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Old 09-04-2016, 05:01 PM   #1
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Question About Light Switch Wiring

I picked up some Red illuminated switches to replace the white ones near the door that control the port and starboard porch lights. The idea is that it's a visual reminder that the porch light is on.

The stock switches have two terminals, but these have three - I presume the third is for the light. So, when I wire them to the existing spades, I assume I'll need to jump a piece of wire from the middle spade to the top one in order for the light to work? If someone can confirm that, I'd appreciate it. Thanks.
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Old 09-04-2016, 05:13 PM   #2
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Robert,
That third terminal is most-likely a ground connection, to complete the circuit for the indicator light.
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Old 09-04-2016, 05:17 PM   #3
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Robert,
That third terminal is most-likely a ground connection, to complete the circuit for the indicator light.
Found a simple wiring diagram. So, if it's "Load", "Positive" and "Negative", would jumping a wire from the load terminal to the positive terminal work to illuminate the switch?
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Old 09-04-2016, 05:24 PM   #4
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So, if it's "Load", "Positive" and "Negative", would jumping a wire from the load terminal to the positive terminal work to illuminate the switch?
Robert,
That would just serve to bypass the switch. You'd be taking the incoming 12V power and routing it to the load through the jumper instead of controlling it through the switch. And then (assuming "negative" is connected to 12V minus (ground), then the illum. light within the switch would be on all the time.)
So: if those are the terminal labels, then "Positive" is battery hot (12V +), "Negative" is battery ground, and load is for your down-stream to-be-controlled load.
Internally, the switch, when on, connects 12V+ to the load and also to the internal light within the switch.
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Old 09-04-2016, 05:30 PM   #5
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Robert,
That would just serve to bypass the switch. You'd be taking the incoming 12V power and routing it to the load through the jumper instead of controlling it through the switch. And then (assuming "negative" is connected to 12V minus (ground), then the illum. light within the switch would be on all the time.)
So: if those are the terminal labels, then "Positive" is battery hot (12V +), "Negative" is battery ground, and load is for your down-stream to-be-controlled load.
Internally, the switch, when on, connects 12V+ to the load and also to the internal light within the switch.
OK, I still don't quite understand. There are two spades coming out of the wall. Both happen to use red wire by the way. When I connect the existing wires to the new switch, the switch does function, but the top terminal isn't connected to anything, and although the switch turns the porch light on and off, it doesn't illuminate. How would I get it to illuminate?
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Old 09-04-2016, 05:46 PM   #6
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OK, I still don't quite understand. There are two spades coming out of the wall. Both happen to use red wire by the way. When I connect the existing wires to the new switch, the switch does function, but the top terminal isn't connected to anything, and although the switch turns the porch light on and off, it doesn't illuminate. How would I get it to illuminate?
You have to find a ground connection from somewhere. ---Break--- Ok, I'm back from looking in our 17: all the wiring I could access easily uses a red/black pair. Red is 12V "+", and runs to the switch, from the switch to the load (porch light is the one I checked), then a black ground connection back to battery "-".
So, if you can find a ground connection (probably black) at a nearby light, 12V outlet, etc., and extend it to the "neg" terminal on the switch, it should work.
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Old 09-04-2016, 06:50 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by dfandrews View Post
You have to find a ground connection from somewhere. ---Break--- Ok, I'm back from looking in our 17: all the wiring I could access easily uses a red/black pair. Red is 12V "+", and runs to the switch, from the switch to the load (porch light is the one I checked), then a black ground connection back to battery "-".
So, if you can find a ground connection (probably black) at a nearby light, 12V outlet, etc., and extend it to the "neg" terminal on the switch, it should work.
OK, so one of the three terminals on the switches is copper colored. That's ground, as I understand it. Ground has to be connected somewhere for the internal lighting circuit to be completed, correct? My question is how the original switches (two terminals only because they aren't illuminated) were wired. No ground required?
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Old 09-04-2016, 06:59 PM   #8
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I had the same problem wa back, need to find a ground, see here I need a ground...
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Old 09-04-2016, 07:24 PM   #9
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I guess it's a pretty simple thing, but me and 12V wiring are just getting acquainted.

So, I didn't know this but a wiring diagram was included in the packaging. In the second photo, the switch is oriented to match the diagram. What I said earlier about the terminal colors is incorrect - two of them are colored copper and one is colored silver. From top to bottom they're labeled as follows then:

1 = Ground (silver)
2 = Load (copper)
3 = Power (copper)

Please tell me if this is correct then: Use the existing wiring to connect to load and to power. Add a third wire and splice it into a ground wire (hopefully in the vicinity).
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Old 09-04-2016, 07:32 PM   #10
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I believe these are constant illumination switches so I'll be curious if you can wire it to only illuminate when switched on.
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