3 gang two way light switch confusion

5 Apr 2004
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United Kingdom
evening all - I have a 3 gang light switch at the bottom of my stairs this controls the landing light, dining room light and wall light.
The wall light is one way, the dining room light is two way, the landing light should be two way.
I have four 3 core cables coming into the box - each consists of an earth, a black cable and a red cable.
One cable is marked wall, one dining room, one landing and the other is blank. The earth cables are all connected.
I can get the lights to work but I cant get the landing light to operate two way.
Can any one tell me how I should be connecting the cables to the switch to get the two two sitches to work correctly.

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Is the dining room light working as a two way?

Reason I ask is that usually 3 core & earth is used to operate two way switching.....

What is the "spare" cable doing? is it connected? (one left blank)....as this may be the extra cores you need to operate the two way switching at the landing and possibly the dining room.....

I was going to tell you an extreme guess in what I think is happening, but I read it back to myself....... :confused: .....best answer the questions first....

yes, the dining room is operating as a two way.
All of the wires are connected and there is one blank space left in the switch itself

all you have to do is figure which colours are being used
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Hmmm maybe I haven't made myself clear or I have used the wrong term - I have four cables, each cable has three wires, one is black one is red and one is the earth. The earth wire from each of the four cables is already connected, this leaves me with a red and a black for each of the four cables
I have ared and black wire marked dining room light
a r ed and black wire markedlanding light
a red and black wire marked wall ight
and a red and black wire that is not labelled

The three gang switch has com L1 L2 Com accross the top and L1 L2 Com L1 L2 accross the bottom

I can get the two way switch working for the dining room.
I can't get it working for the landing -
The Switch on the landing has Black in com , Red in 1 and Brown in 2
Iam confused.[/img]
i understood perfectly well your question, the drawing is there to show you how it is done / how it works, which leads me back to my statment "all you have to do is figure which colours are being used

you are also now mentioning a brown cable? (where did that come from, and it shouldnt be there anyway, since brown is flex, not cable)

cables can be put in to who ever did its way of thinking, but that does not make it a "standard" so there is no "conect this to that" for you unless you can tell which cable goes to what, and unless you can tell what cable goes to where i suggest you call an electrician, I insist you do after you mentioned the brown cable, you may have even more wrong, that is not yet aparrent
go on patronise me some more. I'm sorry I have a brown wire - yes it is a wire, flex contains wires, as does cable. I'm sorry that the only other colours Ihave are red and black. Hey I didn't wire the place.That's the situation, thanks for your help.

Do us a favor, and write down what conductors from which cables are connected into which terminals.......(L1 / COM etc)
He's not patronising you - he's trying to make sure you don't hurt yourself, damage your property or end up with no lights working at all.

Without a full description of where each core of each cable is connected at each end, any determination that Breezer makes about how this part of your lighting circuit is wired up is going to be a guess. An educated guess, but still a guess, and guesses are not always the best basis for electrical work.

You have shown yourself to have a less-than-perfect grasp of electrical wiring, and little idea of what is important.

For example, you said "All of the wires are connected and there is one blank space left in the switch itself"

Do you not think that it is very important to tell us which switch terminals are in use, and which one of the 9 is not? Do you not think that if you have, or should have, 2-way switching then it will be essential to determine how each pair of switches is connected to the supply, the light, and each other?

If you do think these things are important, why have you not divulged this information? If you don't think they are important, how do you think it all works? Magic?

Then you throw in the fact that at one of your switches there is 1 core from a piece of flex (not cable - cables have red and black insulated cores, or red, blue and yellow. Flex has blue, brown and possibly green/yellow). Flex should not be there. Whoever did the wiring used the incorrect materials, so who knows what else they did wrong?

Did the landing switch ever work as a 2-way? If it did, what happened immediately before it stoped working?

Please give a more detailed and accurate description of what conductors are connected to which switch terminals. Including which one(s) is/are permanently live. You can use your multimeter to determine this.

Also, do you have 2 lighting circuits (upstairs and downstairs)?

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