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2 Way Light Stopped Working

Postby seank » Tue Sep 30, 2008 1:32 am

Hi, hope someone can offer me some advice.

A 2 way light in my hallway has suddenly stopped working as a 2 way. It previously did work and I haven't undertaken any electrical work whatsoever to cause the problem.

I can turn the light on & off, however I can only turn it back on using the switch I turned it off with!

I do recall hearing some work been undertaken by my upstairs neighbour, prior to them placing their property on the leasing market. I'm wondering if they had some electrical work carried out, and have accidentally tapped into or shorted my lighting circuit.

Any ideas?

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Simply Build It

Postby kbrownie » Tue Sep 30, 2008 10:43 am

High Sean,
Firstly take a look at switch connection have not become loose, then also check at the lights for same thing.
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Postby ericmark » Tue Sep 30, 2008 11:18 am

This can happen two ways. Most two way systems use a 3 core and earth cable between the two switches and losing one wire of the three could cause this. On some old houses 2 core and earth way used and they borrowed a line from another switch losing one of the line feeds could do the same.
If the neighbour upstairs was originally all part of the same house then you may have been getting a supply from their power which would have been very dangerous and if they have corrected this error it can only be considered as good.
This is however unlikely and it is far more likely a wire has popped of one of the switches this also could be dangerous as you will have a line wire loose.
Either way it needs investigating with the possibility of duel supply I would advise you get someone who knows what they are doing as even with the power completely off if it is connected to upstairs it could still have live wires.
PS I can direct you to circuit diagrams if you want but in view of slim chance of being connected to neighbours supply unless you are skilled I would not DIY.

Postby seank » Tue Sep 30, 2008 4:20 pm


I have checked the connections on both switches. On the first switch I unmounted I immediately saw that one of the wires had indeed popped out of the L2 connection.

This I have rectified by twisting it around the second wire in L2 and securing it back. Having found this out, and not changed/altered or tampered with any of the switches/sockets (other than this one) in my property since moving in, I'm going to be checking the connections on all the other switches & sockets over the next few days.

Thanks for the advice ericmark much appreciated :D
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