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What are the three combinations of wire connections at the three different switch positions?

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More info needed is needed Switches are where and what? . Household? On a stairway? Automotive, TV, stereo?

Posted on Apr 18, 2017

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2005 Triumph Rocket III wiring diagram


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Lights not working @ top of stairs


Pull the covers off the switch boxes and remove the switches but don't disconnect them. Look to see how many wires are connected to each switch. A two way switch should have 3 insulated wires connect to each switch AND a bare copper wire for ground. If you don't have that configuration, then it was not built correctly.

Jun 28, 2015 | Home

1 Answer

I need an ignition switch wiring diagram


Hi, Nameisonlytwoltrs what a strange name, by the way, nice novella. The solution to this is simple, most ignition switches for motorcycles/scooters have identifying letters stamped near their connection terminals, B/BAT/+ for power input, I/IGN for the ignition circuit, L/LT for the light circuit, A/ACC for the accessories circuit. Now if your switch has no markings you going to need a 12-volt battery, a test light, and a jumper wire with alligator clips. If your switch has 4 terminals there will be 16 different possible combinations for the process of elimination. Connect your jumper wire to the battery positive terminal and connect/hold the other end to any terminal on the switch. With your test light connected to the battery negative terminal start probing the remaining terminals with the ignition key switched to the on position and observe when the test light illuminates completing the circuit. Move the jumper wire to a different terminal and repeat the process. Keep doing this until you find the right combination that makes everything work.
Good luck and have a wonderful day.

Mar 14, 2017 | 2009 Genuine Scooter Stella 150

1 Answer

I have a light switch in my apartment that controls both the light in the kitchen and power to both sockets of a dual outlet. How do I adjust the wiring so that the outlet is always powered? The wiring...


This is not good wiring option. It is not good to have light and outlet on the same switch without different fuse. I suggest to insert another little switch on light connection. Than you can have control of both. Or you must find main phase (hot wire) inside switch box. This will be always on for tester when you try different switch position. When you find this main (hot) wire, you disconnect one of another two wire (after you disconnect power), than give power on and test light and socket (one of them will not work). If this is outlet, you must connect this wire to main (hot) one. Don't work when power on. Just test it with tester, and than disconnect when you change position of wire.
Good luck and be careful!

Aug 26, 2011 | Electrical Supplies

1 Answer

We need help installing an Aspire slide dimmer. the ground wire is clearly marked, and the other three wires are colored black, gray... which is the positive, and white. we do not know which wires go...


There are several variables here and you haven't completely described your situation, but I will give you two scenarios. But first, understand that if your switch has three wires, then it's a three way switch, and maybe you don't need a three way switch - but you can use it anyway. OK, so that's the first scenario. In any case you will have two white wires in the box that are only connected together, not to the switch. There will be two other wires in the box, and you have three wires on the switch. Simplest thing to do is trial and error (there are more combinations that will work, than ones that won't, and the wrong ones aren't bad, they just won't work.). OK, so take one wire of the switch and put a wire nut on it so it doesn't touch anything. Then take one wire in the box and connect it to one wire on the switch. Connect the other wire in the box to the other wire on the switch. Try it out. If it works OK, then you are good. If not, then you have chosen the wrong wire to not use. Choose a different one, and it will work.
OK now, the other scenario is that you do need a three-way switch. Same deal on the white wires as in the first scenario. But no extra switch wire in this case. Usually, two of the wires will be at the top or bottom of the switch, and third wire will be at the opposite end. The two that are at the same end are the "travelers" and the one by itself is either the hot wire coming from the electric panel or it is the output wire going to your light fixture. If you are lucky, then you will find that the wires coming into the box are a black/white/ground combo and a red/black/white/ground combo. The red and black in the red/black/white/ground combo are your travelers. The black in the other combo is the hot wire or the wire going to the fixture.
Good luck,
Al K

Aug 24, 2011 | Electrical Supplies

1 Answer

Hampton bay fan pull chain broke. The electrician took the light kit down and all four wires had come out of the pull switch he could not install replacement switch without knowing which wires went to...


