Author Topic: I need Electric Help... Any electricians out there?  (Read 27288 times)

Offline yos9694

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Re: I need Electric Help... Any electricians out there?
« Reply #180 on: September 07, 2018, 03:58:34 PM »
Not making sense. Look at these two. Switch #3 had no effect.
Switch #1 up, Switch #2 down, Switch #3 down = Bulb #1 on, bulb #2 off
Switch #1 up, Switch #2 down, Switch #3 up = Bulb #1 on, bulb #2 off

Do you want switch #3 to reverse the state of the bulbs (on/off) or to turn the bulbs on/off together no matter what their state is (on/off)?

ETA: I don't think the second part of my question is doable.

Oops, the answers there should have been the reverse. I edited and corrected it. Thanks.

The main thing I want is to have switch #3 control both bulbs whenever it is changed, but switch #1 only controls bulb #1 when it is changed and switch #2 only controls bulb #2. Any way that it is possible to do that would be fine with me

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Re: I need Electric Help... Any electricians out there?
« Reply #181 on: September 07, 2018, 06:11:15 PM »
Oops, the answers there should have been the reverse. I edited and corrected it. Thanks.

The main thing I want is to have switch #3 control both bulbs whenever it is changed, but switch #1 only controls bulb #1 when it is changed and switch #2 only controls bulb #2. Any way that it is possible to do that would be fine with me
That should be very easy and would use a regular switch. Just run wires for each bulb out of switch 3 with each one having its own switch along the way.
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Re: I need Electric Help... Any electricians out there?
« Reply #182 on: September 07, 2018, 06:15:45 PM »
That should be very easy and would use a regular switch. Just run wires for each bulb out of switch 3 with each one having its own switch along the way.
For clarity
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Offline ChaimMoskowitz

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Re: I need Electric Help... Any electricians out there?
« Reply #183 on: September 07, 2018, 07:07:30 PM »
That should be very easy and would use a regular switch. Just run wires for each bulb out of switch 3 with each one having its own switch along the way.
For clarity
LOL. He wants 1-3 and 2-3 to act like 3 way switches. Not sure they make two 3 way switches in one (switch #3).
ETA: You would need a double pole three way switch. Don't think they make one.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2018, 07:12:46 PM by ChaimMoskowitz »
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Offline yos9694

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Re: I need Electric Help... Any electricians out there?
« Reply #184 on: September 08, 2018, 08:53:10 PM »
Thanks

Offline David R

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Re: I need Electric Help... Any electricians out there?
« Reply #185 on: September 08, 2018, 09:58:28 PM »
Oops, the answers there should have been the reverse. I edited and corrected it. Thanks.

The main thing I want is to have switch #3 control both bulbs whenever it is changed, but switch #1 only controls bulb #1 when it is changed and switch #2 only controls bulb #2. Any way that it is possible to do that would be fine with me
You would have to (contrary to your original post) change both existing switches to three way switches. Then you would need to add a double pole double throw switch for switch #3. I don't recall seeing such a product in the shape and size of a standard light switch for installation into home wiring. If you can't find one, you can install a regular switch to control a DPDT lighting contactor / relay.

Offline ChaimMoskowitz

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Re: I need Electric Help... Any electricians out there?
« Reply #186 on: September 08, 2018, 10:49:55 PM »
You would have to (contrary to your original post) change both existing switches to three way switches. Then you would need to add a double pole double throw switch for switch #3. I don't recall seeing such a product in the shape and size of a standard light switch for installation into home wiring. If you can't find one, you can install a regular switch to control a DPDT lighting contactor / relay.
The other option is instead of one #3 switch you get two switches for #3. You would have to turn both on/off together.
https://www.eslsupply.com/pass-seymour-693wg-15-amp-white-2-3-way-120-277-volt-stack-switch-combination-switch/?CAWELAID=120164090000008399&CATARGETID=120164090000054927&CADEVICE=c
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Offline yos9694

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Re: I need Electric Help... Any electricians out there?
« Reply #187 on: September 20, 2018, 03:42:35 PM »
Just to follow up on this, I decided to make new switch a shutoff switch instead. When the new switch is ON, the existing switches will be powered and can control the lights individually. When the new switch is OFF, the lights are off no matter what position the existing switches are in.

Rewiring the 3-way set up as single-pole to the existing switches. Current setup has 2 LINE wires and 2 LOAD wires. I'll be connecting both LINE wires to the new switch and leave the LOAD wires connected to the existing switches. Then I'll connect the other side of the new switch to the common side of the existing switches. Seems straightforward, but if anyone has advice or warnings about doing this before I go ahead with it I'd be appreciative.

