Q.: light switch on main floor turns on fan in upstairs bathroom...

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I have a 60-yr-old house

don't you find that normal?
it's the same in my house and it's good to be able to turn on the light in the stair case as you enter the house, instead of climbing the stairs in the dark. it's also nice to be able to turn the light off as you exit the house, instead of leaving it on until you come back.
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scribbled: , I thus relpy:

Not unless the bottom of the stairs is nowhere near the front door.

--
Gary J. Tait . Email is at yahoo.com ; ID:classicsat

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Code requires three way switches for stairways, one on either end.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
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On 21 Oct 2003 14:20:30 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@nortelnetworks.com (Chris Lewis) wrote:

Did you read "60-yr-old"? (Closer to 70 now, actually.) It may be code now, or even when the last (unknown) upgrade was done. Many homes in the area have fuse boxes, not circuit breakers. I know diddly about wiring, but it seems a little peculiar that 1 breaker switch relates to half the kitchen, a part of the dining room, and some of the upstairs lights & outlets. This group alone shows that many non-code, uninspected electrical work is going on all the time. I have (see comment above re: "diddly") installed new light fixtures and a dimmer switch. If the parts are available, many of us assume that's all it takes. Code, shmode. :-)
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I really aimed that at people who thought having switches at both end of a flight of stairs was somehow "odd". Something like _this_[+] that's code now is not likely to have been "odd", even quite a while ago.
[+] As in "code, shmode, only an idiot would wire a staircase light any other way". As in "I don't care if code doesn't prohibit it, installing bare live hot wires in the toilet seat is a really bad idea".
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Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
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On 22 Oct 2003 20:22:10 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@nortelnetworks.com (Chris Lewis) wrote:

You are quite correct, and the OP was inquiring about a rather more bizarre switch arrangement. I have rarely used the downstairs switch to turn on the upstairs light, but it *does* make sense. From old movies and books, I see that many apt. houses had a timed switch that could be pressed at the bottom of stairs and illuminate the staicase for a time -- usually not long enough.
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I didn't follow the OP's description very far, but it didn't seem that far off. I would assume that it was actually a more recent add-on/renovation, made "bizarre" simply because the home owner didn't want to cut walls and compromised with existing box and wire placement.
I've seen FAR more bizarre things, even in "original" wiring in recent construction (that has _passed_ inspection, sigh...)
Like, two way switches wired in series. Switches in prominent locations that not only don't appear to do anything, actually _cannot_, because there's no wire in the box....
[We have one of the latter. Methinks the electrician (home owner actually, he was a professional plumber ;-) was intending to two-way a passageway, but the inspector said "the two boxes are on two completely separate circuits for lighting already, you can't cross-wire another gang on them that way!"]
Not to mention out-and-out code violations ["The electrician only had to wire one outlet DIRECTLY on the panel, and he forgot to connect the ground!? Idiot! That _hurt_!"]

I think I've seen a few of those. Little round phenolic button switches on K&T wiring. Most of them didn't work at all anymore.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
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wrote

on
the house I live in is about 50 years old and I have 3-way switches at bottom and top of stairs. seems natural to me.
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Nope..its not code by the International Mechanical code.. IF and thats IF the home is that tight, the code would require an air exchanger, and a 50CFM bathrom fan aint it.

Dunno about plumbin....we hire one for that.

Nope. Code has stated for years that the unit MUST have a disconnect means within reach of a service tech... MEaning.. Right beside, or within arms reach of the unit.
Code changed again, and now, no matter where the units located, (outside, attic, closet, crawlspace etc) it MUST have a 110VAC outlet within so many feet and if the units in a crawlspace, or attic, must have a light with switch also within reach.

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We've had that for at least 20 years.
[Original poster, and I, are in Canada.]
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
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On 21 Oct 2003 14:22:07 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@nortelnetworks.com (Chris Lewis) wrote:

A couple of years ago I visited my attic and marveled that the original (when I moved in 25 yrs previous) overhead lightbulb was still functioning. As I backed down the pull-down stairs, I pulled the string/switch to the fixture maybe 12-14' above the partially-floored attic and it came apart in my hand. Light's off. I haven't been up there since. Everyone who's done work in the house has commented on it's old-fashioned but sturdy construction. Guess they didn't look at the string involved. :-)
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wrote:

It's an old message but i happen to know the answer. AT least I've been given an answer when i asked this question in the past.
Turns out this is something in the Ontario building code. I was told (by a reputable builder so I trust his knowledge) that each province is allowed to alter their own building codes as long as they still fall within certain federal guidelines. Anyway, Ontario building code now has houses sealed tighter than other provinces. So tight that there isn't enough air exchange going on. The properr thing to do would be add a requirement for an air exchanger into the building code. But since this would be too expensive they now suggest you run an upstairs bathroom fan essentially 24/7. To help remind people and make it easier they put in a switch somewhere on the main floor that also turns on the upstairs fan.
A tightly sealed house has some air leakage. And even a paltry bathroom fan will cause *some* extra air to work it's way into the house. But it seems that you have to run it 24/7 to get the volume of air that is recommended.
So it is a cheap, backwards way of allowing Ontario building code to seal buidlings up very tight without violating air exchange code. It could be easily fixed by a real air exchanger but, of course, most builders don't tell you that unless you ask. I wish i had asked *before* my house was built.
Kevin
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On Tue, 04 Nov 2003 19:17:08 GMT, kevins_news

You're not just making this up, right? :-) Thanks for the post. It's interesting to know life and laws aren't *quite* as random as they sometimes seem.
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