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HELP!!!!!

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by dtutton, 21 Nov 2005.

This topic originated from the How to page called Replacing a one way light switch with a two way light switch.

  1. dtutton

    dtutton

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    I have got a couple of switches that i want to replace in my halway/landing. There are two lights one upstairs and one downstairs. The switch upstairs is single and only works the upstairs light. The one downstairs is a double switch, that does both lights. I am relacing the upstairs one with an exact relacement so i can follow that one and do a like for like swap. The one donstairs i want to change from a double normal switch to a double dimmer but the conections on the back of the switch are different to the one that is already there. can anyone help?
     
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  3. dingbat

    dingbat

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    First of all, have a look at the diagrams and notes in the post entitled 'For Reference' at the top of the forum. It should tell you all you need to know.

    Then, before you disconnect anything, make a note or draw a diagram of what goes where.

    But before you do any of this, ask yourself: do you really want a dimmer on your landing and hallway lights? Of course, it's up to you what you do, but mood lightig in the stairwell?
     
  4. dtutton

    dtutton

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    Thank you so much for the reply very quick. I have read through all of the bit in the ref section but i am being very thick when it comes to this sort of thing!! Sorry!!! The thing that is confusing me is there doesnt seem to be any diagrams with a single switch going to a double one? HEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLP!!!! The dimmer is cool because it has leds on it and you dont have to use it as a dimmer!!

    The switches that i have on there at the moment have 4 holes and the one i want to put on has 6. two of them have L1 and two have L" and the other 2 have an arrow with a wiggle on it. The double switch that is there already has only 4 holes with 1 and 2 on.
     
  5. dingbat

    dingbat

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    Okay, calm down. ;)

    Your landing switch is a one-gang switch.
    Your hallway switch is a two-gang switch, which simply means that it contains two separate switches. One of these operates only the hall light and will just have two wires going into it. The other is (from your description) linked to the landing switch in order that the landing light can be switched from both the landing and the hall. It should have either three or five wires connected.

    As a one-way switch needs two terminals and a two-way switch needs three terminals I can't see how you could possibly have just four terminals in the hall switch, because this would mean it was two simple one-way switches. Are you sure that there aren't two terminals you haven't counted? Or are you saying that each switch has four terminals (in which case it sounds like an intermediate switch)?

    Two way switches (which is what your new ones are and what your old ones should be) have three terminals for each switch a 'common' and two switched lives. they may be labelled in one of several ways: C, L1 & L2, or L1, L2 & L3, or 'squiggle/arrow' L1 & L2. In the case of your new ones you have 'squiggle/arrow' for common with switched lives L1 & L2.

    Go back and have another look at your existing setup and identify the commons, the L1s and the L2s, then make a drawing. All you have to do is swap like for like on the new switches and make sure any metal faceplates are earthed.
     
  6. dtutton

    dtutton

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    I am trying to replace a double light switch but the one i am trying to replace has different markings than the one i have bought!!

    The one that is connected already which works has a total of 8 holes 4 on the back of each switch. The new one i have got has a total of six holeson the back - three on each switch with L1 L2 and an arrow with a wiggley line on.

    The current switch by the way has just the numbers 1 and 2 on each hole if you see what i mean. Which wire go where? The wire are coming from the upstairs from a single light switch!!!
     
  7. dingbat

    dingbat

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    Okay. The thing is, if you can't work this out from all those very helpful diagrams you really do need to get in somebody who can.

    If you have four terminals on the back of each of the switches on your hallway switchplate and none of them are earth connections then you have a two-gang intermediate switch (which is highly unusual).

    On the switch which just operates the hall light you should just have two terminals connected. These correspond to 'wiggle' and L1 on your new switch.

    The other one will have three terminals in use. One is being used as the common ('wiggle') the other two are your L1 and L2.

    But I really think you need to leave everything as it is until you know what you are doing.

    Or are you getting frantic because you've already disconnected everything and it's now getting dark?
     
