Light In One Lighted Three-way Switch Not Working - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 06-25-2012, 08:07 PM   #1
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Light in one lighted three-way switch not working

Not in the new three-way I recently queried about in another thread, but in the existing (as in last-year's wiring changes) three-way for the main lighting in the kitchen, the light in the switch works properly for one of the two switches. It does not work in the second.

This is possibly related to the most recent addition of three-way in the over-the-sink light because I had to change the switch box from a three-gang to a four-gang, disconnecting and then reconnecting the older three-way switch. Wiring issues discovered in the new switch project - cut wires in the ceiling, etc. - meant I had to rewire much of the wiring in the living room outlets which were on the same circuit as the kitchen lights. This meant that the previously existing three-way was disconnected for a few weeks before I got it finished and all put together again.

When I took it all apart, I took photos of the existing switch wiring before removing the wiring from the switch - even though I was confident in my understanding of how to wire that three-way scenario since I had wired it initially. When I put it all back together, I double-checked against my photos. Also, the previously existing three-way system operates perfectly from both sides. The new three-way switch for the over-the-sink light (not lighted switches though) works perfectly (thanks to those on here who helped with the wiring questions for that one).

The only difference is that the lighted three-way switch to the main kitchen wiring no longer lights when the light is turned off. It did when I disassembled this whole thing but not when I put it back. The switch works; the light in the switch doesn't. I bought a new switch and replaced it but same symptoms. The light switch on the other side (by the back door) does light when the lights are off. The only one not lighting is the one I took apart.

I can't find a thing I did wrong; I think I took all the right precautions and everything else functions and tests correctly.

One additional bit is that the main kitchen lighting is fluorescent tubes. But that is the same fixture that worked just fine with the lighted switch before I took it apart.

I know that's a long post and a lot of information but I am trying to provide as much information as might help in offering suggestions - suggestions for which I am very appreciative.




Last edited by dalepres; 06-25-2012 at 08:30 PM.
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Old 06-26-2012, 06:21 AM   #2
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Very low wattage light fixtures may result in night-light switches not glowing when the lights are switched off. If you can temporarily connect an incandescent "test light" into the circuit (to come on at the same time as the fluorescent lights) you might verify this.

Also it is possible for lighted switches of different brands in the same 3 way subcircuit to not both glow when the lights being switched are off. The two switches and the light being controlled form a series circuit when the light is off. If the lamp in one switch toggle draws much less current (milliamperes) than the lamp in the other, then only the lamp with the smaller draw might glow.


The good conscientious technician or serviceperson will carry extra oils and lubricants in case the new pump did not come with oil or the oil was accidentally spilled, so the service call can be completed without an extra visit.

Last edited by AllanJ; 06-26-2012 at 06:24 AM.
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Old 06-26-2012, 06:27 AM   #3
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IIRC, some illuminated switches don't stay on when there is power to the load.
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