Wiring a 3 way light switch.

Hello all,
we moved recently and the previous owners took all the wall lights before they went. I have replaced the dangling ceiling roses OK and fitted some new wall lights where the old ones used to be. But....... they don't work. I have checked the following.....
There is power to the red wire on the wall (checked with multimeter), but if I put the blacjk lead to the black on the MM, there is nothing, I only get a result if i earth it. So the red is live.
The black in the wall is the same black in the switch.
The switch is a 3 way switch, the other 2 switches wok the main lights and they are OK.
There are a number of wires and crossover wires, but there is a blue and a black which have been disconnected in the switch. I have tried wiring these up to the space terminal (marked 2 way) in the switch - Nothing!
The live from the wall goes into the termial marked 1 way, and another red live goes into the common at the top.
I have looked in my Wiring and lighting book, but it seems liek everythign is Ok (clearly not though!)
dunno if anyone can help without seeing it, but any thoughts would be welcome!
Thanks Mike
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In my house I have two wall lights on a circuit. Left hand light has the neutral - right hand light has the switched live feed. (Twin + E links the two locations.)
It is important to realise this when linking across between the wall lights..
Worth checking to see if yours is like this.
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Regards

John


"Mike Hibbert" < snipped-for-privacy@nospam.blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in message
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I presume you're talking about the switches? In which case, the black isn't a neutral, but the switch return. It should have a bit of red sleeving to identify it as such in an ideal world.

Usually called straps.

I've never understood why some do it this way as it wastes cable. Far better to run the normal switch pair to one switch, then a triple and earth to the other.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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hand.
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Chris Green ( snipped-for-privacy@x-1.net)

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Suppose they don't bother with grommets or sleeving then since that's not to hand either?
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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Contact your lawyer, this is completely unacceptable. Most purchases are stated in the contract as for the home and "fittings". While you may take lampshades and mirrors, removing the actual lights themselves is just not on! If you want to do that, you switch them to other fittings before put the home on the market.
If your lawyer agrees with me, you may be able to have a proper electrician do the repairs at their cost. Remember, you've just bought an extremely expensive item from the previous owners, you don't owe them a thing.
If your lawyer says no-go (or you can't do this for another reason), post back. Will need more details though, you're going to have to work out exactly how it's all wired up before going further. I'd be wary about hooking random wires up to the switches until you have a better idea of what's going on. As the previous owners are a bit iffy, I'd take care around anything they might have wired themselves!
Fraser.
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That of course would be the most "up front" course of action, however, typically when a sale is initially agreed the first thing the seller gets from his solicitor is a tick box style fixtures and fittings form. You then specify what you are and aren't leaving. This goes to the buyers, if the buyer is happy they go ahead if not, they can complain and some agreement can be made. Therefore if the sellers said they were leaving the lights then you have a case. However, even if they took the lights I think they are still obliged to leave the electrical fixtures in a safe and usable state.
We just moved house & we had some very nice and very expensive lighting fixtures, we stated we wanted to take them, the buyer didn't blink a proverbial eyelid (although they were first timers) and I replaced them all with brand new single light pendants and a bayonet style wall mounting.
As the original reply said contact your solicitor, if nothing else the sellers deserve a legal scare to point out the error of their ways.
Ross
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The dead black wire at the switch is more likely to be the switched live to the light fittings

Then this will become the live feed to light when it is connected through the switch that has a live to it already.

The main lights must already have a neutral connection, which is what you'll need to find for the wall lights.

The switches sound as though they are two way, which have a common at one side and an L1 and L2 at the other. If you are not using them as two way switches, then forget about L2 on all of them.

The live feed goes to common on each switch, without exeption. It must link all the switches together to make them all work. It is the live feed which you are making and breaking when you flick each switch.
A circuit must be like a loop. The loop can contain a switch which opens the loop and stops the flow of electricity around the loop. A bulb just becomes part of the loop. The loop flows from LIVE to NEUTRAL through all parts of the loop when the switch is closed (ON). When the switch is open (OFF) no electricity can flow through the loop.
What you're trying to find on these circuits, is how to make them loop from LIVE to NEUTRAL. So the first thing to do is to find the main LIVE and NEUTRAL wires that feed all of these loops.

Buy a new one.

Start at each light fitting and trace with the multi-meter to where each cable goes to. Each light fitting can only have two wires going it that make it work. Forget ALL the earth wires, they are connected to the metal body of the light fittings, as a safety device. Once you've found these two wires that make the lights work, then the light will work.
A Switch is only a device for breaking the loop (CIRCUIT), and literally becomes part of the loop when it is closed (ON) so the wires going to a switch literally become one wire that switch breaks (OFF) or joins (ON) to allow electricity to flow around the rest of the loop (CIRCUIT). Once you understand this concept, it becomes easier to deduce how all the different loops are joined to the MAIN LIVE and NEUTRAL wires coming from the fuse box, so that they all become little loops going through all the bulbs in the light fitting.
Once you know where all the wires are going and coming from, then you should be able to work out how to make them into loops that go through all the switches and bulbs.
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Thanks for all the useful advice, I will have a look and let you know what happens!
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