pull-cord switch

1 May 2005
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United Kingdom
I'm replacing a pull-cord switch for a heated towel-rail. There are 2 reds, 2 blacks & 2 bare wires twisted together coming from ceiling. In the old switch, the reds went to 2 separate L terminals, the blacks to 2 separate N terminals, & the earths to a side terminal. But the new switch just has 3
terminals: COM, 1WAY & 2WAY plus a bit on the baseplate presumably for the earths.

From one thread on this site it seems both reds go to one terminal & both blacks to another - but surely they should be separate as originally wired?

Shouldn't I put the earths in the baseplate terminal, both blacks into COM, & separate the reds between 1WAY & 2WAY? or should I put the reds into COM & the blacks in the other two? OK it sounds like I know nothing but I am turning off the mains & doing pretty diagrams!
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the switch you have now is a two way switch (3 terminals)
the switch you have removed is a double pole switch (4 terminals)

in short you have the wrong switch for your use

what is the rating of your "heater" i know its a bit big but this is a double pole isolator

other suppliers of double pole isolators are available
highlandcow said:
OK it sounds like I know nothing but I am turning off the mains & doing pretty diagrams!
Include in your pretty diagrams the internal workings of a switch and you'll see why what you propose will result in a ****** great BANG
Thanks Breezer for the very helpful reply.

Have found double-pole switches in B&Q which match, one is rated 16 amps, the other 45 amps with neon. The plug I cut off the heater was 13 amp fused & so was the existing FCU I connected it to.

Chap in B&Q said a 16-amp one would do - but the wires are very thick & the 45 amp one looks more like the original one (and the one in your hyperlink) so I got that.

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Was this circuit originaly an electric shower circuit, that is no longer in use for its original purpose, so has been used for the towel rail instead?
I doubt there was an electric shower in the bathroom - this is a stone croft house (you can tell how old by the afterthought kitchen extension & being 4 feet from the railway) - it was "modernised" some time ago with ancient electric heater in the bathroom, shower cubicle in the bedroom & heated towel rail beside the bed. All I have done is throw out the bathroom heater & move the towel rail into the bathroom. Thought it would be ok as both appliances had same fuse rating. But it could be a shower circuit serving both rooms.
Towel rails in my experience are around 120W max, so I cannot see the need for a 45A switch. If you have a high powered radial circuit feeding the towel rail, it should be fused down.
Och well I've dunnit now & everything works fine. Mainly got the larger switch for the neon & matching the original, & the wires were too thick to fit the little one.

now for my next project.

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