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DradusContact

Light switch help

Bit of a long shot i know.

But....

anyone any good with wiring?  Trying to wire in a new 3 way light switch to replace the old plastic one.  trouble is, the old one looks different to the new one, otherwise i would just swap it over.

The new one has something like:



Ive looked online and there seems to be suprisingly little in the way of guides
BeN

Funny you should post this in The Lounge...
simonp

You have L1 & L2 because it's what is known as a changeover switch. This means that the live feed, which usually connects to L will be alternated between L1 & L2 on each switching action i.e up is L to L1, down is L to L2.

HTH
DradusContact

Okay think i get it, but....

What goes where!?
Humphrey The Pug

I think you may need to get an electrician in!!
Boxer6

Re: Light switch help

DradusContact wrote:
Bit of a long shot i know.

But....

anyone any good with wiring? Trying to wire in a new 3 way light switch to replace the old plastic one. trouble is, the old one looks different to the new one, otherwise i would just swap it over.

The new one has something like:



Ive looked online and there seems to be suprisingly little in the way of guides


Missed tihs earlier. Despite looking different, you should still have the same connections on your new switch as on the old one. Therefore, you should be able to simply switch the wires over as before - it's what I did for all of ours a few months back. The only issue I had was that the new switch was "upside down" relative to the old one, but that's not a problem.

Good luck!
DradusContact

Yeah, the new one seems to be upside down, but only in the middle, where the single l is at the bottom, so i just swap the middle one round yeah?
Boxer6

DradusContact wrote:
Yeah, the new one seems to be upside down, but only in the middle, where the single l is at the bottom, so i just swap the middle one round yeah?


Think so, yes.

Either that, or phone an electrician, as someone else said! (Sorry, that's no help really, is it?)
Giant

As the resident electrician, the switch is the same as the old one with the middle gang inverted. Copy the old switch (inverting the middle gang to suit) is by far the best advice without seeing what cabling you have in the switch, whether the switch is fed, whether you have two way switching etc.

By the way, what you have there is a three gang switch NOT three way. A two gang switch has two switches on one plate, a two way switch is one light switched from two switches, commonly a light on a stairway switched from up and downstairs. A three way switching scenario is normally called intermediate switching and would have three switches for one light. It's an important distinction for us sparks!  

EDIT!

I have just noticed you say replacing the old plastic switch, I assume you mean you're replacing it with a metal surrounded one? If so I hope there is an earth core on all the cables in the switch? If there is FFS connect them ALL to the earth terminal securely and if there isn't you REALLY shouldn't have metal switches in your house.

Hope this all helps!  
simonp

Giant wrote:
As the resident electrician...


Make that one of...  
Boxer6

DC - did it work?


Are you still alive?

Enquiring minds need to know!!!
DradusContact

I was in the cinema last night so didnt get chance to do it.  I think i am capable of doing it after reading this.  Our house is a mid 70's ex council terrace so i imagine the wires will all be earthed?  Its not like im in an 1800's cottage.

Thanks for advice everyone especially the stuff about earths, will let you know how i get on!
simonp

Tip: if the switches work upside down i.e up is on just swap L1 with L2 or vice versa.
DradusContact

Did it!  Thanks everyone for help.  Took about 20 mins and i had a serious sweat on ut thats mainly due to weather.
Rodge

Good Job. Nothing serious happened either because your internet and computer are still working, and you (or someone pretending to be you,) are back here typing again.
I'd have given you some great advice earlier but I normally only come into the lounge to drink tea and watch TV.
DradusContact

I actually understand it now, about the L1/L2 thing and how you can control a light from two switches, something i often (well once or twice) wondered about.  Im going to swap one round as the hall light is set the wrong way, one of them always is in the off position when it should be in the on, if you get me.
PG

We had a thread recently about the joy of doing a bit of spannering on your car. The joy at doing some wiring / plumbing / DIY job can be as great. I did a lot of the wiring here at home and the invention of push fit plumbing has revolutionised DIY plumbing (as I was always shit with a blow torch and soldered joints).
..

Mat, buy yourself a little multimeter. You can get them at Maplins or probably down your local supermarket too for under 10. Once you've got one you can check stuff like this out in no time at all.
TreVoR

In these days of health and safety don't you have to get a spark to certify it now?
simonp

Only new installations, I believe. Changing a light switch doesn't come under that category.

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