Here is what I want to do.
Two switches (A&B) in different locations that control a single outlet
(C), this is easy enough with 3-way switches. But I also want to have
a second outlet (D) that is only controlled by one of the switches
(either A or B).
Can this be done with with standard 3-way or 4-way switches or am I
stuck with having an additional switch for outlet D?
Access is not a problem and I can power the circuit from any point.
With two three way switches, the first switch would be up for on depending
on the position of the second switch. And if the second switch was flipped
the opposite direction, then the first switch would be down for on.
So because the position for on would change with the first switch to control
outlet C, if it were to be wired to also control outlet D, then sometimes
turning off outlet D would also turn on outlet C. Then other times turning
off outlet D would turn on outlet C.
So you could not use one switch to control one outlet and also keep the
second outlet off all the time or keep the second outlet on all the time.
"Limp Arbor" wrote in message
You can easily do what you describe, but it is a bit weird:
Outlet D is on when A is up.
Outlet C is on whenever A and B are opposite (one up, one down).
You can't control D independently of C. If you want to change D
without changing C, you have to flip both switches. If you want to
change C without changing D, you have to use switch B.
If that is what you want, just wire A, B, and C normally. Then grab
one traveller between A and B and a neutral, and use those to wire D.
Assuming you feed from the A end and outlet D is on one of the
travelers (A on) the truth table is
Assuming all switches down, all receptacles off
A on D on always
A off D off always
A off B off C off
A on B on C off
A off B on C on
A on B off C on
I assumed it would be as you discribed but thought there might be a
way. Actually for my purposes tying outlet D off of one leg of switch
B would probably be OK. I would not ever expect to have outlet C
turned 'on' by switch A then need to turn on outlet D via switch B
without first turning off outlet C at switch A. Wondering what kind
of nut would want such a circuit?
I posted in another group to get a different point of view you can
view it here:
Thanks for all replies. I'm not sure if I'll go it as Wayne describes
or buy some type of relay or premaid device yet.
On Mon, 5 Jan 2009 06:01:30 -0800 (PST), Limp Arbor
While Wayne might conceivably be describing what you want, I don't
think it's what you want.
I would agree with Bill, and point out that this is not because of the
limitations of electrical switches, but because of the limitations of
logic or something. One) If A is the one that controls both and
you're standing at A, and you want to turn D on without changing the
setting of C, how could you possibly do that since there is only one
If you're thinking that whenever you turn D on you want to turn C off,
then Two) what happens if both C and D are off now? When you turn D
on you'll be turning C on too.
And both situations can happen based on the position of switch B. So
in the second case you'd have to go to B and flip it so C is on, then
come back to A and flip it so C goes off and D goes on. In the first
case, there will also be times that you don't like the result of
flipping switch A only, so you'll first have to flip B.
Do you really want this? Wouldn't it be easier to have a second
switch next to A than to have to walk over to B and to have to put C
temporarily in the wrong state?
Others have explained the "logic" behind the reason you need a
separate switch for outlet D.
Perhaps this single/3 way combination switch will help keep the number
of physical switch installations to a minimum.
I'm sure one of the suggestions others have made will work, but I'm
curious - why would you want to do this? It seems in any case, if outlet
"D" is off and you switch the switch that is only controlling that outlet,
it is going to change the state of outlet "C", either on if it is off, or
off it is on. Is that what you are after?
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