# changing light switches about in a socket?

Guys I have a double light socket both one way* I had some spotlights installed and the way the electrician has wired them up, the left hand switch operates the right hand lights and vice versa. I want to swap this around and thought it would just be as simple as swapping the wires over but all that gave me was one set of lights working and the other not. I don't even think it swapped the working set over to the other switch!!
I've uploaded a picture of the back of the socket as it can probably explain it a lot better than my words.
Is there a way I can swap the 2 switches over?
*one side was 2 way with a switch that was never used but the way the electrician has wired the switch the other part of the 2 way switch no longer works which is fine as we don't ever use that switch.
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Steven Campbell (spam@away) wibbled on Monday 07 March 2011 22:11:

Did you swap 2,3 with 5,6 and swap 4 and 1 ?
ie you noticed one switch's terminals are at 180 degrees to the other?
--
Tim Watts

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wibbled on Monday 07 March 2011 22:11:

I basically swapped like with like. So 1 > 5 5 > 1 3 > 6 6 > 3
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Steven Campbell (spam@away) wibbled on Monday 07 March 2011 23:12:

That appears not to be a logical choice from what I can see. The diagonal ridge indicates the divide between the 2 switches. Why did you swap 1+5?
You appear to have gone from:
5o -------------o 1/ \ L-------o o----LAMP-------N
6o -------------o 3o --------------------LAMP-------N 4/ L-------o
2o
To
L--------5o --------o 1/ | \ o-------- o----LAMP-------N
6o ----- -------o X 3o ---- ---------------LAMP-------N 4/ L-------o
2o
Which will give a very weird switching arrangement, exactly as you descibe, until to switch the 3rd switch then it gets weirder!
L or L1 (obscured) indicates the common to each switch. L2 and L3 are the 2 ways of each switch.
The L1's are commoned - to a permanant live I would guess.
RH L3 is a simple 1 way switched live to a lamp.
LH L2+L3 are going to another switch in a 2-way configuration.
So leave the L1's alone (ie put them back).
Then
6>2 5>3 3>5 (or 6, ie until the switch is off in the correct way that you want)
A more general way to explain would be to swap:
L1 <-> L1 L2 <-> L2 L3 <-> L3
But as both L1's are commoned, you can omit that step.
HTH
Tim
--
Tim Watts

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wibbled on Monday 07 March 2011 22:11:

Thanks Tim and Skipweasel for the advice. Tim I only swapped live with live and neutral with neutral as I thought that would be the safest thing to do however following the logic L1 <-> L1 etc that makes sense. Swapped the wires as you suggest and the switches now work as I had hoped. Cheers.
Interestingly the other 2 way switch still kind of works. When its in the off position and I switch it on nothing happens. If I then switch on the switch I've just swapped positions the lights still don't work. If then go back to the 2 way switch and put the switch off, the light come on.
That's a long winded way to say if the 2nd 2way switch is "on" then neither switches operate the lights!!
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Steven Campbell (spam@away) wibbled on Tuesday 08 March 2011 11:48:

Hi,
I know what you mean, but it's best to be precise. There is no "neutral" in your switch - they are all lives[1].
To reinforce that point, if you have some brown (or even red as better than nothing) insulation tape, pop a bit around those blues - technically wrong- polarity colours should be sleeved or taped at the ends to the correct colour to avoid confusion.
[1] before any smart dude corrects me, and says neutral is also "live", I vote on sticking to common parlance for this thread.

Draw out my diagrams on paper and see if you can figure why. It is a good exercise as 2 way switching isn't that obvious the first time it is encountered. Come back with any questions :)
Cheers
Tim

--
Tim Watts

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wibbled on Tuesday 08 March 2011 11:48:

Thanks Tim I'll have a go when I get a minute.
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There are no neutrals on those switches.
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Mike Tomlinson

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spam@away says...

3 > 5 5 > 3 6 > 2
1 and 4 can stay put.
--
Skipweasel - never knowingly understood.

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says...

Thanks. I'll give that a go in the morning and let you know how I get on.
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The usual problem is not noticing the switches connections are inverted between the two units
--
*Modulation in all things *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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