Controlling light from four different locations.

Eddy Current

Senior Member
I was asked on a test about what the switches would be for controlling a light from four different locations. Would it not be a two 3ways and two 4ways? That's what I thought it would be, but that was not one of the options.
 

Little Bill

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Tennessee NEC:2017
Occupation
Electrician
I was asked on a test about what the switches would be for controlling a light from four different locations. Would it not be a two 3ways and two 4ways? That's what I thought it would be, but that was not one of the options.
What were the options?
Sometimes you have to read a question carefully. They like to lead you in the opposite direction of what they really mean.

There could be contactors and relays involved.
 

Sierrasparky

Senior Member
Location
USA
Occupation
Electrician ,contractor
I don't know. If 2 3-way and 2 4 Way is not an option then the test is plain stupid. Electrical test is supposed to test the knowledge , experience and qualifications of a electrician candidate. It's not supposed to create new terminology that is not used in the industry.
 

Eddy Current

Senior Member
What were the options?
Sometimes you have to read a question carefully. They like to lead you in the opposite direction of what they really mean.

There could be contactors and relays involved.
To be honest I can't remember the options, but I do know that contactors and relays wasn't one of them. I believe the options were all either single pole, three way, and four way switches.
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
That would be one way of naming them.
You could also call them two single pole double throw and two double pole double throw (or "crossover") switches.

Tapatalk!
Wouldn't a double pole, double throw switch have 6 terminals not 4?
 

don_resqcapt19

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Illinois
Did the question state that each switch has to be able to turn the lights off and on? Single pole switches would permit any single switch to turn them on, but all switches would have to be off for the light to be off.
 

jim dungar

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Wisconsin
Occupation
Engineer
Often times, multiple choice tests do not ask for the 'ideal answer', instead they want you to provide the 'best answer' for the choices given. Some times these are called trick questions, but part of what they are trying to accomplish is for you to think rather than just answer.

If the OP remembered the choices correctly the only realistic answer, would be 4-way switches. After all you can use a 4-way in place of both 1-pole and 3-way switches.
 

Sierrasparky

Senior Member
Location
USA
Occupation
Electrician ,contractor
Often times, multiple choice tests do not ask for the 'ideal answer', instead they want you to provide the 'best answer' for the choices given. Some times these are called trick questions, but part of what they are trying to accomplish is for you to think rather than just answer.

If the OP remembered the choices correctly the only realistic answer, would be 4-way switches. After all you can use a 4-way in place of both 1-pole and 3-way switches.
Come on who are trying to fool here. There is nobody who would use a 4-way as a single pole. Technically probably illegal as there is no on off printed in the plastic. Then there is the fact that the cost is seriously more expensive.

Placing a question like that is so perposterous it is making me laugh so hard I almost choked. The test itself is a learning experience and should be grammaticaly correct as well a technically correct. Otherwise you are training students to do the wrong thing. Students can be challenged without such rediculousness.

An aprentice doing that for a company would get reprimanded for doing that.
 

Sierrasparky

Senior Member
Location
USA
Occupation
Electrician ,contractor
I have something to add.

After careful though I say this is regards to the post by Mr. Dungar.

The electrical business is a serious profession. Peoples lives can be at stake and often are. We need to teach our upcomming and re-certifiing technicians the safe and proper way of doing things. The consequences can be severe. The way I see it from some of the comments is that the difference in my opinion between the correct answer and the best answer can be the difference between life or death.

As Dungar states that multiple choice tests often requre the best answer and not the correct answer. Well there is a reason there is no ON or OFF on a 3-way or 4 way switch.
 

jim dungar

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Wisconsin
Occupation
Engineer
As Dungar states that multiple choice tests often requre the best answer and not the correct answer.
Actually I said ideal answer.

Using a 4-way switch instead of a 1-pole is not an incorrect action, it is just not ideal.
The only time 'On-Off' markings are required for a switch, is when it is being used as a lock off/disconnect device. The 1-pole light switch in my office has no markings.

We need to understand the context of the Op's test as well as the actual question in order to decide if it was correct.
 

Sierrasparky

Senior Member
Location
USA
Occupation
Electrician ,contractor
Actually I said ideal answer.

Using a 4-way switch instead of a 1-pole is not an incorrect action, it is just not ideal.
The only time 'On-Off' markings are required for a switch, is when it is being used as a lock off/disconnect device. The 1-pole light switch in my office has no markings.

We need to understand the context of the Op's test as well as the actual question in order to decide if it was correct.
I have never seen a single pole without markings.
Any how even using the word Ideal can be incorrect.
I oppoligize for being critical.
 

jim dungar

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Wisconsin
Occupation
Engineer
I have never seen a single pole without markings.
Any how even using the word Ideal can be incorrect.
I oppoligize for being critical.
You have the freedom to be critical.

I just walked through my house; almost all of the 1-pole toggle switches say On-Off, none of the paddle style (e.g. Decora) have markings. The 1-pole toggle associated with the fan speed control (Ariadni) does not have markings.

I guess this is a corollary to my signature line: Just because you shouldn't, doesn't mean you can't.;)
 

Sierrasparky

Senior Member
Location
USA
Occupation
Electrician ,contractor
You have the freedom to be critical.

I just walked through my house; almost all of the 1-pole toggle switches say On-Off, none of the paddle style (e.g. Decora) have markings. The 1-pole toggle associated with the fan speed control (Ariadni) does not have markings.

I guess this is a corollary to my signature line: Just because you shouldn't, doesn't mean you can't.;)
You are correct on the markings and correct about your tagline. I just get so frustrated when you have these classes teach the best of the choices way. It is a diservice to all.
I would fly off the handle years ago if an aprentice pulled 4 way or three way switches from the truck and installed them in single pole situations. Heck a Single pole toggle is less than 60 cents and a 4 way can be over 10 bucks. Hey once a co-worker installed a 3 way in a single pole situation. It was 277v. Guess what he landed on a common terminal.








The ground pigtail.

BOOOM when the owner went to turn out the lights. :eek:
 
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