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Switches Types What types of wall switches are out there?

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There are three basic types of wall switches. # Toggle Switch - The popular toggle switch has an arrow-shaped armature that floats between the contact points when the switch is in the off position. This armature comes in contact with both terminals when the switch is flipped to the on position (B), thus providing a continuous flow of electrical current to the light or appliance. # Mercury Switch - The mercury switch has a small hollow cylinder, partially filled with mercury. In the off position, the small contact point is above the mercury level (A). When flipped to the on position, the contact point is immersed in mercury (B). This establishes contact between the two terminals and provides power to the light or appliance. # Silent Switch - The silent switch has a steel spring armature that is pressed away from the bottom terminal when the switch is turned off. Flipping the switch lever to the on position moves the steel spring back against the contact point (B), thus establishing contact in the circuit.

Posted on Aug 27, 2008

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I am installing a SPST door switch in my closet and have two ceiling lights both getting power with a pull string. What is the sequence i should use when wiring these two lights to the switch ?


Assuming both lights are operated by the one pull switch and its working correctly as it is Just disconnect the black (hot) wire and the neutral (white) wire from the pull switch and connect them to the new switch black to dark terminal and neutral to silver terminal. You will obviously need to run a 14/2 cable from the door switch to the old switch location if you don't have one there.

Mar 15, 2015 | Electrical Supplies

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Lutron dimmer switch # D1500 1500 120vac Voltage to switch is OK but lights(8 100watts) do not go on.


I can't locate the Lutron D1500 dimmer switch on Lutron web site. Perhaps there is a different number for it.

Anyway, you are attempting to dim a total of 800 watts of light. A standard dimmer switch will not handle this much of a load as they are rated for 600 watts. A 1000 dimmer is the next size up and would be the minimum rating to be used. This means the dimmer would be operating at 80% of capacity and the switch may become warm - but all within acceptable limits.

A dimmer switch rated at 1200 watts or even 1500 watts may be a better choice, as the 800 watt load would present a load that would only be 66% and 53% (respectively) of rated capacity, and would likely run cooler and last a lot longer.

The down side to these higher wattage rated switches is their cost. It is not unusual for the price to double for a 600w vs a 1000w dimmer.

Sometimes, a 1000w dimmer is not sufficient to control a 600w load. This happens when 2 or more dimmer switches are installed in a single location under one wall plate. It is a fairly common arrangement for electricians to install 2, 3 or more "ganged boxes" so that there aren't 2, 3 or more individual switches clustered around a doorway. Even though a two ganged box has twice the area of a one gang box, the issue is about heat dissipation. A box will contain the heat. So the heat is given up from the front of the switch. The metal fins provide more area for cooling. When two or more dimmers are located in a multiple-ganged box, there is too much heat for the space. Two 600 watt dimmers would need to be derated to about 450 watts each (instructions for derating are included with the switch - each manufacturer has their own formulas), and if three 600 watt dimmers were in a single location, they might need to be derated to 300 watts each. So, simply moving to a 1000 watt or 1200 watt dimmer may not get you to the 600 watt level if there are several dimmers that require derating to 50%. Installing dimmers in boxes with standard "toggle" type (non-dimming) switches require no derating as toggle switches do not produce appreciable heat.

Make sure that the lighting load is a type designed for dimming. The popular CFL (compact fluorescent lamps) are not designed for dimming, unless the package specifically states otherwise. Lights that have a filiment but no transformer, ballast, starter, etc. are the only ones suitable for use with a dimmer (again - unless the package / fixture states otherwise). The dimmable types are typically "standard" incandescent, quartz, halogen and tungsten types.

Furthermore, a dimmer switch is not suitable for use as a fan speed control either. There are special switches to provide speed control of fan motors. Use of a dimmer on a motor load is a fire hazard.

I hope this helps & good luck!

Jan 08, 2013 | Lutron Electrical Supplies

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How do i turn on an insinkerator


There are two different types, those that have the switch built into the top, and those that have a separate switch mounted on the wall or maybe inside the cabinet under the sink. It is possible that you have the type with the built-in switch that was installed with the separate switch too - in that case you would have to turn on the swithch AND turn the top.

Sep 04, 2012 | Ace Hardware InSinkErator Badger 5, 1/2 HP...

