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Help with (what is probably very easy) wiring problem

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by KatieLou275, 9 Apr 2008.

  1. KatieLou275

    KatieLou275

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    I wanted to replace a white plastic switch (which to my knowledge operated an outdoor light only and only has one switch on the front) with a snazzy chrome model. Behind the cover, uinlike all the others, there were two three-core wires. A positive and a negative leading to the terminals at the top of the switch and a positive and a negative leading to the terminals at the bottom of the switch. The terminals were labelled L1, L2, L1, L2 (although switch has now been thrown away so not entirely sure what went where....).

    Anyway, the new snazzy chrome switch also has four terminals but they are labelled L1, L2, L3 and L4. The packaging reveals that this is an 'intermediate switch'. I copied the wiring method from the old switch but with the result that my outdoor light is constantly on, regardless of what position the switch is in.

    Is this because I have got the wiring wrong - or is this because I've bought the wrong replacement switch?

    I have no idea what is in there other than the outdoor light - nothing other than the outdoor light has ever seemingly been affected by the operation (or non-operation!) of this switch.

    My neighbours have now complained about the light being on and the silly security catch means I can't even take the bulb out so any help on this massively appreciated!

    Thanks

    Kate :oops:
     
  2. Spark123

    Spark123

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    It sounds like you have the wrong type of switch - the old one sounds like it may have been a Double Pole switch - not an intermediate (used when you have 3 or more light switches i.e. on a staircase).
     
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  4. flyingsparks

    flyingsparks

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    Hi Kate,
    as Spark123 said it was probabily a double pole switch there before. Is there only one switch to operate the outside light? If so you need to go back and get a "1 way light switch" (or a 2 way will do.)

    Connect one of the reds into L1 or common, and the other red into L2. Put both blacks into a piece of connector block together.

    Should have it sorted now. :D
     
  5. 333rocky333

    333rocky333

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    Is there any chance the switch may have also done a socket or something outside.
    Did the old switch look EXACTLY the same as the other lightswitches in the house
    Did it have the word s OFF or ON stamped on it, or part of the switch marked red to indicate when it was on.
    There is a slight chance it was a 20 amp switch rather than a light switch
     
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  7. 333rocky333

    333rocky333

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    katie
    If your switch was double pole
    Till you get you new snazzy double pole simply
    Isolate the POWER
    join the two wires together (blacks) in a connecter block.

    Connect one red into L1 and the other red into L4
    if the switch works upside down then use L1 and L3 instead
    The metal switch must be connected to te earth wire also
    You could leave it single pole instead of double pole , but as we do not know why it was done , that is your decision.
    It should be ok temporary for now though till you get a double pole light switch, this may not be easy, and you may have to get a 20amp D/pole switch instead

    If the colours are different let us all know
    You said two 3 cores , what are the colours of the cores?
     
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