A Single Pole Double Throw (SPDT) electrical switch, often known as a two-way switch, has many applications in residential settings. For instance, a two-way switch can simultaneously control the light and the ceiling by installing a dimmer slider. With the right equipment and expertise with the wiring, homeowners can safely install a two-way electrical switch on their own.
In this blog, Electricians Service Team will explain what you need to know about outlets and switches, particularly a two-way switch, its circuit terminals, easy wiring steps, its difference from one with a three-way function, and the hazards associated with wrong wiring.
How To Wire A Two-Way Switch?
Before we begin, taking a mental note about safety when wiring a two-way toggle switch is important. Using a soldering iron can result in intense heat and the release of harmful gasses. Take your time in a well-ventilated space to reduce the risk of injury. Also, ensure all batteries and other power sources are removed from electrical circuits before working on them. Ground yourself thoroughly.
- Step #1: Learn how to recognize your two-way switch’s terminals, of which there are three. The “C” terminal in the center is the common terminal, and the two terminals on either side represent the same point on the selector. When the selector is in the left position, the left terminal activates, and the right terminal is live and functioning on the right side. Take “A” and “B” as the designations for these two terminals.
- Step #2: Pick your preferred method of switch operation. Using a two-way switch, it either accepts a single signal input and splits it across two outputs; or allows two signals at its inputs and combines them into a single output. For an audio setup, the switch may select one of two speakers to receive the amplifier’s output or between two amplifier outputs to deliver to a single speaker. If you’re installing a new switch, double-check that its power rating is compatible with the circuit’s current.
- Step #3: Connect the common terminal of the switch with a wire soldered from your circuit. This signal will serve as either an input or an output.
- Step #4: Connect a wire’s end to the “A” terminal and solder the other end to the equivalent place in your circuit. If you’re in terminal “B,” you can simply follow the same steps.
- Step #5: Turn on the power to your circuit and verify that the switch is effectively toggling between the two signal channels. Troubleshooting tip: again, check the safety of all your connections if you have any issues.
What is the Difference between Two-Way and Three-Way Switches?
Knowing the differences between two-way and three-way switches is essential to develop a new space or to update an outdated electrical system. Let us tell you about their stark differences below:
It takes three terminals to operate the two-way switch. In this case, we have input at one end and two outputs at the other. This is the most common type of switch in many homes and properties, which you can operate from a central location.
On the other hand, a three-way switch allows you to control a single device with two separate switches from two locations. Either can cut the electricity to a room, thus turning out the lights.
What Does L1, L2, and COM Mean in Light Switches?
A two-way switch has three terminals: a common (C), an L1, and an L2 terminal. Similar to a one-way switch, COM and L1 are connected in a single position. In the alternative setting, COM and L2 are linked.
To turn on the light, flip the L1 live. By flipping the switch, you can turn L1 off when L2 is on and L2 on when L1 is off. For single-pole applications, a two-way switch is sufficient.
The live core cable (brown) is linked to the COM terminal, often known as “Common” (red era). This is where L1 or L2 connects to.
How to Wire An L1 and L2 Light Switch?
Wiring an L1 and L2 light switch are simple: one only has to be connected to the COM terminal. However, L1 and L1 are never connected or can be connected simultaneously to the COM.
You basically have to follow similar steps mentioned above when wiring. Here is a simpler step-by-step method:
- Distinguish between the L1, L2, and COM terminals.
- Simply connect the L1 or L2 wire’s end to the COM, whichever you want to switch. Only one has to be connected.
- Try turning on the power and see if your preferred method works. Again, if there are issues with the connection beforehand, it is best to call an electrician to find and fix the problem. The Electricians Service Team can help you in no time.
What Happens If You Incorrectly Wire a Light Switch Wrong?
Wiring electrical connections yourself without adequate understanding can result in serious injury. It is possible to create a short circuit and allow a large amount of current to flow through the wires if you connect them in the wrong order, causing them to overheat and shock you.
There are three potential problems with improper switch wiring:
- Short Circuit
A short circuit occurs when there is little resistance between two conductors delivering electricity to a circuit. Exposed or broken Wire can induce short circuits and can even result in electrical fires.
- Dysfunctional Switch
Switches won’t function if the insulation coverings aren’t peeled back, and the wires aren’t plugged into the correct slots.
- Exposed Wire due to Insufficient Insulator Covering
When installing a light switch, ensure any exposed wires are enclosed in insulation before connecting them. Insulations can greatly extend the lifespan of the Wire and the elements if you create an impenetrable barrier between them. It also prevents fires and reduces the risk of electrocution from contact with live wires.
If you have trouble wiring your electric connections at home or are skeptical about them, do not hesitate to call the Electricians Service Team or read more blogs from us. We are available around the clock to attend to specific concerns if there are any.