2 way switches confusion

  • Thread starter Closebutnocigar
  • Start date
C

Closebutnocigar

Hi All,

Hoping someone can help with my home wiring problem as it's driving me mad. I will try to give as much info as possible and will answer questions to the best of my ability

I'm not 100% on the difference between what all my Red wires are and don't have a meter to check, just so you know. I have asked 3 electricians to look at this for me but none have turned up at all after giving and agreeing quotes, hence I am trying to fix it myself.

Problem arose when old plastic switches were removed and swapped for new flush fitting ones, by cowboy who never returned!! House is only 4 years old and wiring is:

Red - Permanent Live?
Yellow - Switched Live?
Blue - Neutral?

I have a 3 story town house:

On the ground floor I have a double light switch that works the ground floor light & middle landing..this works fine.

On the middle floor I have a double light switch that works the middle landing & top landing..the middle landing works fine but the top floor landing light doesn't work.

On the top flor I have a single switch for the top landing and this doesn't work.

I have tested the top floor light fitting and bulb and these work ok, so i know my issue is with the wiring.

The switch on the middle floor has 6 wiring ports and is wired as follows:

Common Common
Red Red




L1 L2 L1 L2
Red Red Yellow Blue
Yellow Red
Blue

The switch on the middle floor has 3 wiring ports and is wired as follows:

Common
Red

L1 L2
Red Red
Yellow Blue

So to try and resolve this issue, i have taken a new piece of 4in of red wire and have created loop on middle floor switch between L2 (red red blue now plus my red) and common on the other side (red now plus my red).

The top landing light now works and switches off and on from the middle floor hurrah. Sadly my bedroom lights on top floor are now on all the time...the light switch on the top floor will turn them off but still doesn't work top landing light. Not sure all how bedroom lights have come into it as they work fine on their own single switch and always have done.

So what i need to know is how do i get the middle and top landing lights working without having to sleep with the light on.

I appreciate some advice will be to get a sparks in but as I say I've tried 3 all to no avail and the sparks who changed my switches left me in this mess.

Please help!! Thanks to all who feel able to contribute it's much appreciated.

THANKS
 
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I'll not even think about your H&S statement :eek:

Have you checked out the excellent diagrams for 2 wy and 3 way lighting on the (in house) wiki. See top of page 3rd from Rhs looking left.

You need to confirm what wires do what, the poke and hope method could be dangerous.

If you really want to sort it the diagrams, a multimeter and some sense should sort it.

Does one of the 3 way switches have an intermediate switch, it's required, as the diagram will show.
 
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Problem arose when old plastic switches were removed and swapped for new flush fitting ones, by cowboy who never returned!!
Was this cowboy registered with NICEIC, or NAPIT, or ECA, or BSI.....?


I appreciate some advice will be to get a sparks in but as I say I've tried 3 all to no avail and the sparks who changed my switches left me in this mess.
You will have to buy a multimeter, and you will have to learn how to use it and how lighting circuits work.
 
C

Closebutnocigar

He was Nicec...but I've tried to trace through them and his no. is coming up as dead when you ring...they have been advised!!
 
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I have drawn out your switches as you describe. Have you missed any wires out of the middle floor switch?

To make sense, it could have 2 lots of RYB plus 2 x reds.

You have written RYB x2 + 1 x red.

Can you check again?

It is imperative not to mix up the terminals of the two gang switches. Each switch has a common and L1 and L2 terminals.

Do not get the common from one switch mixed up with the L1 and L2 of the other.

The top switch should have two cables in. A twin red & a RYB cable.

The twin red goes one each in L1 & L2, along with Y&B.

The red of the RYB cable goes to Common.

On the middle 2 gang switch, the RYB cable from the top switch should go: Red to common, Y to L1 and B to L2 (or vice versa) on one side. The other side should have the twin red and RYB for the middle landing lt.

You can find which is the RYB cable from the top switch by using a multimeter set to continuity (WITH THE POWER OFF!)

The bottom switch should be OK as you say it works. One side should have the RYB from the middle landing and the other a twin red from the hall light (one way).

Clear as mud?
 
C

Closebutnocigar

Hi Ban-all-sheds no he's nt on there but thanks for your suggestion. :)
 
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Chances are he was lying to you about being registered.

Contact trading standards - you probably aren't the only one he's fleeced, and every little bit of info can be useful to them.
 
C

Closebutnocigar

Hi Securespark,

Thanks so much for making it a liitle clearer I feel like I'm almost there, just need to find the missing link!

Just to clarify I've re checked what wires I have.

Top floor - single switch which should only turn on and off top landing light (doesn't work) I have 3 incoming cables (A,B,C)

A (RYB)
B (R)
C (R)

I Have it wired as follows:
Common (Red from cable A)
L1 (Yellow from cable A and Red from cable B)
L2 (Blue from cable A and Red from cable C)
so in total top floor has 3 cables and 5 wires :)

Now the tricky bit.
Middle floor - double switch which works middle landing light (all works ok) and top landing light (doesn't work) I have 5 incoming cables (A,B,C,D,E)

A (RYB)
B (RYB)
C (R)
D (R)
E (R)

I Have it wired as follows:
Left side working middle floor (remember all works ok)
Common (Red from cable A)
L1 (Yellow from cable A and Red from cable C)
L2 (Blue from cable A and Red from cable D and Red from cable E)

Right side working top floor (doesn't work)
Common (Red from cable B)
L1 (Yellow from cable B)
L2 (Blue from cable B)
so in total middle floor has 5 cables and 9 wires :)

To try to get top floor switch and middle floor switch both working top lights I tried to run a spare wire of my own from middle switch left side L2 to middle switch right side common. This means that switch on middle works top floor but bedroom lights are always on.

Anyway hope this is a bit clearer appreciate your help.
THANKS!! :D
 
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the best thing you can do is get an electrician.
you could spend days swapping connections
and do more damage than good. you have tackled
the problem on the 2 way lighting and created one on the bedroom light. get a spark he have it sorted in an hour
 
C

Closebutnocigar

As I said have tried 3 local registered electricians, agreed quotes with them all and then none turned up...also had another cowboy round who punted a lower price for cash and no paperwork...NO THANKS.

I have also phoned others but none seem keen on the job when i explain it saying it could be anything and they haven't even turned up to look and quote!

Sad really, my Dad was in the decorating trade for 30+ years and never failed to give free quotes and always turned up for the job...pity he can't do electrics!
 
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sorry dont what to say about that . i thought getting a spark for such an easy job. i find when they are not interested after having a look they are not sparks
and cant do it
 
C

Closebutnocigar

Jock....

I know!!! Even had one great guy who came and looked and started to test wires etc. Told me it was a problem with live feed. Agreed a price and agreed to come back in 2 days.

He was very thorough and i was happy with him and he didn't show again and didn't return any calls.
 

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