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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There is down the stairs a lamp with 2 bulbs. One is controlled by apartment A (by both a switch at the bottom of the stairs and 1 within the apt.) and the other by apartment B (which also has its own control with switches up and down). Up the stairs there is another lamp with 2 bulbs also operated separately from apartment A and B. Outside are 2 other lamps again the same control from A/B. In researching I would guess that this type of electrical wiring is called, SPDT switch-the 3 way light switching circuit. The problem is this. Apartment B and only apartment B has both switches working fine for the up lamp/bulb but doesn't work for the bottom light/bulb and outside one. In testing the bottom switch the problem was found, no electricity was flowing in it. Up to the circuit breaker box I went. All breakers were on. 1 by 1 I switched them on and off, 1X, 2X 3X. And still no power going to the bottom lights. I then moved on to testing the individual breakers. All worked fine except one. it actually worked in reverse, and by this I mean, when testing the other breakers i placed on tester wire on the wire on the breaker and the other onto ground. This 1 different breaker did not work that way unless I turned it off--then the tester did light up.
Could this be my problem? If so do I replace the breaker or should I change the wiring in the breaker? If this is not the problem than what could be it?
Thank you
 

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For U.S. wiring...

FYI - The term "SPDT" is more commonly used with electronics, not electrical wiring in buildings.

For electrical wiring it is called a 3-way switch. You would have two 3-way switches for two switches controlling lighting. And these have 3 connections. One is called "common" and the other two are called "runners".

Then if you wanted to add an additional switch or switches. This would be in the middle of the two runners connecting the above two switches. The switch or switches used for that are called 4-way switches. These have 4 connections.

The above terms will make it easier to search for wiring diagrams such as the following...

3-way switches...



4-way switch...

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
For U.S. wiring...

FYI - The term "SPDT" is more commonly used with electronics, not electrical wiring in buildings.

For electrical wiring it is called a 3-way switch. You would have two 3-way switches for two switches controlling lighting. And these have 3 connections. One is called "common" and the other two are called "runners".

Then if you wanted to add an additional switch or switches. This would be in the middle of the two runners connecting the above two switches. The switch or switches used for that are called 4-way switches. These have 4 connections.
The above terms will make it easier to search for wiring diagrams such as the following...
3-way switches...


4-way switch...
I thank you for correcting me and for giving me a much clearer explanation about the wiring. Please forgive me however for failing to see the answer to my question:"....when testing the other breakers i placed on tester wire on the wire on the breaker and the other onto ground. This 1 different breaker did not work that way unless I turned it off--then the tester did light up.
Could this be my problem? If so do I replace the breaker or should I change the wiring in the breaker? If this is not the problem than what could be it?"

thanks again
 

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You had another question about that breaker and I said on that topic that the breaker should say on/off, etc. Might want to answer over on that topic if the breaker does say on/off or nothing...
 

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If one light works correctly and another does not and both are supposed to be controlled by the same switch
then lack of power at the switch is not the problem. The two lights are supposed to be connected together
(black to black etc.) and that interconnection is bad.

I'm very confused. Could you start over from the beginning describing

(1) which lights work correctly for apartment A
(2) which lights don't work correctly for apartment A

(3) which switches work correctly for apartment A
(4) which switches don't work correctly for apartment A

(5) which lights work correctly for apartment B
(6) which lights don't work correctly for apartment B

(7) which switches work correctly for apartment B
(8) which switches don't work correctly for apartment B
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
faulty switches or breaker

If one light works correctly and another does not and both are supposed to be controlled by the same switch
then lack of power at the switch is not the problem. The two lights are supposed to be connected together
(black to black etc.) and that interconnection is bad.

I'm very confused. Could you start over from the beginning describing

(1) which lights work correctly for apartment A
(2) which lights don't work correctly for apartment A
(3) which switches work correctly for apartment A
(4) which switches don't work correctly for apartment A
(5) which lights work correctly for apartment B
(6) which lights don't work correctly for apartment B
(7) which switches work correctly for apartment B
(8) which switches don't work correctly for apartment B
answer to above
From apartment A out of 3 lights only the 3d(above stairs) works and its allotted switch. The other 2(bottom & outside don't work. As to these other switches,up n down corresponding to, i would believe the bottom n outdoor lights, none work.
Apartment B everything works--all switches and all lights (as well as all breakers within its own breaker box).
 
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