I generally dislike three way switches. The reason I have frequently stated in the past is the accidents that can occur while trying to flip a switch while carrying things in both hands. Last week the power went out (strange story) and it reminded me of another reason I dislike three way switches. Due to the power situation, I was going around the house unplugging critical things (computer first, happily running on UPS, so it was the UPS that got unplugged), and switching off lights.
The problem with three way switches is that I cannot tell from the switch whether the lights are actually on or off. The switches were not wired consistently.
It would be helpful if the switches were wired so that when all switches are in the down positions, the controlled circuit is down. My house (my mother had built) was definitely not wired very well (had it been properly inspected, there should have been a dozen or more red tags). So I have a project to rewire these three ways so there is at least a way to make sure the lights are off when there is no power.
I still don't like three way switches because I don't like any instance of a switch being reversed from up-is-on and down-is-off. I'd rather use those switches that make momentary contact in the up and down positions and then have a spring pressure return to the middle, controlling a contactor that controls the light circuits (most would be magnetically held on, but the few lights I want to normally stay on would be the latching type).
Our street was having the MV feeder rewired for some reason (the crews doing the work don't know why, as the new cable is the same capacity as the old). It's all underground. Apparently they switched one of the pad transformers down the street to the new cable. But there was a problem with the new connection and it was arcing. They didn't discover it until after the crew that connected the new cable hot had left for the day. So the crew that was still on site (not authorized or trained or geared up to work MV hot, I guess) had to pull the fuse on the whole street to remake the end of the cable going into the transformer, since it was now damaged by the arcing. Once I heard part of this story while the power was still out, I decided to play it safe and unplug stuff at home, even though this work was not on the transformer feeding me (that connection may come in the next week or two). Given mistakes this crew has made already on this project (slicing through a water main and damaging a gas line), I decided that disconnecting would be better, in case they managed to cause an underground equivalent of the Harford Event (video 1
- video 2