1. Open the switch housing of the fan. This is usually achieved either by removing two screws on the bottom cap of the switch housing, or three screws on the side. Remove the pullchain assembly by unscrewing the brass finial on the outside of the switch housing.

2. Make careful note of which wires attach where to the pullchain. The chain itself will be marked L-1-2-3 or A-B-C-D or similar, the wires will customarily be of different colors, but if not, mark both the wires and pullchain if necessary. MAKE CAREFUL NOTE OF WHICH WIRES ATTACH WHERE. Every fan is different and if you do not make note there will likely be a complicated guessing game. I cannot stress this step enough. Make careful note of which wires attach where to the pullchain. For example:

Black - L, Grey - 1, Brown - 2, Purple - 3.

Some fans may use only two or three wires, some may have a pullchain with two layers and five or more wires. Regardless, make careful note of which wires attach where.

3. Remove the wires from the pullchain. In some cases they may be attached via wire nuts, in which case, remove the wire nuts. However in most fans the wires are inserted directly into the pullchain. Don't make the mistake of cutting them, they can be removed completely by inserting a very small flathead screwdriver into the slot next to each wire. You will notice the ends of the wires are soldered, this is so they will attach to the pullchain.

4. Determine the correct replacement pullchain. This is the tricky part. Many pullchains look alike but in fact switch differently. There are a few factors, first of all, how many speeds does the fan have as controlled by the pullchain? Second of all, how many wires are used to connect the pullchain? These will determine maybe 75% of replacement pullchains. Here are some examples:

- If the fan has three speeds and the pullchain has four wires, it is most commonly a L-1-2-3 pullchain. This is a single pole triple throw switch with an off position. It connects the power from L to 1, 2, or 3 respectively, one for each speed.

- If the fan has three speeds and the pullchain has three wires, it is an L-1-2-1+2 pullchain. This is a single pole double throw switch with an off position and a "both" position. That is to say, in connects power from L to 1 or 2 respectively, and on the third position connects to both. This is the same switch used in many lamps to switch on one bulb (or set of bulbs), the other, or both.

- If the fan has two speeds and the pullchain has three wires, it is most commonly a L-1-2 pullchain. This is a single pole double throw switch with an off position. It connects the power from L to 1 or 2 respectively.

- If the fan has three speeds and the pullchain has more than four wires, there are a handful of different pullchain possibilities however most hardware stores stock the most common replacement. This would customarily be a double pole switch with two layers of wires attaching.

The replacements mentioned above are the most common examples . . . but as I said, there are other switches that may appear identical (for example three speed fan, four wires, but it's NOT the first switch I mentioned). In most cases I would first try the replacement mentioned above. These are the switches that your local hardware store should stock. If the fan does not work with the likely replacement, does not work on all speeds, spins too fast, too slow, etc . . . and you are sure you properly noted which wire connected where on the old pullchain and wired the replacement correctly . . . then it appears your fan is in the 25% that uses a non-standard switch. There are three ways to determine the correct replacement switch:

- Contact the manufacturer. If they are still in business they can theoretically send you the correct replacement switch. If they are no longer in business, contact someone on our forums or other ceiling fan experts, we/they may be aware of the correct replacement for your particular model

- If you can still switch speeds on the old pullchain, use an ohm-meter to check for continuity between the various wires on the various positions. In most cases the important relationships are between L and the various other positions, for example a three speed four wire switch might be L-1-2+3-3. This means in the first position L connects to 1, in the second position L to 2 and 3, in the third position L to 3, fourth position off.

- If you can not operate the switch, you can open up it's plastic casing, either to operate the switch by hand, or to observe the metal bands inside. Some websites that sell replacement switches offer diagrams of the metal bands, by matching your switch up to the diagram you can determine the correct replacement.

