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Questions tagged [switch]

For questions about switches, i.e. electrical devices used to manually open and close an electric circuit on a routine basis.

3
votes
3answers
22k views

is it possible to do a 3 way switch if power source is in the second switch?

In my research on how to install a 3 way switch, i've seen different ways on how to install the wires but i haven't found the schema that would help me in my situation. Here's a screenshot of my ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

How can I utilize a light switch for a specific outlet?

I just moved into a new apartment and in one of the bedrooms, there is a light switch that switches one of the outlets on and off. Unfortunately, this outlet is placed in the opposite side of the room ...
4
votes
5answers
21k views

How can I remote control a switch for a pool pump?

I want to be able to start and stop two pool pumps by remote control, independently. Each one works at 220V, 1 kW (i.e. around 5A, expect a current spike when starting.) Do you know an off the shelf ...
3
votes
1answer
601 views

Can I use a transfer panel with something other than a generator?

What I am trying to do is use a transfer panel to power some 15-amp sockets with ether a dimmer pack, or from the main. (trying to set up a theater space so when there's not a show going on you can ...
4
votes
4answers
8k views

How can I replace a two way switch with a ZW4001 Z Wave enabled light switch?

I am trying to replace a single switch connected to a single light bulb with a Z Wave enabled switch, model ZW4001Z; a link to the manual for the switch is at the bottom. There is a wiring diagram on ...
3
votes
1answer
20k views

How can I replace a 3-way light switch with a motion sensor?

I'm trying to replace one of the three-way light switches in my garage with a motion sensor. But I'm confused by the wires on the existing switch. I thought the hot wire goes to the black screw ...
1
vote
5answers
23k views

When I turn on my light switch, there is a delay before the light comes on

We have a ceiling fan light. One swith controls the fan, the other the light. When I turn on the light switch, there is a noticable delay (like a full second) before the light comes on. Is it a ...
4
votes
2answers
322 views

Where can I purchase push button electrical switches?

Our old house has push button light switches. I would like to find some modern replica switches and face plates for use in some electrical improvements. I have checked at our local home improvement ...
5
votes
2answers
7k views

Can a low voltage light switch be located in a closet as opposed to outside the closet?

Okay you guys I have next question. And like all good questions this one begins with a story. I was reading the post about a nick in a wire and read a couple of you mention that light switch in a ...
7
votes
3answers
23k views

How do I install a single-pole switch w/ pilot light?

I am trying to replace a very old one-way switch with a pilot light (light comes on when the switch is on). The original switch was extremely old, and used quick-install terminals ONLY. Even worse, ...
54
votes
10answers
61k views

When I turn down the dimmer switch on my lights, do I actually use less electricity?

My wife and I have several lights on dimmer switches throughout our home. We generally prefer the ambient lighting provided by dimmed lights. I am curious, though, if we are saving any electricity by ...
3
votes
3answers
10k views

How can I replace pull switch lights with wireless remote receivers / switches?

does anyone have experience with the Lightning Switch or Illumra or recommend any other remote switches for replacing the pull switch light fixtures without having to rewire the house. The tech looks ...
3
votes
1answer
14k views

How to add GFCI to a box with one outlet controlled by a switch?

I'm pretty inexperienced when it comes to electrical work, though I do know my way around a circuit diagram, thanks to some EE courses in college. I think this is one I can do myself, I just would ...
10
votes
2answers
886 views

Where can I get a switch for a 30A circuit?

I would like to add a switch to a 30A plug, but I am having trouble finding one (they are all rated at 15a/20a). Is there a reason you can't buy 30A switches or is it called something different? To ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I wire a switch/receptacle combination?

Here's my current situation. I've got 14/2 to the ceiling. The hot wire has a runner, which runs down to the switch, and the other wire is a switched hot, back to the light. The other side of the ...
5
votes
1answer
731 views

What should I do with a 3-way light switch that is no longer needed?

How do I get rid of a 3-way switch? I am rewiring some lights in an older home and found that one of the switches is a 3-way. However, the light it was originally for was removed years ago. So we ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I add a light switch to an existing lighting circuit?

I have a Light switch that runs four lights, I would like to add a switch to the last light. Is this possible and how could this be wired?
6
votes
2answers
28k views

Why does voltage still exists when a circuit is broken by a 3-way switch?

My parents got a ceiling light for my parents for Christmas, which I was tasked with installing. I don't know why I bothered to check the voltage before putting the new fixture on (and after taking ...
1
vote
1answer
137 views

Is there a remote switch I can use to replace a switch located in a wall being removed?

I am removing two walls that contain light switches for the dining, and kitchen ceiling lights. Is there a wireless switch I can use for control, without fishing wires into the existing walls?
9
votes
1answer
135k views

Is it normal to have a light switch setup using only the hot wire?

I was changing the light switches around the house when I came upon this setup. The two switches to the right are all wired using the hot wire (black) from the two electrical wires on the back panel. ...
1
vote
5answers
41k views

Why are my new switches tripping the circuit breaker sometimes?

Here's the scoop: There are 3 switches in my hallway. One switch on side A and two switches on side B. Side A switch controls same light as one switch on Side B. I replaced the switch on Side A ...
7
votes
1answer
68k views

How do I wire a GFCI/Switch Combo?

I'm replacing an old GFCI/Switch combo. In the old one there are two wires coming into the line side, a hot wire and a neutral. On the load side there is one wire leading up to the lighting fixture. ...
6
votes
1answer
360 views

How can I get my Self-Destruct switches to do something?

In my house, there were some confusing panels of that had lots of switches on them, so I bought a labeling machine and put labels over all the switches in the house. There are two blank switches next ...
2
votes
2answers
8k views

how can i find electric short from room to fuse box?