  8. dtutton

    dtutton

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    Thank you for your help- everything is still connected but - it should be straight forward enough just to swap the switches. I think it is an intermeditate switch or what ever you said i hve got a earth wire it is just insulated and not connected to anything! The wires i have coming down from the landing is 2 x red 1 x black and a blue and a yellow one. so any clues?
     
  9. dingbat

    dingbat

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    There will be a red and black (twin and earth) cable, which is the switch wire to the lamp. There will also be a red, blue and yellow (three-core and earth) cable which connects between the two switches that operate this light.

    One switch (and I'm guessing from your description that it's the landing one) should have blue and yellow, red and black in the L1 and L2 terminals (it doesn't matter in what combination as long as there's a red in one and a black in the other) and just the red from the three-core cable in the common terminal. (5 wires in all, excluding the earths)

    The other switch that operates the landing light - the one in the hallway - will just have the three-core cable connected; red to common, blue and yellow to L1 and L2 (and again, it doesn't matter which way round.) This should help you identify which of your existing wires goes to common.

    The remaining switch downstairs will just have a red and black - one is in the common, the other in L1. (Note this red and black cable is not the same one that you see at the landing switch)

    (Actually, all of the cables should have red sleeving on them, but it is not at all unusual to see this regulation ignored.)

    The earths should at least be connected together and if there is a terminal on the plate of the new switch plates, terminate them there.

    Hope this helps. I won't be replying again as I'm off to catch a train and will be out of town for a few days.

    Good luck!
     
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  11. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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  12. dtutton

    dtutton

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    Thanks thats right like the top picture is my landing single switch. and then the hall has 3 wire connected on on switch ans 2 on the other i think ive got it i just couldn't work out which went to the common.

    Do you have a picture of a 1 gang going to a 2 gang switch? So that i can folow it?

    Thank you so much! i am nearly there!!!
     
  13. Damocles

    Damocles

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    TLC sell two gang intermediates, or at least they did when I bought one.

    To be clear, there are five separate wires going to the one switch downstairs: presumably one cable containing a black and a red, and a second cable containing red, blue and yellow. (Both cables should also have a bare earth, which should be sleeved in yellow/green and be connected together, to a terminal on the backing box if there is one.)

    Presumably there are some completely separate cable/cables going to the other switch which does downstairs only?

    Presumably there are no other switches anywhere which work any of the landing lights?

    presumably a cable containing red, blue and yellow appears upstairs and connects to the single switch there?

    OK, then someone may have used a four terminal switch downstairs, and it can be replaced by 3 terminal switches. Please advise which cables downstairs are connected to each other. I would guess that one of the four switch terminals is not used, and the other three are. Then read the unused one as the misssing one on the three terminal switch.

    I would guess that the paired red and black each share a connection with one of the red blue and yellow. You will need to keep the ones which are now together, still together when you swap switches. The connections with two wires will transfer to L1 and L2. The single wire will go to common.
    Unless it was not wired the way I described to begin with.
     
  14. Damocles

    Damocles

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    Further to the last, if that is one three wire cable to the upstairs switch and one 3 wire cable to the downstairs switch, then where is the cable going off to the lamp?
     
  15. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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  16. dtutton

    dtutton

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    I spoke to dinbat a few days ago and i am trying to wire a 2 gang switch. The reason i am confused is that my new switch is labelled like this:

    L Sw ~

    And i dont know what these mean or match up with L1 , L2 and Common.

    HELLLLLLLLLLP again if your there DINGBAT!!!!
     
  17. Steve

    Steve

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    not only have you posted that reply here, but it has appeared also in 2 ENTIRELY NEW threads on the electrics UK forum. Why have you done this dtutton? Chances are, dingbat will be back here to answer your question, or someone else will be able to answer it. Please dont be so impatient.
    EDIT MAKE THAT 3 NEW THREADS WHY OH WHY?????
     
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