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How To Install A 2 Way Light Switch (For Dummies)

Looooooong time since last post, here is one a bit technical but useful  I bought new light switches for my apartment because the old ones look lame and since a few of them were already changed so I had like 5 different types of switches throughout the apparent. Oh...and they were also dirty. Kind of stupid reasons but you need some change every now and then. Anyway...

Obviously I thought this would be a piece of cake, pull he old one out pull the wires out and put them in the same holes on the new switch and ta-daaa! Oh how was I wrong :)

First problem is that new light switches look quite different than old ones and "put the wire into the same hole" becomes impossible.

Second problem is that old electrical wires don't have the same "generally acclaimed" colors that everyone are talking about. You know:"Just put the yellow wire into..." A DON'T HAVE A YELLOW WIRE?!

So. Here is a dummy proof way to install a two way switch.

Before I begin - what is a 2 way switch? It's when you can turn on and off the same light from two different switches. It has 3 wire holes. Ordinary switch only has 2 wire holes. OK, this is what you will need:

- tester screwdriver
- two two way switches

That's it :). A tester screwdriver is a screwdriver that has a little light in the handle and this light turns on when screwdriver hits electricity.

The initial situation should be like this: You have two holes in the wall (if you want to install two 2 way light switches) and there are 3 wires hanging from each hole. They can be whatever the hell color they want. With this method it doesn't matter :).

(oh, and you should disconnect the fuse so you can play with the electricity safely every time I write fuse ON/OF... obviously I didn't cause I'm lazy but it's a sane thing to do).

1. Fuse ON. Use a tester screwdriver and test all 6 wires coming from the wall. Only one wire should make the tester light like a Christmas tree. Remember which one it was.

2. Fuse OFF.Take a 2 way switch and connect the remembered live wire to the hole in the switch that is marked with an L or a C. I guess that depends on where you live. For this to be really dummy proof - there should be two wire holes on the switch marked with number 1 and 2 or 1 and 2 plus something (like L1 and L2...etc). The third hole should be marked differently and without a number (like C or L). So connect the live wire to the hole that is marked C, L (the hole that doesn't have a number next to it). The connect the other 2 wires to other two holes, it doesn't matter which one goes where.

3. Fuse ON. Again take the tester screwdriver and go to the other hole in the wall. Check all three wires to see which on has electricity in it. Now go to the already installed first switch and flip it. Go to the empty hole again and again test all three wires. Only one of the wires should be "dead" in both cases. The other two should make the tester light. Remember which one is the dead one.

4. Fuse OFF. Take the second light switch and connect the remembered dead wire to the hole that is marked C, L (the hole that doesn't have a number next to it). Yes, to the same hole where you put the live wire with your first switch. Connect the other two wires to the remaining holes, doesn't matter how.

5. Fuse ON. It should work.

Yeah...I know, you are welcome :). I almost lost it searching for how to install this stupid 2 way switch with all people being smart and posting some electrical schematics .jpgs or talking about wire colors. Damn...if I don't know how to install this simple switch I probably don't know how to read the damn diagrams. OK, that's it. Actually all this is quite simple and anyone can do it. Just be safe, I take no responsibility if you electrocute yourself, blow a fuse or set a fire to your house installing a light switch. This worked me and I wanted to share it. Hope it helps.