Two way switch wiring problem

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Hi,

Familiar tale, i've changed light switch at the top of the stairs, and for the life of me cannot get it to work.

At the moment, in the configuration I've got, the switch at the bottom of the stairs doesn't turn the upstairs light on (where I've changed the socket), and turning the upstairs light on from upstairs turns all other upstairs lights off! I've tried everything, and consulted every wiring diagram I can find and can't get this to work. I've done this kind of thing many times before, but never had a disaster like this.

Picture attached of current configuration.

Please help.
 
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sounds like you have the live to the rest of the circuit where one of the switched lives should be

I presume you don't have a before picture?

Do you have a test meter of some sort?

How many switches have you adjusted? Just one?
 
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Looking at the wiring arrangement displayed in the photograph your three core and earth cables should match the colour/terminal positions of the other switch.

You then should have two Twin & Earth browns left - the earths and neutrals (blue) are already connected to their appropriate terminal blocks/backplate.

One of them is there to bring the power (live) into the switch and would normally go in terminal L1 (Assuming you have C, L1 and L2) or (L, L1 and L2) terminal markings.
The other outgoing switch live brown should go in L2.

So you end up with one wire going in C/L and two going in L1 & L2.
 
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One of those browns is the live feed in
One (or more) is the live feeds out.
One is the strapper to downstairs
One may be to the light itself.

As above, You are going to need a test meter and the knowledge of how to use it.

Also.
Take a picture of the downstairs switch and post it on here, That may help, a bit.


Do you remember if there were any other wires terminated in chic block, other than the blues and the other ones that we cannot see (earths?)
 
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Thanks for your replies. To answer questions in order|

I don't have a before picture; I thought I'd kept the wires adequately separated as to where they had come out but clearly not.

I don't have a test meter - something I will rectify tomorrow.

This is the first and last switch I've touched.

No other wires were terminated. There was a rogue brown wire just hanging on it there connected to nothing. I am certain grey and black were in this position previously.

I'll get a picture of downstairs and post shortly.

Maybe I would be best just to get a sparky to sort my mess out :)
 
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I don't have a test meter - something I will rectify tomorrow.
A multimeter, at least, is an essential tool to have if you want to work on your electrics. It is just as important to have that correct tool as it is to have screwdrivers to use on screws instead of the point of a vegetable knife, wirecutters to use instead of nail scissors, wirestrippers to use instead of teeth, and so on.

Neon screwdrivers are questionable from a safety POV as they use your body as a current path, and they are unreliable - to safely check for voltage you must use a 2-pole tester, such as a proper voltage indicator or a multimeter.



This looks ideal for a household starter set - multimeter, voltage indicator and dedicated continuity tester, all in a handy case: http://www.amprobe.eu/de_DE/showproduct/115/Junior-Set/

PDF brochure: http://www.amprobe.eu/de_DE/downloadfile/115/beschreibung_1/

All in German, unfortunately, as is the blurb on each product:

Multimeter: http://www.amprobe.eu/de_DE/showproductdata/487/Hexagon_55/

Voltage indicator: http://www.amprobe.eu/de_DE/showproduct/116/2000_α_(alpha)/

Continuity tester: http://www.amprobe.eu/de_DE/showproduct/481/TESTFIX/

but it is sold in the UK - the company is now owned by Fluke, and I guess they haven't got all the websites sorted out yet - contact them (http://www.fluke.co.uk) for info on where to buy.

Right now the English specs are still lurking on the Internet Time Machine from when Beha was an independent company:

http://web.archive.org/web/20060920022629/http://www.beha.com/files_uk/multimeter/93549.pdf


Also see another discussion here: http://www.diynot.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=26282 It's a few years old, so specific model number advice may be obsolete (and prices will be higher), but the generic advice is still sound.
 
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Thanks for the good advice and links. I'll take note.

Here's a couple of pictures of the inside of the downstairs switch. I haven't messed with this one, its working fine.

 
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Assuming the right hand gang of the switch is the two way to upstairs then as I said before your three core and earth cable colours/terminal markings need to match the switch upstairs.
For downstairs looks like L1=brown, L2 = black(brown sleeved) and L3 = grey(brown sleeved).
So for upstairs firstly make sure the cable colours match the terminal markings so the brown (3 core) goes in the L1, L2 =black and L3=grey.
then one of the two remaining browns goes into L1 with the black and the other into L3 with the grey.
 
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But there's an extra brown.

The OP says it is not used, but I think it is, especially as it is stripped back.

The three browns that are not part of the 3 core cable will be: feed in, feed out and switchwire to landing light.

You need to find out which is which.

You have feed and switch mixed up, hence the odd switching results.
 
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Thanks for the help.

I've just spent 90 minutes on this and it won't work. It's currently in a state where the upstairs light works from both upstairs and downstairs switches, but no other upstairs lights work. I've had it where all the upstairs lights work but the upstairs landing one doesn't.

There's two brown from the 3 core and two from the top. So it's currently:

L1 - brown from 3 core
L2 - brown from top & grey
L3 - brown from 3 core & black
The other top brown is free.

I've tried both top browns and this alternates between landing working/rest not and landing not working/rest are. If either of the 3 core brown are free, nothing works properly. Seems both of the top browns need to go somewhere, but there isn't anywhere and I know one was free when I first opened it up.

I honestly believe I've tried every combination at least once. Just gonna ring a sparky tomorrow to come sort this mess out! Luckily, I know when I'm beaten.

Thanks once again for your help.
 
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Yup, that's definitely what I've currently got. Upstairs landing works fine, no other upstairs lights do.
 
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That's right, there are four brown - two from the 3 core, two from the top.

Edit:just realised I may be incorrectly calling it a 3 core based on that!
 
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Yes, that's what I said! There are 4 browns.

As I said, one will be part of the 3 core+ earth cable and there will be 3 twin and earth cables too.

The three blues are connected in the block, no?

So, of the three browns that are part of the twin and earth cables, one is a switch wire and two are live feeds - one in and one out.

So, in the top switch terminal goes the brown from the 3 core + earth cable.

In the bottom ones:

one terminal has black from 3 core, plus the two live feeds (in and out).

one terminal has grey from 3 core, plus the switch wire.

YOU WILL HAVE TO ID WITH A MULTIMETER WHICH OF THESE BROWNS IS WHICH!!!

If you get these mixed up (as you have), then you will get odd switching results (as you have).
 

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