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    3-Way & 4-Way switch orientation

    I have this preference to the way these switches end up. Now this is my own belief but when I leave a house I want to see when all the switches in a circuit are down the light or outlet is off. The thing I'm getting at is we have a code for single and double pole switches and they even indicate whether or not there on or off but with 3-ways and 4-ways there is no indications unless we install them so that when all the switches are down the light/outlet will have no power on it. what started this is we had a home owner that was changing a bulb and when he was putting the new bulb in he stuck his finger in the socket, and he thought that it was code for it to be like this but I showed him that it wasn't he couldn't believe it. and this wasn't the first time this had happened as I found out that there is quit a few that believe that if all the switches are down there should be no power on the fixture.
    Of course I told him that is why he should turn off the breaker, but we need to be realistic as we all know that that just don't happen. home owners will even change fixtures with the breakers on much less turn it off for changing a bulb. to me it would seem that since it is code to have a single or double pole to be down when it is in the off position would it be a good code to do this with 3-way's and 4-way's? (when all switches are down power off to the light/outlet)

    Just thought I'd get someone's else's opinion
    Wayne A. From: N.W.Indiana
    Be Fair, Be Safe
    Just don't be fairly safe

    #2

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      #3
      Re: 3-Way & 4-Way switch orientation

      Indicating switches are required when the switch is used as a service disconnect IE: a/h/u,disposal
      etc.When used as a lighting control there is nothing that requires switches to be of the indicating type.

      Comment


        #4
        Re: 3-Way & 4-Way switch orientation

        No switches have the travelers marked to indicate which way they connect according to the handle position. Unless you use the same switches all the time and have previously figured out the traveler connections you are going to waste alot of time. Don't think I've ever seen this done, matter of fact it is common practice to make sure they alternate.

        As for someone who never noticed that the light was on with the switches down and who stuck his finger into the socket while changing a light bulb, well, they deserve some "shock therapy"! Just remind them that that's why we get the "big money" and to be more careful next time.

        [ October 23, 2003, 02:04 AM: Message edited by: hbiss ]

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          #5
          Re: 3-Way & 4-Way switch orientation

          Hurk
          The thought is noble , the topic is useless .

          Anybody who takes on the responsibility of doing something him/herself also take on the liability. Either you know how to do it or you don't.

          Pierre

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            #6
            Re: 3-Way & 4-Way switch orientation

            Tell the Homeowner:

            "Next time you change a bulb, DON'T STICK YOUR FINGER IN THE SOCKET!!"
            Steve

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              #7
              Re: 3-Way & 4-Way switch orientation

              most times you are instruced to turn the circuit off not just the switch. GEO

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                #8
                Charles E. Beck, P.E., Seattle
                Comments based on 2017 NEC unless otherwise noted.

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                  #9
                  Re: 3-Way & 4-Way switch orientation

                  Do you mount recepticles with the ground up or down?

                  Sorry, I couldn't resist. I wouldn't blame you if you revoked my log-in for that.

                  Steve

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                  • #10
                    Re: 3-Way & 4-Way switch orientation

                    Ouch!

                    I'm guessing that the light bulb broke off at the base.

                    Next thing you know we'll be putting GFCI protection on 3-ways and 4-ways to protect the end user while they retrieve the stub of a broken bulb on a 3-way/4-way

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                      #11
                      Re: 3-Way & 4-Way switch orientation

                      Wayne, does a GFCI prevent people from getting shocked?
                      Ryan Jackson, Salt Lake City
                      Inspector, Instructor

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                      • #12
                        Re: 3-Way & 4-Way switch orientation

                        No. I see your point. I was thinking of the safety part of keeping them alive. The HO in this case obviously lived to complain

                        A GFCI would be an automatic circuit breaker. The HO takes a hit. It smarts a bit. The breaker trips. The HO lives to complain. Maybe GFCI is not such a bright idea

                        ../Wayne C.

                        [ October 23, 2003, 09:06 PM: Message edited by: awwt ]

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                          #13
                          Re: 3-Way & 4-Way switch orientation

                          Remember, if 3-way switches are wired so that the light is off when the handles are down, it will also be off when both handles are up.
                          John, Chair City, NC
                          Technology: Mans best efforts to make things as good as they used to be

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: 3-Way & 4-Way switch orientation

                            Steve, you're good.

                            "Next time you change a bulb, DON'T STICK YOUR FINGER IN THE SOCKET!!"
                            and then you blew it,
                            Do you mount recepticles with the ground up or down?
                            I don't think
                            I wouldn't blame you if you revoked my log-in for that.
                            is any where near severe enough.

                            Roger
                            Moderator

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: 3-Way & 4-Way switch orientation

                              Originally posted by david:
                              First your kidding right? I say this because there is know way that I know of that will accomplish this for 3-way and 4-way switches.
                              David this is easily accomplished no mater how many switches are installed on the circuit.

                              If when you have wired them that all switches down equal off, that will never change.

                              The key here is all switches down on that switch loop.

                              Unless someone pulls a switch out and turns it over it will not change.

                              That said I do not want to see a code rule on this, what a PITA to accomplish in large buildings.

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