When I came home last night the wife was setting in the dark in the bedroom. Why are the two hall lights strobing I ask? She did not know, she took a nap and when she woke no power in the room. ok??? ...
6
votes
1answer
4k views

How do I wire these dimmer switches? The current wiring is crazy

I've installed light switches in other parts of our house, but there is one pair of dimmers that mystifies me. One is a normal dimmer and one is supposed to be a three way dimmer, but the latter is ...
12
votes
4answers
257k views

How can I override a motion detector light?

I am going to be installing one or two motion detector lights to cover my backyard. I would like the ability to "override" the motion detector. What I mean by this is that I would like to be able to ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Is there a way to mark/label a special use switch?

I'm going to be rewiring my front porch light, and in the process I've decided to pull cable for a switched receptacle for Christmas lights. I'm going to install a 2 gang box for both switches (porch,...
3
votes
1answer
8k views

Is my dimmer switch failing or is it bad wiring?

A few days ago my wife mentioned that there was a "burning smell" near the kitchen, but it went away before I could investigate. Today I turned on the dimmer switch in my kitchen, and the lights began ...
4
votes
2answers
795 views

Triple switch plate size issue

I have a plate of 3 light switches that's just taking up too much real-estate. See picture below: As you can see, I've got a bookcase right next to it, and I could use a little more room there. The ...
1
vote
2answers
4k views

What's the best lubricant for a refrigerator water dispenser switch?

The water dispenser on my refrigerator sticks when you press it in. Sometimes it pops right out, and sometimes it stays in for 10-15 seconds. I've taken it apart a couple of times, cleaned it out, and ...
33
votes
3answers
237k views

How should I rewire a miswired 3-way switch?

I have a 3 way switch that was wired incorrectly when the switches were replaced with a different color switch. Is there a methodical way for me to identify which wires represent which piece of the ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

adding new power outlet, ceiling fan/switch kills the power to it when on

I'm adding a new power outlet for some electronics. I'm dropping a 12/2 wire from the attic where I'm attaching it to a junction box. The junction box has an existing wire, 12/2, and a 14/2 wire ...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

How to determine what 3-way switch system was used?

How can I tell if an old Knob & Tube 3-way switch is still legal by the modern NEC? Specifically I am trying to tell if my switch is a "California 3-way" (or "Coast 3-way", "Hollywood 3-way", etc....
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Covered or Locking Light Switch?

I have an attic fan that is operated by a regular old light (toggle) switch. The problem is that the switch was installed by the previous owner in the master walk-in closet, right where one would ...
3
votes
1answer
285 views

Identify type of switch

Can anyone identify the type of switch this is? There are 4 connectors at the bottom and 3 at the top. I've already purchased a 2 gang 2 way switch which turned out to be the wrong one (it only has 2 ...
2
votes
1answer
225 views

Is it safe to replace a switch with a dimmer on halogen spots?

I live in Europe (so we're on 220V), and in the house we've got two halogen spots (on a transformer) on a plain switch. Is it safe to replace the switch with a dimmer (like these)? Do the transformer ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

How do I install a 2 gang low voltage bracket?

Purchased varying 1 gang and 2 gang low voltage screw-in type brackets as seen here. Upon inspection they appeared to simply sit in the wall with the the screws being screwed into the side of the dry ...
1
vote
1answer
517 views

Installing a surface switch

I have a little utility room with bare cement walls. So I want to install a little surface switch. As far as i understand normally switches are installed on a hot wire, but this switch has no ...
2
votes
1answer
655 views

Adding new lights to a switch

I have a single light controlled by a switch in my garage. It's really pathetic, so I decided to add some shop lights to the same switch. Upon opening up the light wiring box, I found not 1 but 4 ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What do I need to replace 4 light switches on the same circuit?

So we have a single light in our living room that can be turned on/off from four different switches at various entrances to the living room. We're currently replacing all the switches in our house as ...
11
votes
2answers
74k views

Is it ok to wire light switches and lights with 12/2 cable?

It sounds like light switches and lights are usually wired with 14/2 cable. Is it okay to use 12/2 cable instead? Would I need special switches?
2
votes
3answers
22k views

Is there such thing as a 4-way dimmer?

I have a 4-way switch I want to replace with a dimmer. I understand I can put the dimmer at one of the other 3-way switches, but they're more out of the way. Does such a device exist? If not, what ...
1
vote
1answer
578 views

Installing a switch for a water heater's lower element

I'd like to install a switch for the lower element of my water heater. I haven't even looked inside the water heater yet, but I'm a little confused about what the best way to go about doing this ...
12
votes
1answer
19k views

How exactly does a 3-way switch work?

I just finished replacing all of the switches and outlets in my apartment, after fighting a long war with a weird 3-way switch. Needless to say, I won, but I'm still trying to grasp the concept of how ...
9
votes
8answers
16k views

Home light switch circuit with 5 switches

I am new to the amazing world of electronics and am starting out small. I think... Early 2010, the wife and I bought a house that was built in 1979. Now I started replacing light switches and ...
1
vote
4answers
10k views

How do I take a live wire off of a two way switch?

if I know how to take the live wire off then my job is easier.
7
votes
4answers
8k views

What should I do with a double gang box if I no longer need two separate switches?

We're relocating our TV to a side of our living room that has a power outlet controlled by a wall switch. The switch is part of a double gang box (1 switch controls the porch light, the other ...
6
votes
2answers
7k views

How does a three-way light switch work?

A three-way light switch allows the light to be controlled from two locations. How does this work?