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Old 02-19-2014, 08:24 PM   #1
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Basic question regarding switch replacement...


I'm trying to replace some ugly, broken light switches (circa 1976) and noticed there are four wires connecting them and only two terminals on the new switches. The old ones have a red, black, white (neutral) and ground connecting them, whereas the usual basic switch is similar to the new ones, with just a hot loop and the black, out to the fixture. Do I need to find a switch with three terminals plus a ground for this replacement?

Thanks in advance,

82ndpara

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Old 02-19-2014, 08:27 PM   #2
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Basic question regarding switch replacement...


Yes, you need to find a 3-way switch, not the single pole switch that you have.

This fixture should be able to be controlled from at least 2 locations.

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Old 02-19-2014, 08:38 PM   #3
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Basic question regarding switch replacement...


Thank you! That makes perfect sense since all the ones with four wires are all two-location light switches.

I don't know why this didn't occur to me, as I've seen the thre way switches before.

Thank you very much....

82ndpara
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:41 PM   #4
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Basic question regarding switch replacement...


Pay close attention to which wire goes to the dark screw on the old and new switches. It's the common. Mix them up and you'll have problems.
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:50 PM   #5
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Basic question regarding switch replacement...


Also the white is not a neutral.
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Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:54 PM   #6
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Basic question regarding switch replacement...


Oh, OK, I'll be paying close attention to that,
thanks again!
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:58 PM   #7
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Basic question regarding switch replacement...


@ Jimport: Thanks for clarifying that, I just found out it is also load carriying in this scenario...

Cheers,

82ndpara

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