replacing a double switch for a single

18 Jan 2005
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United Kingdom
Hello, my problem is probably easy to sort but its got me baffled.
Theres a single light switch in the kitchen,and a double in the dining room.
Id like to swap the double for a single, but the wires are a puzzle to me.
The double has two blocks with two terminals each on top and one each at the bottom.There are two cables wired to it (A&B).
This is hard to explaine. The left hand block as viewed from behind has a black wire at the top from cable A, there is also a red wire linking both blocks at the bottom.
The right hand block has the red wire from cable A at the bottom and a black and red from cable B in separate terminals at top. Earth wires from A&B are connected to the earth terminal in the box in the wall.

The single switch block has a black wire at top, the earth is in the box, but the red is just hanging. Theres a separate red cable at the bottom.Im not sure where from. PLEASE can someone help me sort it !
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why do you wnat to change a double to a single gang switch, as i read it that means either one light wont work (no switch because you have removed it) or both lights will come on at same time
Hi Breezer,
I didnt want the double switch in the dinning room to control the kitchen light at all. (I dont know why it ever did!)
I didnt realise changing the double would mean both lights would work together.
My kitchen and dinning room are kind of one large area now and it seems silly to have the redundant double in one end when i thought a single would do.
So it seems ill just have to put up with it eh? Oh well, it was only an asthetics thing.
By the way thanks for the prompt reply.What a cool site this is!
I see what you are saying.

Does the single switch in the kitchen have 2 cables? One cable having two cores, going to the two terminals at one of the switch? And the other cable also having 2 core, one core connected to the other end of the switch, and one left un connected??
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Hello Lectrician,
The single switch has a three core and a single (i presume live ) cable.
only the earth and black from the three core are connected a, and the solo cable is also connected.does this help?
Does the single switch turn on the kitchen light, aswell as one of the gangs of the 2gang switch?? And can you turn it on at one switch, and off at the other??

How many conductors terminate into the single switch plate??
The single switch in the kitchen turns on the kitchen light ,and one switch inthe dinning room end also switches the kitchen light on .The other switch on the double opperates the dinning room light.
How many conductors terminate into the single switch plate?im not sure what you mean,but there are two wires fixed in the switch (the solo red , and the black from the three core) and the earth from the three core isfixed in the box in the wall.There are three available terminals at the back of the switch only one is empty.Cheers for the interest by the way!
Sounds as if the kitchen light is not true 2-way (ie, it can't be switched on in the dinning room and off in the kitchen. Think of the usual staircase/landing setup.)

Is this the case?

Any chance of a phot of the switches?? You can put them in a post if you have a scanner of digital camera.

We need to determine the way the switching operates before we can advise on how to re-terminate the 2gang switch.

BTW. A 3 core cable usually means a 3core+EARTH, a twin+EARTH is what I think you are referring to when you say '3core'??
Cheers again Lectrician,
Yes the cable is twin and earth.
The kitchen switch turns the kitchen light on and off.Whereas the switch in the dinning room will turn the kitchen light off or on only if it has already been turned on in the kitchen.Does that make sense?
As for the pics ill have to work on it maybe ill be able to do that . Im quite new to technology.Itll probably have to bee tomorrow as were using the lights right nowand i wouldnt want to open up the switches while theyre on.
If you need coaching on uploading a pic, ask, it's really easy once you know how!

Sounds like your wiring is a little 'against the grain' of the norm! With a couple of pics, I am sure we can sort it.

It will mean you joining a couple of cables inside the dinning room switch with a connector(terminal) block.

You are not defeated yet...
Thanks again friend for the patience,
Ill sort these pics tomorrow. I dont know when ill get back in, but its first on my to do list!
Hopefully catch up with you then.Ok?
Hello again, ...............are you around, Lectrician?

Following last nights episode i have two pics of the light switches refered to in this topic that Lectrician requested.The problem is i cant figure out how to show these to anyone! Can someone please help ?
hbark said:
Hello again, ...............are you around, Lectrician?
to see if some one is on line when you are look at the bottom of the forum index page, there is a list of who is online at that time
hbark said:
The problem is i cant figure out how to show these to anyone! Can someone please help ?

that is what forum information is for

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