"On" has two meanings

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  #1  
Old 11-14-05, 02:20 PM
jsb172135
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Question "On" has two meanings

I just bought a old house and the living room light fixture has 5 bulbs and one switch. When the switch is off, all 5 bulbs are off. When I turn the switch on, 3 or 5 bulbs will turn on. It changes every other time. It's like an old fashion dimmer.

Well I decided to replace the old switch and put in a standard two way switch. Now 'on' will turn all 5 bulbs on and 'off' turns off three bulbs. The other two bulbs remain on no matter what the switch is set to.

Any ideas? Unfortunately I got rid of the old switch. Rookie mistake.

Thanks
 
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  #2  
Old 11-14-05, 06:07 PM
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I have never seen that before - fascinating!

How many wires go to the switch? Did you by chance have to cap one off when you put in the new switch?
 
  #3  
Old 11-15-05, 05:44 PM
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There could be another switch. I have a 3 light fixture wired this way on purpose.
 
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Old 11-16-05, 07:56 AM
jsb172135
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I will check it out the wiring tonight. But I don't remember having to cap off any wires.
As far as another switch, this is the only one I know of that impacts the light fixture.
 
  #5  
Old 11-17-05, 06:27 AM
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Search around more. You should also find what fuses/breakers run which outlets/lights/circuits.
 
  #6  
Old 11-18-05, 07:21 AM
jsb172135
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I checked the wiring and nothing was capped off but I did discover something unique. It's old wiring so there are two seperate black wires going into the switch. One of the wires ends at the switch. But the other wire is spliced into the switch and then continues on to the switch that is mounted right next to it (that switch runs another light fixture). That same wire it spliced into the second switch and then continues into the wall.

I hope splice is the right word. Someone pealed back the coating to expose the wire, wrapped it around a screw on the switch, then the wire continues on.

When I replaced the original switch I simply kept the wiring setup the same.

I also checked the circuit and it controls about 6 other outlets and light fixtures in the house.
 
  #7  
Old 11-18-05, 07:27 PM
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That's typical wiring, even today. The wire that connects the switches is the "hot" feed from the panel and it continues on to feed other things down the line.

I still don't know how your light fixture worked like it did.
 
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