Updating electrical switches

Rob Boudrie

NES Member
Rating - 100%
5   0   0
Joined
Apr 24, 2005
Messages
36,235
Likes
13,564
No I usually get the call from some guys wife and it goes like this “My husband was changing switches and now the two way switch only works from the bottom of the stairs”
Easy $100 every time fixing the 3ways :)
The real challenge is getting a four way right. And, of course, if you are going to connect everything after the drywall goes up, having the correct number of conductors in each run.
 

AHM

NES Member
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Dec 30, 2013
Messages
5,988
Likes
3,117
Many claim to support higher voltages.
At least 220VAC, sometimes higher (the 600's).
I put my father's on a radio (TV?) B+ once.
Smoke started coming out.
860V? You're gonna need a bigger meter.
 

xjma99

NES Member
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
May 10, 2011
Messages
7,080
Likes
6,049
Location
NH
The real challenge is getting a four way right. And, of course, if you are going to connect everything after the drywall goes up, having the correct number of conductors in each run.
If you ‘need’ a four way switch, chances are the house is not wired correctly. Lots of houses aren’t wired well. Less is more.

And it still stands that decora switches are for muslim terrorists and liberals... hitler put decora outlets in his bunker right before he offed himself!!!

Toggle switches and regular duplex outlets are far superior, /thread.
 

Rob Boudrie

NES Member
Rating - 100%
5   0   0
Joined
Apr 24, 2005
Messages
36,235
Likes
13,564
I have no idea what switches were used but I have a stairwell/hall light in 2013 construction that is operated by 3 switches - star bottom, stair top and and of hall. Would one have a butterfly connection and be a 4 way?
 

xjma99

NES Member
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
May 10, 2011
Messages
7,080
Likes
6,049
Location
NH
I have no idea what switches were used but I have a stairwell/hall light in 2013 construction that is operated by 3 switches - star bottom, stair top and and of hall. Would one have a butterfly connection and be a 4 way?
Yes, one is a 4 way.

Once you have two 3-way switches controlling a load, you can theoretically throw as many 4-way switches inbetween the travelers as you can possibly dream of.
 

Palladin

NES Member
Rating - 100%
25   0   0
Joined
Mar 27, 2007
Messages
25,139
Likes
7,425
Location
Merrimack Valley
I have no idea what switches were used but I have a stairwell/hall light in 2013 construction that is operated by 3 switches - star bottom, stair top and and of hall. Would one have a butterfly connection and be a 4 way?
Same setup as my house, also have three control positions for the kitchen lights.
 

Palladin

NES Member
Rating - 100%
25   0   0
Joined
Mar 27, 2007
Messages
25,139
Likes
7,425
Location
Merrimack Valley
So, as a pro, what is your opinion of the statement "if you need a four way switch, chances are your house is not wired correctly"?
BS.
A room with multiple points of entry is required to have lighting control at each entry location. The most I've seen is five, two three ways and three four ways
 

Dennis in MA

NES Member
Rating - 100%
25   0   0
Joined
Feb 12, 2007
Messages
19,736
Likes
10,944
View attachment 302532 If you want to keep your old house looking period correct
My grandparents lived in a 2-family in Dot that had an old switch for the living room lights. I loved that switch.

I used to work doing general contractor for my Dad. This involved a LOT of painting.

Antique White
Ivory White
Eggshell White
Parchment White
Cloud White
Lily White
Don't forget Navajo White. You can't forget Navajo White! It's a totally different. . . . white.



Oh, and I want a trademark on "FUPA switches." ROFL!!!!
 

xjma99

NES Member
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
May 10, 2011
Messages
7,080
Likes
6,049
Location
NH
So, as a pro, what is your opinion of the statement "if you need a four way switch, chances are your house is not wired correctly"?
It was a quarter, to maybe a half tongue in cheek comment! I don’t do a ton of residential work but sometimes you walk into a house, looks nice from outside but the switching and lighting layout is just atrocious. I also laugh at people that put in four gang switch boxes, and many of them. There is more than one way to skin a cat, to be polite.

I have two rooms in my house with four points of entry. I don’t have any 4 gang switch boxes, only a few 3 gangs, zero 4 way switches. Sometimes, don’t just do, THINK. Then think some more. Don’t be lazy. In any room large enough to have multiple points of entry, having one source of light or one method of lighting the room is a fail in my book.
 
Rating - 100%
11   0   0
Joined
Jul 27, 2011
Messages
909
Likes
621
Location
Quincy
It was a quarter, to maybe a half tongue in cheek comment! I don’t do a ton of residential work but sometimes you walk into a house, looks nice from outside but the switching and lighting layout is just atrocious. I also laugh at people that put in four gang switch boxes, and many of them. There is more than one way to skin a cat, to be polite.

I have two rooms in my house with four points of entry. I don't have any 4 gang switch boxes, only a few 3 gangs, zero 4 way switches. Sometimes, don’t just do, THINK. Then think some more. Don’t be lazy. In any room large enough to have multiple points of entry, having one source of light or one method of lighting the room is a fail in my book.
4 gang boxes offer a lot of utility at main entrances to control interior and exterior lights, and it looks neater than the multiple face plates you would get with separate boxes. This is particularly true when you have more than one source of light or method of lighting, so I am not sure how you can advocate for more lighting control yet not 4 gang boxes, unless you like lots of separate boxes and switchplates all over the place. Certainly would be interested to hear if you are doing it a smarter way.
 
Last edited:

beaker

NES Member
Rating - 100%
24   0   0
Joined
Jun 30, 2009
Messages
9,543
Likes
3,474
Location
LV-426
No shit, half the planet doesn't know what electricity or an electrical switch is.[thumbsup]
They hate us because they can't build a functional and free society. And they want us to be equally as miserable. Get all the Decora switches you want, take a bath in them. :)
 
Rating - 100%
6   0   0
Joined
Nov 4, 2010
Messages
2,368
Likes
594
Location
Tucson, AZ
and yet they say the USA LEADS the world in mine safety! :(
Just did my MSHA refresher on Monday. And frighteningly enough US mine safety is the best in the world. We average around 20 fatalities a year. Other places (cough... cough.. china) averages 13 a day. It’s a wild industry. I’m thinking about going to an underground site
 

Spanz

NES Member
Rating - 100%
1   0   0
Joined
Feb 25, 2009
Messages
33,652
Likes
20,475
Just did my MSHA refresher on Monday. And frighteningly enough US mine safety is the best in the world. We average around 20 fatalities a year. Other places (cough... cough.. china) averages 13 a day. It’s a wild industry. I’m thinking about going to an underground site
My brother did a safety report for a big Chinese mining company. The title was something like “ why does America have twenty mine deaths a year, while China has thousands”. Big revelations too, like using dust masks in coal mines, etc
 
Top Bottom