Light Switch Wiring and Other Light Fixture FAQs

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Have you been itching to install some new exquisite light fixtures to spice up the look of your living room? Are you looking to DIY the lights on the new extensions you just had constructed to expand your home? Or are you simply looking for a new DIY project for the weekends, and want to venture into electrical repairs and maybe oven installation?

Before you begin working on the light fixtures on your home, read on to find answers about frequently asked questions regarding light switch wiring and light fixtures.

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1. If there are only two switches in a three-way switch, why is it called a three-way switch?

The reason is something that cannot be seen by the naked eye. It’s called a three-way switch because within the mechanism of the switch are three terminals, and those terminals are what the “three-way” in the name refers to. A three-way switch is also known as a single-pole, double-throw switch.

Additionally, any type of light fixture that is connected to three different light switches will need a mechanism that has four terminals instead of three, hence the name four-way switch. A four-way switch is also known as a double-pole, double throw switch.

2. Hurray! We just got some new light switches installed, only to test them out and discover they’re not working. Any reasons why this would happen?

Common mistakes made during light switch wiring DIY projects include setting up a new light switch the way you would have set up your older light switches. But for instance, if you installed a three-way light switch of a four-way light switch instead of a one-way light switch, the terminals might have been arranged differently.

Another possibility is that you did not attach the correct wires in the terminal or you missed attaching loose wires to begin with. For instance, if you installed a new light switch that had the normal on and off type of switch, but somehow there were more than two wires and you were unable to attach the excess, then it might be the cause of the malfunction.

3. Why do some lightbulbs in my house burn out a lot faster than others?

Assuming they’re all used the same amount of time and frequency and are all the same type, quality and brand of bulbs, it is problematic when a lightbulb seems to burn out faster than other bulbs. It can mean that the light fixture that the bulb is attached to is unable to disperse the heat of the light bulb.

Another indication is that there can be loose connections of the electrical wiring, and this is something that should be addressed immediately.

4. My breaker sparks and then turns off. It also makes a weird noise. What is wrong with it?

Observe the breaker and note down what happens to it when you turn it on. If it first makes a noise and within a few seconds trips and turns off, this could mean that there might be a short circuit somewhere.

However, if a spark occurs but the breaker doesn’t trip and turn off after a few seconds, your circuit breaker might be faulty and will need to be replaced immediately. If you cannot fix that, contact an electrician Brighton in Quick Spark today! 

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