Parallel switches

I need to install parallel switches to a couple of lights. And so you don't think I mean a common 3-way switch, I want this behavior:
Both on: lights on A on: lights on B on: lights on Both off: lights off
This is just (A OR B) logic.
This application is actually for a horse stall, where one switch is a timer and the other is for manual use (there is actually a third switch in series with the timer, to allow turning off the timer as well).
I'll try to explain my current setup (I've already tried this circuit). I'll ignore grounds, but they are connected at each location properly.
1. I have 12/2 coming from the breaker box 2. The hot wire split and is connected to both switches 3. Each switch comes out as separate hot wires (I used red on the main and black on the timer switch) 4. The neutral, red, black and ground wires are run to an outlet near the lights 5. The neutral and black wires are fed to the outlet 6. The neutral and red are run to the first light box 7. The timer is installed and plugged into the outlet 8. 12/2 is terminated with a standard plug/ground and plugged into the timer 9. The black from this (the timer) is connected to the red from the first switch and then to the first light, and then a black wire runs to the second light 10. The neutral from the timer and the breaker are connected and then are connected to the first light, plus it is run to the second light 11. The second light is connected to the hot and neutral
I might try some ascii art and reply to this, but for now, that will have to do.
So my main switch seems to work. However, if my timer and lights are plugged in (timer switch still off), my main switch trips the GFCI outlet, but the lights still come on. Of course, this means the timer is no longer running, and turning off the main switch causes the lights to go out.
I have a feeling this would have worked with a DC circuit, hopefully somebody can help!
Adam
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I can't quite visualize your description. Here is my attempt to draw it: (fixed font suggested)
------------------------------------------> | | X switch X timer Hot (black) | | to >----------------------------------X timer defeat load
Neutral (white) >------------------------------------------------------->
Ground (green) >------------------------------------------------------->
Is this what you want?
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Rich Greenberg Marietta, GA, USA richgr atsign panix.com + 1 770 321 6507
Eastern time. N6LRT I speak for myself & my dogs only. VM\'er since CP-67
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Yes, I think you got it.
The one thing not noted is the outlet between the timer defeat and the timer. It just passes the current through to the timer, but if the hot is provided by the first switch, could that back feed the timer in an undesirable way?
I'm at the point of thinking there is a small short somewhere. But in all respects it doesn't add up. Here are my "test results":
1. The main switch works the lights as expected when the second feed is disconnected (completely unplugged, or GFCI is tripped).
2. If the second feed is plugged into the GFCI outlet (removing the timer from the equation) and the timer defeat is OFF and the main switch is turned ON, the GFCI trips.
3. Using the GFCI as an outlet to an unrelated load (skill saw, worklight) works as expected (the timer defeat also works). Lights work as expected from main switch.
4. Turning main switch OFF and providing the current to the lights from an outlet on another circuit works as expected.
4a. Turning the main switch ON blows the breaker for this circuit AND the one for the other outlet. (This was probably not the safest of tests, now that I think about it).
I hope this gives a bit more insight.
Rich Greenberg wrote:

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Adam wrote:

Have you made sure that the "12-2" and the "plug/ground" plygged into the timer isn't crosswired and thus creating a short circuit?
That'd be my best guess.
HTH,
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia

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I did, and I double and triple checked all the wiring.
It turns out the GFCI outlet was the cause of all the problems. Someone on the alt.construction.building group pointed this out. I'll quote him:

Thanks for all the input guys!
Adam
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On 26 Nov 2005 13:02:12 -0800, Adam wrote:

Should work just fine w/AC.
Not sure I understand your description of the setup you have so I'm hesitant to offer suggestions as far as changes. For my attic fan, I use a photocell in place of the timer you're using and the fan is 2 speed, but otherwise the wiring should be quite similar. It's not on a GFCI circuit, but that shouldn't be a problem.
Would be glad to provide a drawing of my setup if you send email directly (this is a text only group) - use address in sig after fixing it.
Later, Mike (substitute strickland in the obvious location to reply directly) ----------------------------------- snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net
Please send all email as text - HTML is too hard to decipher as text.
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Is this what you are looking for? http://www.aldes-us.com/Wiring%20Diagrams%20PDF/ParallelSwtchLeg....PDF
Adam wrote:

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