common screw may not be in the same location as the old switches.
The 4way switch will terminals marked as in and out.

I would suggest changing one switch and then testing the circuit. It is easy to get one switch working when we know the others are wired correctly.
 
  #3  
Old 02-25-05, 07:11 AM
J
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Layman, did you use 3-way switches for the two that you did change? And how did you connect them? As Joe says, you need a 4-way switch for the remaining one. Pay attention to screw color on the 4-way too. Screw position means nothing.
 
  #4  
Old 02-27-05, 07:16 PM
layman
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Thanks for responding. I didn't use a 3 way for the other two. I just bought a box of 10 switches that have seemed to work for every outlet -- including the other two -- until I got to this third one. If I get a 4 way for this one, what does that mean for the other two -- are they fine as is or are they wired wrong? For what it's worth, I've left the one until I got time to check the board and all 3 switches seem to be working fine. Any help would be great! Thanks again!
 
  #5  
Old 02-28-05, 06:30 AM
J
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The only way this will ever work is if you have two 3-way switches and one 4-way switch. Please further describe the switches in that pack of ten you bought. How many screws does each switch have and what color are the screws?

If you say that the switch has two screws, plus a third screw which is green, then you need to go back to the store.
 
  #6  
Old 03-02-05, 03:05 PM
layman
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Heading back to store...

Did get everything hooked up and you were absolutely right. The light works, but the 4-way has to be in the "on" position for the other two switches to work. I still don't understand how it worked before (because the other two are not 3-ways and wires switched perfectly into new switches) but it doesn't really matter. I'm going to get 2 3-ways this evening, but if I'm right about the other two not being 3-ways, I won't have a third wire to hook it up. I'll do some more work on it tonight and keep you posted...thank you for your help and patience.
 
 

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