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#173935 - 01/23/08 04:52 AM Upside Down ThreeWay
Up2code Offline
Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 55
Loc: Missouri
Hello All! Homeowner told a fellow electrician I know that he installed a few three way toggle switches upside down, and that he would not pay final bill until they were turned around properly. Without arguing too much, he did what owner asked, and got paid. Am I missing something here? Has anyone else out there ever come across "upside down three ways"?

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#173937 - 01/23/08 05:42 AM Re: Upside Down ThreeWay [Re: Up2code]
ghost307 Offline
Member

Registered: 05/09/05
Posts: 876
Loc: Chicago Illinois USA
What did he use to determine that they were upside down???
There's no text on the handle.

I prefer to wire mine so that the load is off when both handles are down, but that's just a quirk that I have. It's not required by NEC or anything else that I'm familiar with.
_________________________
Ghost307

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#173938 - 01/23/08 05:47 AM Re: Upside Down ThreeWay [Re: Up2code]
Rewired Offline
Member

Registered: 01/01/06
Posts: 567
Loc: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Thats bizarre, unless what the homeowner meant was that to have the lights on both toggles "should" be up or both toggles should be down sort of thing?? Not that it all matters much but ya know how fussy / strange some people can be!

A.D

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#173940 - 01/23/08 07:52 AM Re: Upside Down ThreeWay [Re: Rewired]
Last Leg Offline
Member

Registered: 05/04/05
Posts: 41
Loc: Houston, Texas
So, what happens if both handles are down, lights off. Then, you go to one 3-way and turn the lights on - handle up. Then you go to the other three way, which is still in the down position, to turn the lights off? OOPS !! Handle is UP and lights are OFF !!! What's up with this???

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#173949 - 01/23/08 10:29 AM Re: Upside Down ThreeWay [Re: Last Leg]
iwire Offline
Moderator

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4343
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
 Originally Posted By: Last Leg

What's up with this???


Whats up is they have to much time on their hands. \:\)

But regarless of what postions you put the switches over time when returned to 'all down' the load can always be 'off'.....not that I would care. \:\)
_________________________
Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts

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#173962 - 01/23/08 07:03 PM Re: Upside Down ThreeWay [Re: iwire]
Up2code Offline
Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 55
Loc: Missouri
Job security, I guess. Every week you would have to go back and turn half of them back around to satisfy homeowner. Homeowner said "That is how previous electrician installed them, and he knew what he was doing." We still joke about it. Just wanted everyone else's thoughts.

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#175109 - 02/22/08 04:38 PM Re: Upside Down ThreeWay [Re: Up2code]
wa2ise Offline
Member

Registered: 11/29/02
Posts: 769
Loc: Oradell NJ USA
Mount the 3 way switches horizontally. Then the issue of "up-side-down" goes away. \:D

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#175111 - 02/22/08 05:31 PM Re: Upside Down ThreeWay [Re: wa2ise]
BPHgravity Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/03
Posts: 141
Loc: Port Charlotte, Florida
Perhaps if you show the homeowner that Section 404.7 Exception No. 1 permits the three ways to operate in the up or down position, they will be less concerned.

They may be under the impression that up always means "on", and that down always means "off".
_________________________
Bryan P. Holland, ECO.
Secretary - IAEI Florida Chapter

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#175114 - 02/22/08 06:52 PM Re: Upside Down ThreeWay [Re: BPHgravity]
schenimann Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/08
Posts: 194
Loc: Western North Carolina
We did have to come behind another electrician on a res job and clean up some stuff. They had wired the red and black from all the ceiling fans to the runners on 3way switches. Up you got the light, down you got the fan, never neither or never both. Maybe he wanted the fan up and the light down.

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#175182 - 02/24/08 12:59 AM Re: Upside Down ThreeWay [Re: wa2ise]
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
 Originally Posted By: wa2ise
Mount the 3 way switches horizontally. Then the issue of "up-side-down" goes away. \:D


But then you can argue about whether both switches left or both switches right is off, or whether one left and one right is off!

I've found the thing which confuses some people is where you have two 3-ways on a dual plate, e.g. for ceiling and counter lights in a kitchen which has two doorways. They sometimes can't grasp that depending upon the position of the switches at the other end of the room, there will be a time when you have to move one switch up to turn on a light and the other down.

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