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How to connect a light timer switch


Timer is not identified.
Add a comment and describe timer, and say if timer has wires, then describe color of wires on timer.
If you have box type timer, then add comment with model number that appears on door.

1) There are two types of in-wall timers: battery-operated timers and electric-powered timers are wired differently.
Open following link for typical single-pole electric-power timer wiring.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Programmable.html#wire

2) There are two more variations on in-wall timers.
Battery-operated timers can be used to replace single-pole and 3-way switches.
Open following link to see timers that work for 3-way.
The wiring is more complicated for 3-way timers since each model wires differently
http://waterheatertimer.org/GE-timers-and-manuals.html#15071

Oct 04, 2011 | Electrical Supplies

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I changed the light bulbs in the fixture it controls, now it does not work. What is wrong?


This switch is designed to dim incandescent lamps. It has nothing in its description about being used with CFL (compact fluorescent lamps) types. If you are attempting to dim standard CFL types, it will not work.

CFL's are available in both dim-able and standard types. As you may have guessed, only those marked as "dim-able" will work with a dimmer switch. Dim-able CFLs cost slightly more than standard CFLs but may be controlled by any switch. Dimmer switches may only control incandescent and other type lamps that specifically state they are compatible with dimmer switches.

If you are attempting to dim incandescent lamps, make sure that you are not trying to dim lamps with a total wattage greater than the dimmer can handle. Most dimmer switches are rated for 600 watts, if you have two dimmer switches under one wall plate, the wattage rating drops to about 500 watts. This de-rating is because of the heat the switches create. There are dimmer switches that can dim more than 600 watts, but the price skyrockets for a 1000 watt dimmer, and keeps climbing.

If your wattage is within the limits of the dimmer, check the bulbs. If they are ok, the dimmer may have failed and require replacement.

If you found my reply helpful, please rate it "4 thumbs up". Good luck & thanks!

Aug 16, 2011 | GE 18027 Dimmer Toggle OnOff with Slide...

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Can I use a 3-way timer switch on a 2-way light fixture? I want to replace a regular 2-way wall switch and only have a 3-way programmable timer switch


Umm...
We're having some confusion on the terminology here which is why I don't think anyone's responded so far.

Let's start here:
In the United States, there are three types of wiring circuits: single-pole, 3-way, and 4-way
Internationally, those same three types are instead referred to as: single-pole, 2-way, 3-way

So, when you say that you want to replace a 2-way wall switch, and replace it with a 3-way programmable timer - I think we're talking about the same type of wiring configuration - so yes, it should work.

The only thing you need to look at is that if this is a 2-way/3-way circuit, then chances are that there is another light switch that controls the same fixture, correct? Some programmable timers do not work with standard, 3-way toggle switches in the other location, you may want to investigate what is required at that spot. I would contact the manufacturer of the timer switch you're using for more information.

Jul 06, 2011 | Lutron Claro Screwless 2 Gang Wall Plate...

1 Answer

Will not heat food, does come on when you push start


Check the latch switches, it has two types one is open another is close.You can replace a same types. Be careful the high volt ! could be unplug the power before to fix.
Those switches are behind the door. Good luck.

Oct 12, 2010 | General Electric JES1142WD 1100 Watts...

1 Answer

Where can I get a wall switch - outlet - light indicator combination?


I got one from Home Depot about a year ago...........check there - they have lots of different types of switches.

Jul 16, 2009 | Leviton 8299 Combination Switch / Smart...

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House lamp switch on cord not connecting


I have never been a big fan of these type switchs for this very reason. This type of "in line" switch usually has two halves, that fit over the cord. It could be that the screw that holds the two halves together could be loose. If this connection is tight, then, depending on what type of switch this is (there are several types), it might or might not could be repaired. THEREFORE, I would suggest a trip to the hardware store or department store, and buy a new switch (Wal Mart carries 2 types of these type switches). The instructions will be included with the switch, and it is easy enough for most homeowners to easily repair, most of the time with only a screwdriver. And as long as you have the lamp unplugged when you repair it (PLEASE!), there is no harm of being electrocuted.

I hope some of this helps!!
Chad

Sep 30, 2008 | Electrical Supplies

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