Light Switch Issues (electrical or bad light switch?)?

In my den area there is a two light switch together (same plate). The one turns on the hallway light and the other turns on the den lights. If you turn on the hallway light using the den light switch it causes the other light switch that controls the hallway light (near the door) to not work). What would be the cause of this and how would I fix it?

7 Answers

  • Irv S
    Lv 7
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    There's another switch that controls those hallway lights, (3 way switches), right?

    The problem is the switches are mis-wired.

    A simple fix for an electrician.

    Source(s): Retired Electrical Consultant
  • Dan B
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Needs to be investigated further. Need more details. But it sounds like one of the switches that controls the hallway lights is not a 3-way switch but just a single switch. If you turn on/off the other hallway light switch, does the switch in the den control the hall lights as it should? If not, check the hall light switches to see if they have THREE terminals on them. If one does not, replace that switch. Or you could have a faulty 3-way switch near the door..

  • KMA
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    4 possibilities:

    The 3-way part of the "stack switch" a.k.a. "combination switch" is bad.

    The 3-way at the other end of the hall is bad

    The stack/combination switch is not a single pole switch & 3-way switch, but rather 2 single pole switches.

    The den switch was added after the fact and one of the "travelers" for the 3-way was used as a constant hot to feed it.

    If you wish to DIY you will need to open both locations and describe the switches in detail. Other wise it will take several pages to cover all the possibilities! On the other hand, if it is just a nuisance and not a big deal to you, it should be OK to leave it as is.

    If you have other electrical issues or work you would like to have done, this would be a good time to call a licensed contractor.

    Good luck!

    Source(s): a licensed electrician
  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Sounds like the switches weren't installed properly. It would be an easy fix if you understood electrical wiring. Get a pro to fix it or some else who is qualified.

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  • 9 years ago

    Irv S got it right. You have a 3-way switch that is mis-wired or is failing.

    Source(s): NEC IBEW 191
  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Sounds like there is a fault in the fitting>For what it costs and safety I would change it completely

  • 9 years ago

    You would call an electrician because you don't understand basic wiring.

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