5. Ok, you've determined and obtained the correct replacement switch.Seeing as you made careful note of which wires connect to where on the old switch, reconnect the wires in the same manner to the replacement switch. If your old switch did not require the tips of the wires be soldered you may need to do so in order to properly attach them to the pullchain.

6. Reattach the pullchain to the switch housing and replace the finial. Replace the switch housing cap with the two or three screws.

Additional Notes:

I. Fan lights where the pullchain is simply on/off use a two wire pullchain. This pullchain is a very standard on/off switch and it is simply connected to the two wires to which the old pullchain was connected. The wires can be reversed and it will still work. Lights where you can select one bulb, the other bulb, or both use the pullchain mentioned with that example above.

II. Some fans do not use the pullchain to control speeds, but instead have a dial or other control on the fan for speed selection. The pullchain is used to turn the fan off and on, and in some cases also to reverse the fan, select between the high speed and the various low speeds derived from the speed control, or also control the light. In these various examples:

- When the pullchain only switches the fan on and off, it most likely has only two wires and is equivalent to the light kit pullchain mentioned above. It is a basic on/off switch

- When the pullchain reverses the fan or switches the speed control in and out of the circuit, it is most likely the three wire two speed pullchain mentioned above. It is a L-1-2 switch. There are some exceptions such as certain model Fasco fans.

- When the pullchain controls both the fan and light, it is the three wire three speed pullchain mentioned above. It is a L-1-2-1+2 switch.

III. If for whatever reason you do not know which wires connect to which locations on the pullchain, you may yet have some options. For starters, black is almost always L. Some other common color combinations:

For many four wire pullchains:

L - Black, 1 - Grey, 2 - Brown, 3 - Purple
L - Orange, 1 - Black, 2 - Yellow, 3 - Purple
L - Black, 1 - Grey, 2 - Brown, 3 - Green
L - Grey, 1 - Yellow, 2 - Purple, 3 - Black
L - White, 1- Black, 2 - Blue, 3 - Yellow


For many three wire pullchains:

L - Black, 1 - Blue, 2 - Red

May 02, 2011 | Vacuums

1 Answer

I think I have a Leviton double pole dimmer switch. It used to operate track lighting along with an on/off light switch in the same room (different entrance). I replaced the track lighting with a fan...


You mention a dimmer and a 2nd on-off switch.
You purchased a 'double pole' switch which I believe is a 3-way switch.

3-way switch has 3 screws (plus ground screw which will not be mentioned further)
3 screws on 3-way switch = one is dark colored, and 2 are brass colored.

You can guess. There are only 3 wires and you can keep trying different combination until both switches work. Do not change wiring on 2nd switch and sooner or later the right combination will appear.

On the other hand, electricians test wires using ordinary tester, before connecting anything.
If you want to test, it takes 3 ez steps.

Here's what I would do.
1) Look at wiring on 2nd switch.
Notice switch has 1 dark screw and 2 brass screws.
If you can identify the two wires on the brass colored screws, these are the 'travelers' and same two wires connect to brass colored screws on new switch. And then last wire connects to dark colored screw.

2) You have noted the wires carefully on dimmer, so remove dimmer, and separate wires for testing.
2nd switch is moved to down position.
We are NOT going to test wires on 2nd switch.
We are just testing wires at old dimmer.
Turn on power.

Power is on.
2nd switch is in down position.
Test each wire to bare ground wire.
One and only one wire will light up the tester.
Mark this wire.

3) Change 2nd switch, and move 2nd switch to up position.
Test each wire again to bare ground wire.
Again only one wire will light up tester.
Mark this wire.
If same wire lights up tester each time, then this is the Hot wire and it connects to new switch dark screw. And the other two wires go to brass colored screws.
If a different wire lights up each time, then these two wires are 'travellers' and they connect to each brass colored screw. And the last wire connects to dark colored screw.

Dec 16, 2010 | Electrical Supplies

1 Answer

I am replacing my old Lutron timer with a new GE 15070. The old one has a black and white wire. The GE has a black, white and red. Black to black and white to white, leaving the red unattached does...


