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-   -   replacing old lite switches (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/replacing-old-lite-switches-1367/)

yoeasy 11-27-2005 04:53 PM

replacing old lite switches
 
when i took the covers off the switches i noticed three wires instead of two. two red on the left side,one black on the the right lower left.any suggestions?

JustaFramer 11-27-2005 05:50 PM

How old is your house? A switch interupts the hot [common*wrong]wire to shut off power. One of the wires may be a ground. Is one connected to a green nut?
There is also the possibility of a some one in the past jack legging off the switch to power another circuit. I have one in my house that I have to deal with.

Speedy Petey 11-27-2005 06:23 PM

You have a 3-way switch.
You need to determine the odd screw and make sure this wire stays on the common screw of the new switch. One screw will be an odd color, such as black.
A switch does NOT interupt the common wire to shut off power. In fact there is no such thing a a "common" other than the odd screw and corresponding wire of a 3-way switch. The other two wires are called travelers.

Determine which wires are the travelers and which is the "common". This way you can attach the new 3-way correctly.

jproffer 11-27-2005 07:29 PM

The neutral wire (which I assume is the one you refer to as the common wire) is to remain unbroken (such as by switches) all the way back to the panel. Switch the hot side, switched neutrals are dangerous.

EDIT: :o oh three way....I knew that:o :o Anyway, for a single pole switch, break the hot side. My bad:o .

JustaFramer 11-27-2005 08:22 PM

Definitly my bad hot wire is interupted in a switch. I did take electronic's I in high school. :o

donkey 12-04-2005 07:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by yoeasy
when i took the covers off the switches i noticed three wires instead of two. two red on the left side,one black on the the right lower left.any suggestions?

In very old,old houses (1900-1940) you have to be very carefull with 3 way switches.They used systems that are no longer allowed to be used anymore refered to as "lazy susans" or "California 3 ways".On newer 3-ways you will have 2 wires(travelers) that come from one romex/bx and one wire (point)


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