Forums | Home Repair | Home Improvement | Painting | Interior Decorating | Remodeling | Landscaping


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 10-10-2012, 10:07 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 4
Share |
Default

Light switch issue


I have two ceiling mounted lights just above the hallway upstairs. The lights are controlled by three light switches, one at the bottom of the stairs, one at the top of the stairs, and one at the other end of the hallway. Recently the one switch at the top of the stairs stopped working, yet the other two switches continued to work with no problems. I replaced the one defective switch and the lights worked fine for a few days regardless of which switch you use. Then, suddenly, the switch that I replaced stopped working again, but this time the other two switches also stopped working. Now all three switches will not work. What did I do wrong?

Joel109 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2012, 10:27 PM   #2
Electrical Contractor
 
jbfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Newnan GA
Posts: 5,479
Default

Light switch issue


Maybe nothing.
I would replace the switch again.
Was the switch wired with the screws or backstabed in to the switch?

I had to replace a switch that I installed 3 weeks before it went bad.
Sometimes it just happens.

__________________
Yes I am a Pirate, 200 years too late. "Jimmy Buffett"
jbfan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2012, 10:38 PM   #3
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 4
Default

Light switch issue


Quote:
Originally Posted by jbfan View Post
Maybe nothing.
I would replace the switch again.
Was the switch wired with the screws or backstabed in to the switch?

I had to replace a switch that I installed 3 weeks before it went bad.
Sometimes it just happens.
How come all three switches stopped working after I initially replaced the switch?
Joel109 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2012, 11:02 PM   #4
jschaben
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: La Crosse, Kansas
Posts: 561
Default

Light switch issue


Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel109 View Post
How come all three switches stopped working after I initially replaced the switch?
Hi Joel - That system would have two 3-way and one 4-way switch. Do you know which one you replaced? I'm guessing it would be the 4-way. How do you know the one you replaced is the one that is bad now, since none work the light? If you replaced the 4-way with a 3-way you would have several combinations where none of the switches would appear to work. I doubt that happened as you have 4 wires to the 4-way and only 3 places to put them on the 3-way(not counting ground).
__________________
John Schaben

"Where all think alike, no one is thinking very much"
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
jschaben is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2012, 04:52 AM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cairns Australia
Posts: 2,108
Default

Light switch issue


Are you really sure you used the correct type of switch ?
A three way switch set up uses stardard type switchs !
But a four way set up uses a special type switch.
And if you have used the wrong type of switch,
this could lead to problems !
dmxtothemax is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2012, 06:01 AM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,521
Default

Light switch issue


Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel109 View Post
I have two ceiling mounted lights just above the hallway upstairs. The lights are controlled by three light switches, one at the bottom of the stairs, one at the top of the stairs, and one at the other end of the hallway.
When working correctly, are both ligh fixtures controlled by each of the three switches(like diagram A below) or is it a situation where 2 switches control one light and the third switch only controls the other light(like diagram B below)
Attached Thumbnails
Light switch issue-4way.jpg   Light switch issue-split.jpg  
hammerlane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2012, 08:58 AM   #7
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 4
Default

Light switch issue


All three switches control the light fixture in the hallway. Shortly after I replaced the bad light switch, then all three stopped working.
Joel109 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2012, 10:14 AM   #8
jschaben
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: La Crosse, Kansas
Posts: 561
Default

Light switch issue


Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel109 View Post
All three switches control the light fixture in the hallway. Shortly after I replaced the bad light switch, then all three stopped working.
Hi Joel - That really hasn't answered any of the questions, just restated the original post. Was the switch you replaced a 3 way or 4 way?
__________________
John Schaben

"Where all think alike, no one is thinking very much"
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
jschaben is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2012, 12:59 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,521
Default

Light switch issue


Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel109 View Post
All three switches control the light fixture in the hallway.

You said in 1st post "I have two ceiling mounted lights just above the hallway upstairs."

Now you are saying, "All three switches control the light fixture in the hallway." To me the light fixture refers to one light.
hammerlane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2012, 01:47 PM   #10
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 4
Default

Light switch issue


One fixture with two bulbs. I honestly don't know if the switch is two or three way.
Joel109 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2012, 03:37 PM   #11
jschaben
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: La Crosse, Kansas
Posts: 561
Default

Light switch issue


Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel109 View Post
One fixture with two bulbs. I honestly don't know if the switch is two or three way.
For the setup you have, you need two 3-way and one 4-way for it to work right. See Hammerlanes post. If you slipped a two way in there it may work until someone turns that switch off, then none will work. Not sure how you would put a 2-way in place of a 4 way, would be two extra wires. If you swapped a 2-way where a 3 way should be, you would have one extra wire. You need to try all combinations of on/off to find out where you are.. lessee, 3 squared thats only 9 combinations.
__________________
John Schaben

"Where all think alike, no one is thinking very much"
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
jschaben is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2012, 04:08 PM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,521
Default

Light switch issue


Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel109 View Post
One fixture with two bulbs. I honestly don't know if the switch is two or three way.
Why would you first describe a fixture with two bulbs as

"I have two ceiling mounted lights just above the hallway upstairs"



And as for you honestly not knowing if the switch is two or three way...that is honestly info you will need to provide.

there is only so much a DIY forum can help you with if you are unable to determine at the very least if a switch is a 3-way switch or a 4-way switch.
hammerlane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2012, 04:21 PM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,521
Default

Light switch issue


Three different types of commonly used switches. Single pole switch, 3-way switch, 4-way switch.
Attached Thumbnails
Light switch issue-sw-types.jpg  

hammerlane is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
2 Wires in to light, 3 Wires out, no juice on the switch prytoo Electrical 4 11-28-2011 05:24 PM
Changing A Double Switch to a single pole switch and a dimmer switch loydbrahn Electrical 0 11-08-2011 11:00 PM
Three-way switch issue... crh1 Electrical 9 10-01-2011 09:42 PM
adding second light from a switch agsurfer Electrical 3 09-10-2010 12:01 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.