I have a light that is operated by two switches. One is upstairs, and the other is down stairs. How can I make the light work by either switch? Currently if I turn the light on down stairs, I cannot turn it off upstairs.

Please advise.

  • 1
    If you are comfortable with wiring, you could describe what the wires connected to each switch now are, and we might be able to advise whether it seems possible to (or simply desribe how it should be wired to) make it work as desired. "Three way switch" is the usual terminology, and there will be several questions/answers about those if you look around here. If you're not comfortable with wiring, the answer is simply to have an electrician make it right. You probably either have a miswired three way switch arrangement, or some sort of "handyman special" where three way switches were not used.
    – Ecnerwal
    May 28, 2015 at 20:05
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    Was this always this way, or has this problem arisen only recently?
    – Joel Keene
    May 28, 2015 at 20:21
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    See past answers about "three-way" switch circuits. There's one in particular where I describe why the common error of connecting one of the switches "backwards" can cause this, and how to fix it by blind experimentation if you don't know how to deal with it in a more organized manner. Unfortunately finding and pointing to past answers is awkward in the Android app.
    – keshlam
    May 28, 2015 at 20:53
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    @keshlam probably refers to Why isn't this 3-way wiring working? May 28, 2015 at 23:05

1 Answer 1


Sounds like a mis-wired 3-way switch. I had one in my house when I moved in that did that. Have a look at my answer to this related question: How should I rewire a miswired 3-way switch?

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