Electrical help please

Cunt Smasher

Caligula Jr.
Aug 26, 2005
13,006
3,768
563
#1
Here's what I got,my living room and dining room lights each have a switch in 2 different places,one in the hall for each,then the living room also has one by the door,the dining room has a second one in the kitchen.The problem is,BOTH switches have to be right to turn the lights on.Fer instance,you turn on the switch by the door,nothing.You gotta walk over to the hallway switch and flip it,too.Pain in the ass,any easy fixes for a non-electrician?
 

jackjack

Registered User
May 12, 2007
4,994
0
0
Daytona Beach
#2
Here's what I got,my living room and dining room lights each have a switch in 2 different places,one in the hall for each,then the living room also has one by the door,the dining room has a second one in the kitchen.The problem is,BOTH switches have to be right to turn the lights on.Fer instance,you turn on the switch by the door,nothing.You gotta walk over to the hallway switch and flip it,too.Pain in the ass,any easy fixes for a non-electrician?
Easiest solution is to replace both switches. Go to Home Depot and get two new 3 pole switches. The ones with three contacts. Turn off all the electricity, and just swapt he new ones for the old ones. Ten bucks should fix it.
 

burky79

62 75 72 6b 79 37 39
Feb 18, 2005
4,341
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236
in a house
#3
^^ i am drunk and a phone technician, so i agree with the sparky on that un. and i think u need to test taste the plug, when hot! dreeeenk more! g-night
 

BCH

Doesn't need your acknowledgement on Twitter
Wackbag Staff
Jun 9, 2005
9,519
235
513
New York
#5
3 way switches work with what are called "Runners" that go bettween the two switches.
One switch has the source of 110 volt house current, and the other is connected to the load
in this case, the lights.

I've made you 3 MS Paint examples.



In this first one, you can see switch 1 is in the up position and switch 2 is in the down position
as indicated by the dark blue lines. The current is allowed to flow to the load (Red Lines)
Moving either switches position will cut off the flow to the load. Here, let's move switch number 1



Now the electricity is transferred to the "down" terminal of switch 1 which allows current to flow to
the "up" terminal of switch 2 however, switch 2 is in the down position so no current flows.

Now we move switch 2 to the up position and current is once again allowed to flow.



I suspect your 3 way switches are miswired but now that you know how they're supposed to be,
you can see if this is indeed the case.
 

Myhairygrundle

Screw you guys, I'm going home.
Jul 16, 2005
6,797
1,943
543
Texas
#6
It's funny cause BCH said "3-way" and "load."



.
 

MrAbovePar

En Taro Anthony
Mar 14, 2005
13,775
3,168
678
Covington. La
#7
BCH nailed it. Either they have a runner switched with the load(or conversely a runner switched with the hot) or they put a single pole in the mix.

Or if posible...the worst of all, they set 2 single pole in series with each other.
 

BCH

Doesn't need your acknowledgement on Twitter
Wackbag Staff
Jun 9, 2005
9,519
235
513
New York
#8
I was thinking about this and they could just have the runners wired to the same poles on both switches. Up to up or down to down... that would cause the operation he's describing also. You can change these without causing a sort as all of the poles have the same potential.
 

generoso

Blueberry Coffee diva.
Aug 5, 2004
8,232
0
389
Long Island ,NY
#9
As being a 401ul certified electrical inspector and trouble shooter. BCH is correct in the info given you. THATS if they used 3 way switched to begin with and added runners. IF the dummy who did the job in the 1st place just used single pole switches and didn't add in the 2nd runner you just might have to replace the wire.
BTW I get 250 a hour engineering time....