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  1. #1
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    Default 3-Way...ish Question

    I'm the new head trustee at our church. We have two switches controlling lights in one room. Both switches must be turned on in order for the lights to operate. Is this OK, or do we need someone to fix it? Wondering what to check at each switch to determine the remedy. We have had in-house volunteer help over the years and we are in an area with no code enforcement.

    GLR

  2. #2
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    Mar 2008
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    Default Re: 3-Way...ish Question

    Thanks,

    That gives me an idea. They probably used a regular switch instead of 3way's. I've done several, so I know what to look for in that case. Thanks for the idea. I've got a pretty simple book on wiring, but I never thought that the switch might be wrong. Yes, both switches must be on in order for the lights to work.

    glr

  3. #3
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    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: 3-Way...ish Question

    Quote Originally Posted by YukYuk View Post
    Might be two regular switches in series. I've seen this in older structures intentionally done, especially churches (sacristy areas)and old private schools, and private office/study or otherwise remote areas not part of the regular public areas and not an emergency exit path. Keeps curious explorers out of darkened areas when their first location switch flip didn't produce a lit room or hall, when they're supposed to be going elsewhere in the building, and the area isn't locked. Usually just those responsible for shutting off lights and locking up know the secret series of switches that must be in the ON position to light up a room. Makes locking up after a remote activity much faster, and keeps the kids out.
    Are you serious ?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 3-Way...ish Question

    Quote Originally Posted by canuk View Post
    Are you serious ?
    LOL

    Verily, I say unto thee....let us look for the most obscure reasons/possibilities imaginable.

    Off the cuff, I'd say some well-meaning volunteer didn't pay quite enough attention and consequently flipped the common with one of the travelers.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 3-Way...ish Question

    Verily, I say unto thee....let us look for the most obscure reasons/possibilities imaginable.
    Geez .... I really was begining to think this was a Fellini film

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 3-Way...ish Question

    Quote Originally Posted by canuk View Post
    Geez .... I really was begining to think this was a Fellini film
    Evidently.......your imagination exceeds mine by a wide margin.

    Then again, I don't know if I've ever seen a Fellini film. I might change my mind.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 3-Way...ish Question

    Then again, I don't know if I've ever seen a Fellini film. I might change my mind.
    No ... you don't ... trust me .... besides we're in one now.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 3-Way...ish Question

    Quote Originally Posted by GLR View Post
    I'm the new head trustee at our church. We have two switches controlling lights in one room. Both switches must be turned on in order for the lights to operate. Is this OK, or do we need someone to fix it? Wondering what to check at each switch to determine the remedy. We have had in-house volunteer help over the years and we are in an area with no code enforcement.

    GLR
    If they are 3-way switches one possibility is that half of one switch is bad, in that case the light would only be on if both switches are in the right position and off in all other configurations.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 3-Way...ish Question

    Quote Originally Posted by canuk View Post
    Geez .... I really was begining to think this was a Fellini film
    ***, I didn't know you were into that artsy stuff. I though you were a regular guy.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 3-Way...ish Question

    Quote Originally Posted by YukYuk View Post
    Yes seriously, older churches not uncommon to find his type of set up, especially where no one has done work since the 60s. Not all that different then having a pull chain fixture supplied via a wall switch, or security lighting controlled by a photo eye, also with a wall switch. Think of it as a poor man's stage lighting or security lighting control panel.
    Interesting.
    You learn something new everyday.

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