stairway lighting.

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Firstly Thanks to everyone. Secondly. I've been up and down stairs all day and am still no nearer finding the solution. I've logged what happened at each change and just hope one of you brainboxes can work out what needs to be done - I admit I'm lost! Please see the diagram (and find it in your heart to help - please!)
Paul
http://peverett.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/switches.html
That's a really helpful and clear post - and I was looking forward to the challenge. But.....
I can reconcile all but diagram 2. I gather that this results in Landing sw. controlling lamp, regardless of position of stairs sw. This doesn't compute with me cos you haven't changed landing connections... and rewiring stairs sw. doesn't provide a "permanently on" position, which would be necessary to achieve the result you describe.
For normal 2-way to work, the feed to lamp [effectively] goes into common on one switch, and the live from mains into common on other switch. If Diag 2 is just as you say, then neither feed nor lamp can be connected to stairs sw.
Interestingly, your original and your diag.4 produce the same result - i.e. lamp on only when both switches in "on" position - hence two switches are in series.
Please can you confirm I'm understanding this correctly - and that wires in stairs sw. in diag 3 and 4 are as orig.
There's almost certainly one (or more) weirdly wired junction boxes hiding somewhere. And I would be tempted to test that each switch is working correctly by taking off the switch and checking with a meter (or low voltage bulb / battery) that each make / break is working ok.
May be someone else will be along shortly, but so far I'm stumped by apparently conflicting symptoms. Sorry...
--
Martin

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Martin wrote:

OK, I give in!! 5 hours and several thousand swear words later I finally took all the wires out and gave up. I tried to confirm things as you asked Martin but I'm afraid I messed things up when the two reds separated (I'm CERTAIN I got the same two back together again). At one point I was turning on the bedroom light with the switch at the bottom of the stairs!! I tried everything I could but to no avail. Then I had an idea. Since some of you extremely helpful souls like a challenge, I have now labelled all the wires, put them back as in the diagram and await your instructions. I'll try anything - but If you can't be bothered I'll completely understand!!
Thanks in advance.
http://peverett.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/switches2.html
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< snip >

I'll have a re-think later (saturday chores til then...) but can you please confirm whether the "latest attempt" wiring is now identical to the "Diag 1 original" - except that you have swapped "red 4" with the black which was originally on "bedroom 2 way". This is important - otherwise your earlier sketch of 4 diagrams is no longer of use....
I should add that I'm fast coming to the view that this may not be solvable from the info you have. So you may cut your losses by isolating mains at CU, labelling each wire, disconnecting each wire, removing bedroom and landing bulbs (thereby breaking the load circuits), then doing a continuity check on each pair of wires. (That's a lot of pairs, I realise, but wouldn't take long). It would require a spare wire on your tester to reach from stairs to landing switch, and a mate to assist. And include a check between pairs of red & black - they just might be connected in a junction box somewhere...
Document everything meticulously as you go along. And also check that the contacts on the switches (when disconnected) are operating correctly. While everything is disconnected, and if you have a mains tester and are comfortable working on live wires, you could then switch back on at CU and check which wires go live. Be very very careful - noting palindrome's caution note earlier.
One other thing - can you see in the backing boxes whether any pairs of wires are coming from the same outer sheath (eg red and black pairs on stairs and landing) and whether any are single cores in a sheath?
--
Martin

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Martin wrote:

"No contact" mains detectors are only about a tenner. With everything initially disconnected, it won't take long to build up a circuit diagram, one wire at a time.
(I also have a bridging lead with four very high resistance, very high voltage resistors in series within it - ideal for "energising" a circuit but with almost zero risk of getting hurt from it. It's ideal for this sort of thing as it means that you can disconnect and reconnect wires without having to go and remove power each time. The resistors limit the current to a fraction of a mA that you wouldn't even feel if you did accidently touch a "live" wire - but the voltage is still there to be detected. I don't think that you can buy these though - I had to make mine.)
--
Sue












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