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Old 12-06-2006, 09:06 AM   #1
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Easiest way to switch one thing on and another off simaltaneously?


Ok, at work, they have a heater and an exhaust fan. Here is the situation


- the need both the heater and the exhaust fan on seperate circuits
- When one turns the heater on, the exhaust fan needs to go off
- When one turns on the exhaust fan, the heater needs to go off

We thought of using two switches, intaling one upside down and using a bar across the toggles so that when you throw it, both switches go down. ANd down for one would really be on rather then off.

Any other ideas, more efficient? Do they make a special switch? Like a 2 circuit transfer switch or something?


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Old 12-06-2006, 10:27 AM   #2
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Easiest way to switch one thing on and another off simaltaneously?


Multi contact relay.

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Old 12-06-2006, 03:17 PM   #3
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Easiest way to switch one thing on and another off simaltaneously?


Is this 240 volt of 120 volt equipment? If this is 120 volt equipment, I can draw you a quick diagram for nonconventional connections to a 4-way switch to do what you want. If it is 240 volt equipment, you'd need to use a relay. I can draw you that diagram also. Let us know.
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Old 12-06-2006, 04:36 PM   #4
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Easiest way to switch one thing on and another off simaltaneously?


Oh, its 120. Thanks.
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Old 12-06-2006, 05:20 PM   #5
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Easiest way to switch one thing on and another off simaltaneously?


Here you go. A 4-way switch will connect the upper left terminal with the lower right terminal when the switch is in one position. Flip the switch, and the switch will toggle inside and disconnect the set that I just described and connect the upper right terminal to the lower left terminal. It will work great for what you want to do.
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Old 12-07-2006, 07:52 AM   #6
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Easiest way to switch one thing on and another off simaltaneously?


Ah, thanks. Makes sense. I thought of that in my head at first, but it just didnt' seem to right to bring two seperate leads in, but drawing it out made me see the forrest through the trees. Thanks a lot, thats a big help!
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Old 12-07-2006, 06:43 PM   #7
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Easiest way to switch one thing on and another off simaltaneously?


I don't think it will work.
postion one up left to lower right AND up right lower left. That puts them both on.

postion 2 up left to low left AND up right to low right. That puts them both on but now the neutrals are crossed.

If they were on the same circuit then a simple three way would do it.
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Old 12-09-2006, 02:08 PM   #8
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Easiest way to switch one thing on and another off simaltaneously?


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postion 2 up left to low left AND up right to low right. That puts them both on but now the neutrals are crossed.

If they were on the same circuit then a simple three way would do it.
No, the neutrals are not on this circuit diagram, and the 4-way switch connects corner to corner, alternately. I have drawn it properly for two seperate circuits. Get out your meter and check it out...
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Old 12-09-2006, 06:10 PM   #9
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Earth to Mad Dog Earth to Mad Dog.....

You have both loads running all the time. Only the source changes when the switch is flipped.


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Old 12-09-2006, 06:32 PM   #10
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Easiest way to switch one thing on and another off simaltaneously?


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Earth to Mad Dog Earth to Mad Dog.....

You have both loads running all the time. Only the source changes when the switch is flipped.

Exactly. And the source is from two different circuits so now you have crossed the neutral from one circuit to the hot from another circuit.
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Old 12-10-2006, 07:38 AM   #11
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Easiest way to switch one thing on and another off simaltaneously?


You could use a double pole double throw switch, but I havnt seen them designed to go into standard outlets. You could use a blank plate and drill the correct size hole to accept the switch.
You would have to crimp the appropriate connectors on to the wire unless you find a switch that has screws. I have only messed with smaller applications and the switches had only spade type connections. Perhaps the larger switches have screws.
Make sure the switch is rated for the volts and amps required.
Your idea of a handle tie might be simplest and most economical if you are able to make the tie physically stout enough to actually force the job. Might not be worth time to mess with though, I haven't thought of a good way to do it.
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Old 12-11-2006, 03:45 PM   #12
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Easiest way to switch one thing on and another off simaltaneously?


Actually it wont' work. I just busted out my trusty continuity tester....

UP position. top left connects to bottom left. AND top right to bottom right.
Down postion. Top right connects bottom left and top left to bottom right.

No source switching will occur, because as soon as you introduce a second power source, all terminals are powered in either position...
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Old 12-13-2006, 03:08 PM   #13
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Easiest way to switch one thing on and another off simaltaneously?


for clarification
a double pole double throw will have six connections on it. you would not use all six.
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Old 01-02-2007, 08:57 PM   #14
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Easiest way to switch one thing on and another off simaltaneously?


MD's right you guys...... But then he usually is.
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Old 01-03-2007, 05:27 AM   #15
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Easiest way to switch one thing on and another off simaltaneously?


MD is wrong. with a 4 way switch it can be wired so that the equipemnt is on all the time and you are swapping the source, or so that in one position you are bucking line to line back to the panel.

I admit that in the second conditioin the equipment would be off, but it is very unsafe to do.

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