Re: Double-pole single toggle switch vs. 3-way switch?

Discussion in 'Electrical Engineering' started by John Gilmer, Jun 24, 2004.

  1. John Gilmer

    John Gilmer Guest

    "East Coast" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I have looked in a couple of wiring books and I don't see double-pole
    > single toggle switches addressed. What is the difference between a
    > Double-pole single toggle switch and a 3-way switch?


    A Three-Way switch is identical to a SPDT switch in every respect. If they
    are listed separately it might be because one is generally intended for a
    particular application.

    The three say switches are routinely used in homes to permit, for example, a
    hall lighting fixture to be controlled from both the top and the bottom of
    the stairway. Any "home center" type store will carry this type of switch.

    Double pole (DPST) switches are ofen used to switch 240 volt loads (I use
    one at my water heater as a "vacation" switch.) These switches are also
    carried by Lowe's and Home Depot type stores.

    There is another switch call the Four Way switch. Internally, it is a DPDT
    switch which is internally connected as a 2 pole reversing switch. The
    4-way switch is used in combination with 2 three way switches (above) to
    switch a light fixture from 3 separate locations. Actually, you can add
    as many 4-way switches as you care and any switch will turn the light on or
    off. These switches (4-way) are a little harder to find but they are out
    there.

    A true DPDT switch with reasonable ratings (240 volts, 20 amps) is hard to
    find. They have an obvious application is switching a load between two
    power sources. When sold as "transfer switches" they are quite expensive.
    Some power panel makers use mechanical interlocks to cause two circuit
    breakes to act as a transfer switch.

    I see in the
    > Leviton catalog these are two different items.
    >
    > If you have a single light, like in a hallway, and want to be able to
    > switch it on and off from two different locations, you use a 3-way
    > switch I've been told. How is a double-pole single toggle switch used?
    > Thanks!


    The 4-way (reversing switch) is placed BETWEEN the two 3-way switches.
    Operation of the 4-way has the same effect as operating one of the 3-ways.
    As mentioned above, you can put in a many 4-ways as you care.
    John Gilmer, Jun 24, 2004
    #1
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