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Replacing a Three Position Light Fixture Switch

Replacing a Rotary Switch for a Three Level Light Fixture – The light fixture that you are describing uses what is called a Rotary – Three Way switch. This type of rotary three way switch is used in a variety of light fixtures that have three levels of lighting.


Switch for a Light Fixture
Electrical Question: What type of electrical switch do I need to replace a faulty one in a Gone with the Wind Lamp. This lamp, if you are not familiar, works this way: The 1st turn of the switch, bottom Night light comes one. The 2nd turn of switch, the top globe comes on and the bottom turns off. The 3rd turn of the switch, both globes come on.The 4th turns off.
Thank you.

This electrical wiring question came from: Mike, a Homeowner from Lexington, Kentucky.

Dave the Electrician’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Mike.

Replacing a Rotary Three Position Light Fixture Switch

Application: Replacing a Switch for a Table Light Fixture
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience and ability to work with hand tools.
Precaution: Unplug the light fixture from the wall outlet or power source before working with the wiring and replacing the switch.
Materials: Make sure the replacement light switch has the same amperage and voltage rating as the original switch, and is fully compatible with the light fixture and the type of light bulbs that are being used.

The light fixture that you are describing uses what is called a Rotary – Three Way switch.
This type of rotary three way switch is used in a variety of light fixtures that have three levels of lighting.

These rotary light switches have 3-wires:

More about Wiring Light Switches

Based on this question the following specific links may be helpful to you:

How to Wire a Switch
electrical-switches

Wiring a Light Switch – Diagram 1

Wiring Diagrams
Fully Explained Light Switch Wiring Diagrams by the electrician. Detailed Electrical Wiring Diagrams and Pictures assist your Home Electrical Projects.

Lighting For The Home
Lighting Electrical Codes

You identified your project to be about Light Switch Wiring, so you might find this information useful:

Light Switch Wiring
Light Switch Wiring

Diagrams for Wiring a Light Switch

Fully explained pictures and wiring diagrams about wiring light switches describing the most common switches starting with photo diagram 1.


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Here's How to Do It:
Wire It Right with the help of my Illustrated Wiring Book

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Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
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Includes:
Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electric Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring Light Switches
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Dryer Cord and Dryer Outlet
How to Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
....and much more.





Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.

Electrical Tips to Help You Wire it Right

The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!

The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.

The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!

The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.

Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!

The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..

The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.

« Understanding Light Switch Wiring 3-Way Dimmer Switch Compatibility »

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