7 way switch?

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by Erico, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. drick

    drick In the Trades

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    You don't need 3 or 4 way timers for what you want to do. All you do is install a standard single pole timer at each location.

    In a 3 and 4 way switch setup - which is what you seem to have - any switch can be used to turn the lights on and any switch can be used to turn the lights off. This is not what you want but what you have.

    You want 7 timers all controlling a single set of lights so when all the timers reach 0 the lights will go out. This will work and be wired differently than the 3 and 4 way switch setup. As an example of how it works you set timer #1 to 15 minutes and the lights go on. You go to another location that has timer #2 and you want to turn off the lights before the 15 minutes expire. Well now there is no way to do that anymore! You have to wait for the first timer to count down the 15 minutes. What you can do at timer #2 is set the timer to 30 minutes. Now when timer #1 expires the lights will stay on until timer #2 finishes counting down to zero.

    If you have no problem with the fact all the timers will have to expire for the lights to go out all you need is 7 single pole timers wired in parallel to control your lights. You have enough wires to do this already. Think of this just as your basic single pole switch and light setup - just with a lot more switches.

    light.jpg

    -rick
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2011
  2. hj

    hj Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Drick, a very COMPLEX solution, (but it also looks like you have the timers in parallel so the lights will NOT go off until the last one is satisfied, which could be done MUCH easier with a single switch), and if you put them is series for each light, then you also have to figure out how to supply power to all these timers because the power will CEASE, and the clocks will stop, as soon as one of the previous ones shuts down.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011
  3. Erico

    Erico Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    That seems like a great alternative. Expand the first box and install the wind up timer.

    And if I have this right, I'll know which box to install it in because it will be one of the 3-ways. Figuring out if I'm at the end or begining of the run shouldn't be too hard.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011
  4. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Occupation:
    Instructor
    Location:
    North Carolina
    So are you going to do away with all the other switches? Using a wind-up timer would require the wind-up timer be the switch used to trun the lights on each and every time.

    If the lights were this much of a problem for me I would simply disconnect the circuit and there would be nothing to worry about. If it is the price of electricity the renters was using I would simply increase the rent to cover the lights burning 24 hours a day seven days a week for the entire year, again no worries.

    A simple dust to dawn sensor on the light will prevent the light from burning in the day time. A pluse timer installed on each bulb will turn the bulb off at a predetermined time.

    The simple solution is to install a setable timer at the panel with the hours of operation set for the entire circuit and leave the switches alone.
     
  5. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    "retired" and still building and troubleshooting
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Use the small bulbs and get a BIG dog.
     
  6. hj

    hj Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The wind up timer can be connected to the "common" side of EITHER three way switch. The timer would override any of the other switches, but while it was operating the lights could be turned on and off as usualy. An electric timer could be wired to the hot going to the first three way, because it would ALWAYS have power, but would NOT work with the other one since it would be "dead" whenever the switches turn the lights off.
     
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