DIY Doctor

Lighting on landing incorrectlywired

Postby N20Y1D » Wed Mar 19, 2008 3:46 pm

Recently moved and have found a problem with the upstairs hall lighting.

This can be switched on downstairs from the dual switch shared with the downstairs hall lights or upstairs from a single switch.
However there is a problem with switching the lights off in that if they were turned on downstairs they have to be switched off downstairs and if they were switched on upstairs they can only be switched off from upstairs.

Obviously its not a real problem as such but was wondering if this is something that is fairly straightforward to fix?
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Postby kuzz » Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:06 pm

easy to fix. just needs the wires swapping round in the 2 gang switch
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Postby ericmark » Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:17 pm

Seems your lights are wired in parallel not as a two way light. Be careful looking at two way lights. Wikipedia shows them wired in school boy fashion which although it works requires wires to be joined inside the switch box. Most electricians instead of taking live to common and switch from common swap the switch around and common is only wire not connected to lamp or line. Unless you are into logic you will get totally confused without a diagram. What you have found is common where upstairs and downstairs have been split onto different fuses. Since both switches had a permanent live on one terminal instead of running triple and earth between the lights they ran twin and earth and bridged the live in one double switch. Where this has been then split up and down this practice had to stop as the two lives were from different fuses/mcb's and it would result in the wrong return wire being used. To correct this often the only way is to fit a new cable. To correct, both switches would need rewiring. If you find red, yellow, blue cores to one of the cables in the switch (it will go between both switches so can be viewed in either) then maybe it can be corrected without running new cables but if only red and black cores to all cables it would take a lot more work. Either way I would not think it would be DIY work.

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