Offline ChaimMoskowitz

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Re: I need Electric Help... Any electricians out there?
« Reply #188 on: September 20, 2018, 06:46:54 PM »
I am confused with load/line side. Is this a GFCI (ground fault) device?
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Offline David R

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Re: I need Electric Help... Any electricians out there?
« Reply #189 on: September 20, 2018, 07:39:02 PM »
Show us a diagram.

Offline yos9694

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Re: I need Electric Help... Any electricians out there?
« Reply #190 on: September 20, 2018, 09:29:45 PM »
Hard for me to do a diagram. I'm already done and it worked. I'll try to describe it again and if that doesn't work I'll try to draw it later.

Original wiring was two simple switches, each on had a hot wire (line) and a white wire (load). The load wires go to the fixtures. The neutral wires are in the box but are not connected directly to the switches.

New wiring- I left the white wires where they were on the old switches, but removed the hot wires from the old switches and attached them instead to the new switch. Then I took a new piece of wire and connected one end of it to the second terminal on the new switch and the other end of it to the empty side of each old switch. It works as I described- each old switch controls the one fixture just as it did before, but only if the new switch is in the ON position. If the new switch is OFF then neither light can be turned on by the old switches.

This last paragraph is not really relevant to the set up in general, so feel free to ignore it.
There is one other thing that I didn't mention... the new switch is a timer and needs a current at all times or the screen blanks out. In this set up, if both old switches are OFF then the timer can't draw a current. (In a normal set up, the timer doesn't have another switch behind it, so it is able to draw a current even while the lights it controls are off by relying on its high resistance). To work around this, I dug out a neutral wire from the box and connected it to another terminal on the timer switch.

Offline ChaimMoskowitz

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Re: I need Electric Help... Any electricians out there?
« Reply #191 on: September 20, 2018, 09:45:27 PM »
Glad it all worked for you.
Someone messed up your wiring. The white wire is neutral and should not be switched.
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Offline yos9694

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Re: I need Electric Help... Any electricians out there?
« Reply #192 on: September 20, 2018, 10:18:21 PM »
Someone messed up your wiring. The white wire is neutral and should not be switched.

That's not accurate. It's extremely common and perfectly fine to have the neutral wire connected to the fixture and not to the switch. The switch is wired up with only a Line wire and a Load wire. Line comes in hot, load goes to the fixture, and the wire out of the fixture goes to the neutral. Check out some wiring diagrams to see this setup. Absolutely nothing wrong with it.

Offline ChaimMoskowitz

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Re: I need Electric Help... Any electricians out there?
« Reply #193 on: September 20, 2018, 10:39:43 PM »
That's not accurate. It's extremely common and perfectly fine to have the neutral wire connected to the fixture and not to the switch. The switch is wired up with only a Line wire and a Load wire. Line comes in hot, load goes to the fixture, and the wire out of the fixture goes to the neutral. Check out some wiring diagrams to see this setup. Absolutely nothing wrong with it.
I think you read what I wrote wrong.

Can you please link to wiring diagrams where the white (neutral) wire is switched? If you are going to use a white wire as a switched wire you should mark it somehow with like black tape.

This is the part I don't get: "New wiring- I left the white wires where they were on the old switches,"
Why is there white wires on the switch?
« Last Edit: September 20, 2018, 10:49:13 PM by ChaimMoskowitz »
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Offline David R

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Re: I need Electric Help... Any electricians out there?
« Reply #194 on: September 20, 2018, 10:48:13 PM »


Hard for me to do a diagram. I'm already done and it worked. I'll try to describe it again and if that doesn't work I'll try to draw it later.

Original wiring was two simple switches, each on had a hot wire (line) and a white wire (load). The load wires go to the fixtures. The neutral wires are in the box but are not connected directly to the switches.

New wiring- I left the white wires where they were on the old switches, but removed the hot wires from the old switches and attached them instead to the new switch. Then I took a new piece of wire and connected one end of it to the second terminal on the new switch and the other end of it to the empty side of each old switch. It works as I described- each old switch controls the one fixture just as it did before, but only if the new switch is in the ON position. If the new switch is OFF then neither light can be turned on by the old switches.

This last paragraph is not really relevant to the set up in general, so feel free to ignore it.
There is one other thing that I didn't mention... the new switch is a timer and needs a current at all times or the screen blanks out. In this set up, if both old switches are OFF then the timer can't draw a current. (In a normal set up, the timer doesn't have another switch behind it, so it is able to draw a current even while the lights it controls are off by relying on its high resistance). To work around this, I dug out a neutral wire from the box and connected it to another terminal on the timer switch.
"Original wiring was two simple switches, each on had a hot wire (line)"
Did you connect both of these to each other and to a single terminal of the new switch? My concern would be if they previously were controlled by two separate circuit breakers, in which case they shouldn't be connected to each other. How could you verify that now without undoing it? Turn off all circuit breakers except the main. Then turn on one at a time while someone watches the timer. If more than one of them causes the timer to come to life, you have a problem.