You old timer was a simple one-pole switch. It could connect the black and white (that's ON) or not connect them (thats' OFF) The new timer is a two-pole switch. It is like two switches (A and B) that act opposite each other. In one position A is ON and B is OFF. In the other position B is ON and A is OFF. On your old timer the two wires were interchangeable. But on the new timer you have to know which wire is which. Since you only need one pole of the new switch there are only three combinations to try, and you have already tried one of them. All that matters is which wire on the switch you ignore. Try ignoring a different wire. That will either work or it will operate backwards (being ON when it should be OFF and vice-versa). If that happens, then the third time will be the charm. Good luck, Al K

Dec 08, 2010 | General Electric GE 24-Hour Timer, 2-Pin...

1 Answer

3 way switch diagrams


Three way switch diagram: Three-way switch has 3 screws

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Before replacing old 3-way switch, mark the wire connected to dark-colored screw
Connect that wire to dark-colored screw on new switch.

If you are confused which wire goes to dark-colored screw
Mark the 2 black wires and the red wire.
You are not going to do anything with the white wire.
Connect blacks and red to any screw, turn on power, and try BOTH switches
Keep trying until correct combination is discovered
Both switches must work in all possible up-down positions before wiring is correct
Incorrect wiring will not blow circuit breaker, the circuit just doesn't work until wires are right.

Four way switch is added to 3-way circuit

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Oct 09, 2010 | Garden

1 Answer

I have an ST01 timer that I want to place in a three way circuit that appears to be different than that shown in the directions. My circuit has power (black/white/ground) coming into switch 1 with a three...


One caveat of most In-Wall electronic switches/timers is that the device _must_ be installed at the switch box that has the power, in your case switch #1. In order to install it at switch #2, in your case, you need an extra wire between the switches (to carry the HOT wire), and unfortunately, the bare ground(ing) wire is not permitted to be used to carry current per National Electric Code (NEC).

In your case the wiring for the ST01 is as follows:

Switch box #1: Connect the incoming White wire to the White wire in the 3-wire cable that goes to switch box #2. Connect the incoming (Black) HOT wire to the Black wire on the switch/timer. Connect the Red wire in the 3-wire cable to the Red wire on the switch/timer. Connect the Black wire in the 3-wire cable to the blue wire on the switch/timer. Connect the green wire on the switch/timer to the 2 bare ground(ing) wires. If you have a metal box this connection should also have a pigtail that connects to the box with a green ground screw.

Switch box #2: Remove all of the existing wires from the 3-way switch. The three-way switch will have 2 screws the same color (usually black) and 1 screw (usually brass). For this scenario, one of the black screws will _not_ be used.

Connect the Black wire in the 3-wire cable coming from switch #1, the Black wire going to the lights, and a short Black pigtail together under one wirenut. The pigtail is then connected to the brass screw on the 3-way switch. The Red wire in the 3-wire cable coming from switch #1 is connected to one of the 2 black screws on the 3-way switch (pick one).

In effect you are installing a single switch at switch box #2. In fact, you can use a regular single pole switch if you want too.

To finish, connect the White wire in the 3-wire cable coming from switch #1 to the White wire going to the lights.

Grounding is the same as switch #1 except you'll need a pigtail to connect to the green screw on the 3-way switch.

That's it. You may want to check the battery compartment in the switch/timer, as sometimes they put in a pullout plastic tab to keep it from being energized until needed.

Now, the E1210 is a different animal, and can only be used to replace a single pole switch. You could use it by basically passing the power through to switch box #2 from switch box #1 and then cover switch box #1 with a blank plate. The ST01 could be used that way too, in which case the black on the device connects to the hot, the blue to the lights, and the red on the device is not used, nor will the Red wire in the 3-wire cable between the switch boxes be used.

Sep 11, 2010 | Intermatic EI210 Electronic Auto Shutoff...

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