Two way switch

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Two way switch

Postby Jim T » Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:49 am

Could some of the electrical experts out there help me remember how to wire a two way switch. At one point I knew how to do this, but the knowledge has since left me. :cry: My trailer system is going to be 12v. Do I use this switch Image which can be found at
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000BPF8GA?smid=ADFRQ5K4I2LNR&tag=nextag-sports-mp-20&linkCode=asn
and a matching on/off rocker switch? If so, could you remind me of the wiring? If I am completely off base, pointing me in the right direction would be appreciated! :thumbsup:
Thanks, Jim
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Postby BPFox » Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:08 pm

Do you mean a "three way switch"? That is, do you want to control a single light from two different locations? If so, the switch you have shown will not work. The switch shown is not the switch described. The switch shown is simply a two pole on/off switch. The switch described is an on off on switch which would allow you to turn on two different lights from one location but only one of the lights would be able to be on at a time. Tell me more about what you want to do, then I can try and help you find a way to do it.
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Postby Joe G » Sun Aug 17, 2008 2:46 pm

I'm assuming you want to control a single light from either of two separate switches, which is commonly known as 3-way switching.

You need to get switches that are described as SPDT (single pole double throw) with an ON-ON contact arrangement. Like these:

Image
Part # 7700018 ($ 2.61 ea.) at DelCity.net
NOTE: Be sure not to get ON-OFF-ON or (ON)-OFF-(ON) switches, because they will not work correctly in this application.

I would wire these as follows:

Image

Hope this helps.

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Postby BPFox » Sun Aug 17, 2008 6:32 pm

Joe is correct. That was my point that the switch you showed was a three position switch on off on and it will not work as a three way type switch. Joes diagram is simple to understand and 100% correct. That is, of course, if that is what you are trying to do. Peace.
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Postby Miriam C. » Sun Aug 17, 2008 6:56 pm

:applause: :thumbsup: Love those great simple diagrams. Thanks for the info. Joe. I am sure it will help lots of folks.

Now to get Steve to include in his stuff. 8) ;)
“Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past.â€
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Postby Larwyn » Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:43 pm

Actually, I think the "on-off-on" switch would work, as long as you do not leave one of the switches in the off position.They are both one "wiper" with two contacts. Are they not....??? Just flip the switch to the extremes, and do not leave in the center position. Not an ideal set up unless you actually want to have a way to disable the remote switch.
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Postby Jim T » Sun Aug 17, 2008 9:17 pm

Joe and others,
Thanks so much. That is exactly what I needed. :thumbsup:
Jim
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Postby BPFox » Sun Aug 17, 2008 9:23 pm

Larwyn wrote:Actually, I think the "on-off-on" switch would work, as long as you do not leave one of the switches in the off position.They are both one "wiper" with two contacts. Are they not....??? Just flip the switch to the extremes, and do not leave in the center position. Not an ideal set up unless you actually want to have a way to disable the remote switch.


Actually you could make it work with just the wires hanging out of the wall and twisting them together on an as needed basis but who want's to do that? Any two switches that have a common and a normally open and normally closed terminal will work, but that no man's land called "off" in the middle would just be a real pain.
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Postby Larwyn » Sun Aug 17, 2008 9:51 pm

BPFox wrote:
Larwyn wrote:Actually, I think the "on-off-on" switch would work, as long as you do not leave one of the switches in the off position.They are both one "wiper" with two contacts. Are they not....??? Just flip the switch to the extremes, and do not leave in the center position. Not an ideal set up unless you actually want to have a way to disable the remote switch.


Actually you could make it work with just the wires hanging out of the wall and twisting them together on an as needed basis but who want's to do that? Any two switches that have a common and a normally open and normally closed terminal will work, but that no man's land called "off" in the middle would just be a real pain.


I do not see the comparison between using a switch which has an extra position and twisting a couple of wires together. If a person has those two switches and asks how to wire them then I think he has every right to know that they will work. I was trying to be helpful, I'm not sure what the purpose of you reply to my post was meant to do..

Edit....

After sleeping on this, I decided to re-read this and see if I was out of line here.

Your statement that the switch in question "will not work" was direct, authoritative, unquestionable, and dead wrong. It's that simple. Your attempt to make my suggestion that the switch, though maybe not ideal for the purpose, would work, seem like a dumb idea actually just served to make you appear childish. Regardless of how much of a "pain" you may think it to be to use the switch in question, the facts will not change, the switch WILL work.

There is lots of good information on this site. Rather than try to educate everyone here, it sometimes pays to sit back, read, and learn. Nobody knows it all, the fact that some do not believe this is proof positive that it is true.
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Postby brian_bp » Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:22 pm

Larwyn wrote:Actually, I think the "on-off-on" switch would work, as long as you do not leave one of the switches in the off position.They are both one "wiper" with two contacts. Are they not....??? Just flip the switch to the extremes, and do not leave in the center position. Not an ideal set up unless you actually want to have a way to disable the remote switch.

This would be a clever setup for an outside light.

Some small travel trailers have an outside "porch" light which has a switch only on the light itself; this is not good because they are occasionally maliciously turned on (running the battery down), and because the door needs to be opened to turn them on from inside - not good when using the light to investigate scary noises in the dark.

The better and more common setup is a single switch inside, but if you arrive at the trailer in the dark and want the light to help with the door lock or step (okay, maybe no step on a teardrop), there's no way to turn it on.

