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farrarski 09-06-2012 03:30 PM

3 way switch confusion
Hey everyone, I need some help understanding what is going on here...

After buying a condo and inspector missing that a whole wall wasn't getting any power I decided to pull all non working switches and outlets out and find out what's going on. What I found puzzled me though:

There are two switches on the wall, one under the other. Top switch controls the fan/light in the middle of the living room. What puzzled me was the way it was wired. I understand that the neutral gets hooked up together and hot wire is switched, but why hook the neutral up to the switch? I've seen red wire being hooked up to where the neutrals are hooked up to jump to another switch, but this is the only switch for that fan/light. Shouldn't it theoretically short at the switch with a set up like this? Please someone explain what Chinese magic is going on here?

Oh btw I figured out why there was no power to the rest of the wall...the wires that fed the lower switch (which in turn switched top of the outlets on and off) were left capped off within the top box. So as soon as I understand what is going on with the top switch I'll hook the other wires up and tell the electrician that came over to mess with the wires he should get fired.

SpragueElectric 09-06-2012 09:10 PM

1 Attachment(s)
hope this helps

k_buz 09-07-2012 04:58 AM

Your diagram doesn't jive with what you are describing. What you have pictured is (what appears to be) a 3 way switch, not a stacked switch.

farrarski 09-12-2012 09:26 AM

Thanks Sprague, but what I had was not a 3-way switch...but for some reason it didn't short within the switch with the way it was hooked I rewired it as a single pole switch (the way it was suppose to be) with leads going to the rest of the wall off the hot wire. Now everything works the way it was intended...I really don't know why someone would even mess with the switches like that.

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