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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    10

    Default Very old 3-way switch

    Hello all, first time poster here! I am currently replacing switches in our 1920 1.5 story Kentucky home. I have run into what appears to be a 3-way switch, it is round and has "reed" like contacts inside. The switch is operated by turning 90*. My fluke multimeter shows 120VAC on one lead and nothing on the other 2..... Onto my question- how do I wire my new 3-way switch???

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,560

    Default Re: Very old 3-way switch

    If you have a constant 120 v on one wire connect that to the common screw and the other two wires as travelers

    Jack.
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    10

    Default Re: Very old 3-way switch

    Ok, thanks jack! I'm not sure if it was supposed to be a 4-way and a terminal is missing or something. The switch is circular and has 4 terminals...at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock positions. The 120v is at the 12 position, there are wires (possibly travelers) at the 6 and 9 o'clock positions...the switch joins the opposing terminals only (ie... 12 - 6 and 9 - 3) that's why the single wire (9 o'clock) is confusing me..maybe a picture would help?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,560

    Default Re: Very old 3-way switch

    That does not sound like a 3way or a 4way. If it connects 12 to 6 or 3 to 9 it sounds like a 2 position switch. With 120 v on 12 then the out put is on 6 and those would be the wires you connect to a single switch. not sure what the wire on 9 is for, unless your reading of the closures are incorrect.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Very old 3-way switch

    There is a terminal at 3' but there is no screw in it

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Very old 3-way switch

    sorry, cant figue out hot to upload image.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,560

    Default Re: Very old 3-way switch

    E-mail picture to me jackson_l_mcdaniel@yahoo.com Put TOH PIC in subject line and include your TOH Username And I will posy it for you.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    623

    Default Re: Very old 3-way switch

    Jack gave you the way to wire it as a 3w in post #2

    But if there is no screw at 3 (and 3 to 9 switch) the wire at 9 was not being used.

    So, it was only being used as a single pole on-off switch 12 to 6.

    If the switch is actually the reed type some contacts could have been blown away during a short circuit.

    If the switch operates at 90 deg. and can be rotated continuously in one direction there must be an wiper rather than internal jumpers.

    Since you have a "fluke" I suspect you will figure this out soon.

    That switch seems very rare, I wouldn't throw it away until I knew more about it.
    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, Hidden Content

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Very old 3-way switch

    I there another switch that controls the same set of lights? If not, it is not a three way switch.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,560

    Default Re: Very old 3-way switch

    Quote Originally Posted by brrichter View Post
    I there another switch that controls the same set of lights? If not, it is not a three way switch.
    Not necessarily true. Any three way switch can be used as a single.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

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