An ON-ON SPDT switch (the normal "three way") outside, plus an ON-OFF-ON SPDT switch inside (which could be used to defeat the outside switch as Larwyn mentioned) would be a nice setup.
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Postby BPFox » Tue Aug 19, 2008 3:53 pm

Larwyn wrote:Edit....

After sleeping on this, I decided to re-read this and see if I was out of line here.

Your statement that the switch in question "will not work" was direct, authoritative, unquestionable, and dead wrong. It's that simple. Your attempt to make my suggestion that the switch, though maybe not ideal for the purpose, would work, seem like a dumb idea actually just served to make you appear childish. Regardless of how much of a "pain" you may think it to be to use the switch in question, the facts will not change, the switch WILL work.


It would appear that I have struck a nerve that I had no intention of striking. And I hate to disagree with you but I have to. Please re-read the posts again. The switch that I said "won't work" is the switch that is pictured. If you look again, you will note that the switch that is pictured is as single pole, single throw two terminal switch. Simply put, it is an on/off switch. There is no way on God's green earth that you can make this switch work as a 3-way switch.

My point about "twisting wires together" was a tongue in cheek example of the fact that there are plenty of ways of doing something but that doesn't make it right. The whole reason someone would want to have a 3 way switch configuration is to have the convienence of turning on and off a light from two different locations. Using a switch with a center off position defeats the purpose of the 3 way switch when one of the switches is accidentally placed in the off position since you would not be able to turn the light on from the second location. I appologize for not using a smiley face with the "twisted wire" comment so you would know I was joking. Peace.
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Postby Larwyn » Tue Aug 19, 2008 4:40 pm

BPFox wrote:
Larwyn wrote:Edit....

After sleeping on this, I decided to re-read this and see if I was out of line here.

Your statement that the switch in question "will not work" was direct, authoritative, unquestionable, and dead wrong. It's that simple. Your attempt to make my suggestion that the switch, though maybe not ideal for the purpose, would work, seem like a dumb idea actually just served to make you appear childish. Regardless of how much of a "pain" you may think it to be to use the switch in question, the facts will not change, the switch WILL work.


It would appear that I have struck a nerve that I had no intention of striking. And I hate to disagree with you but I have to. Please re-read the posts again. The switch that I said "won't work" is the switch that is pictured. If you look again, you will note that the switch that is pictured is as single pole, single throw two terminal switch. Simply put, it is an on/off switch. There is no way on God's green earth that you can make this switch work as a 3-way switch.

My point about "twisting wires together" was a tongue in cheek example of the fact that there are plenty of ways of doing something but that doesn't make it right. The whole reason someone would want to have a 3 way switch configuration is to have the convienence of turning on and off a light from two different locations. Using a switch with a center off position defeats the purpose of the 3 way switch when one of the switches is accidentally placed in the off position since you would not be able to turn the light on from the second location. I appologize for not using a smiley face with the "twisted wire" comment so you would know I was joking. Peace.


No matter. After reading more of your posts, I see that, to me, your statments always seem to be presented as fact. Probably just the way I read them. :thinking:
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Postby BPFox » Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:04 pm

Larwyn wrote:No matter. After reading more of your posts, I see that, to me, your statments always seem to be presented as fact. Probably just the way I read them. :thinking:


It's all good. Just a misunderstanding. I don't think you are misreading my posts. I very much try to present facts. While I am not always 100% correct, my goal is always to be 100% factual.

Electricity can be a very confusing subject. This is especially true in the applications we talk about on this forum. Too often terms are confused because they are misused. I suppose it isn't my place to point them out, but I think it helps to use proper terms to avoid confusion. If that makes me sound like a "know it all" then so be it. As long as the proper information is being presented, I can live with that. Peace.
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Postby Larwyn » Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:01 pm

BPFox wrote:
Larwyn wrote:No matter. After reading more of your posts, I see that, to me, your statments always seem to be presented as fact. Probably just the way I read them. :thinking:


It's all good. Just a misunderstanding. I don't think you are misreading my posts. I very much try to present facts. While I am not always 100% correct, my goal is always to be 100% factual.

Electricity can be a very confusing subject. This is especially true in the applications we talk about on this forum. Too often terms are confused because they are misused. I suppose it isn't my place to point them out, but I think it helps to use proper terms to avoid confusion. If that makes me sound like a "know it all" then so be it. As long as the proper information is being presented, I can live with that. Peace.


The Air Force put me to work on their microwave/troposcatter radio equipment in 1968, I retired from protection and control of high voltage transmission lines for an electricity provider (transmission/generation) utility in 2007. Unless it is a "code issue" I can keep up with most electrical discussions.

In my opinion, one of the things that keeps electricity a confusing subject for many, is well meaning experts presenting what they believe to be the facts. Then someone else comes along and argues with the first guy, with what he believes to be the facts, so the original poster now has no idea who to believe or what to do. Everyone makes mistakes, the novice will not know the difference. That is what makes stating everything as fact a possible embarrassment to the poster and possibly dangerous to the reader.

Nobody on this group knows more than all of us together. I would never present myself as the "all knowing guru".
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Postby BPFox » Tue Aug 19, 2008 7:43 pm

Neither would I, sorry if you think I come across that way.
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