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Upside Down ThreeWay #173935 01/23/08 07:52 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 55
Up2code Offline OP
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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Re: Upside Down ThreeWay [Re: Up2code] #173937 01/23/08 08:42 AM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 984
ghost307 Offline
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.

Re: Upside Down ThreeWay [Re: Up2code] #173938 01/23/08 08:47 AM
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 558
Rewired Offline
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!


Re: Upside Down ThreeWay [Re: Rewired] #173940 01/23/08 10:52 AM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 41
Last Leg Offline
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???

Re: Upside Down ThreeWay [Re: Last Leg] #173949 01/23/08 01:29 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
iwire Offline
Originally Posted by Last Leg

What's up with this???

Whats up is they have to much time on their hands. smile

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. smile

Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Re: Upside Down ThreeWay [Re: iwire] #173962 01/23/08 10:03 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 55
Up2code Offline OP
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.

Re: Upside Down ThreeWay [Re: Up2code] #175109 02/22/08 07:38 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 790
wa2ise Offline
Mount the 3 way switches horizontally. Then the issue of "up-side-down" goes away. laugh

Re: Upside Down ThreeWay [Re: wa2ise] #175111 02/22/08 08:31 PM
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 139
BPHgravity Offline
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
Re: Upside Down ThreeWay [Re: BPHgravity] #175114 02/22/08 09:52 PM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 193
schenimann Offline
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.

Re: Upside Down ThreeWay [Re: wa2ise] #175182 02/24/08 03:59 AM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
pauluk Offline
Originally Posted by wa2ise
Mount the 3 way switches horizontally. Then the issue of "up-side-down" goes away. laugh

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! grin

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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