Replacing A Pull Cord Switch

7 Jan 2015
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United Kingdom

I am looking to replace a lighting pull cord switch, situated in an airing cupboard, which seems to have failed (I have tried using a number of working light bulbs in the applicable light socket, but with no effect).

The current switch has three wires connected to it: red/black/earth. The red wire is connected to the COM terminal; the black wire to the A1 terminal; the earth wire is connected to the earth terminal. There is an A2 terminal which has no wires connected to it.

The replacement switch can be used for 1-way or 2-way operation. As there are only two wires (red and black) together with an earth wire, I presume that the new switch should be wired as a 1-way switch. To operate as a 1-way switch, the instructions show a wire connected to the L2 terminal, another wire connected to the COM-L terminal and the earth cable connected to the earth terminal.

My question is which wire(s), red or black, is connected to the L2 and COM-L connectors?

Thanks in advance,

Last edited:
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In a one-way switch, red traditionally is the permanent live and goes in the terminal marked C, COM or COMMON.
Black traditionally is the switched live (only live when the switch is closed) and goes in the L1, L2, L3, A1 or A2 terminal, depending on the manufacturer of the switch.

Just to confuse matters, some manufacturers label COMMON as L1 and if that is the case, then what is usually labelled as L1 is marked L2 and what is usually labelled as L2 is marked L3.

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