Double light switches

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Old 01-25-12, 05:47 PM
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Double light switches

Hey guys, my in-laws house has a lighting issue I can't figure out. The hall has a single light on the ceiling connected to 2 switches, one at each end of the hall. If the switch on one end is up, the other switch will not turn on light. I've replaced switches, no different. Apparently its always been this way. Shouldn't you be able to turn the light on with either switch, regardless of whether they are 'on' or 'off'?
 
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Old 01-25-12, 05:59 PM
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The common wire is on the wrong terminal. The common is the odd colored screw usually dark colored. The two brass screws are travelers. At one switch and only one switch record which color is now on the common then swap that wire with one of the travelers. if that doesn't work try a different combination. Keep trying till it works.
 
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Old 01-26-12, 10:08 AM
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Cool Double light switches

Hello mwpayne

It may be as easy as just a broken / worn out switch.. But since you said it never worked right and you put in all new switches I would say the Common wire is on the wrong screw, in either one or both of the switches..

Here are the 9 wire combinations you need to check:

Switch #1, wire "A" to common. Switch #2, wire "A" to common.
Switch #1, wire "A" to common. Switch #2, wire "B" to common.
Switch #1, wire "A" to common. Switch #2, wire "C" to common.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Switch #1, wire "B" to common. Switch #2, wire "A" to common.
Switch #1, wire "B" to common. Switch #2, wire "B" to common.
Switch #1, wire "B" to common. Switch #2, wire "C" to common.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Switch #1, wire "C" to common. Switch #2, wire "A" to common.
Switch #1, wire "C" to common. Switch #2, wire "B" to common.
Switch #1, wire "C" to common. Switch #2, wire "C" to common.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

An "old timer" when we worked together always said to me
"Roger Wilco, Down and Out" meaning when the switches are DOWN -- the lights are OUT..

So:
I personaly like to wire both switches to be down when the light is OFF

"Switches are wired right when BOTH switches are "down" and the light is OFF.
If not just reverse both Traveler wires on one 3 way switch."

Hope this helps.

Have A Nice Day



Linesman
 
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Old 01-27-12, 04:52 PM
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If both switches are down and the lights are off the will be off with both switches up also.
 
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Old 01-28-12, 08:22 PM
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Thanks much guys, you were dead on. The second combo of rotating the wires on a switch fixed it! Near as I can tell, its been wired that way for 40 years. Most likely, however, someone probably replaced a switch and wired it incorrectly.
 
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