Question About Light Switch Wiring - Escape Trailer Owners Community

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Tech > Modifications and Alterations
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 09-04-2016, 06:01 PM   #1
Site Team
 
rbryan4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Canyon Lake, Texas
Trailer: 2015 19 "Past Tents", 2018 F150 2.7L Ecoboost
Posts: 9,484
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.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg JRProducts12045.jpg (128.6 KB, 19 views)
__________________

__________________
"You can't buy happiness, but you can buy an RV. And that is pretty close."
rbryan4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2016, 06:13 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
dfandrews's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Ventura County, California
Trailer: 2015 Escape 17A -- "The Pullman"
Posts: 1,879
Robert,
That third terminal is most-likely a ground connection, to complete the circuit for the indicator light.
__________________

__________________
Don & Teresa
2015 17A: 2011 Honda Pilot
In Orbe Terrum Non Visi / RLTW
dfandrews is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2016, 06:17 PM   #3
Site Team
 
rbryan4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Canyon Lake, Texas
Trailer: 2015 19 "Past Tents", 2018 F150 2.7L Ecoboost
Posts: 9,484
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfandrews View Post
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?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 6572_st.jpg (6.6 KB, 169 views)
__________________
"You can't buy happiness, but you can buy an RV. And that is pretty close."
rbryan4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2016, 06:24 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
dfandrews's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Ventura County, California
Trailer: 2015 Escape 17A -- "The Pullman"
Posts: 1,879
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
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.
__________________
Don & Teresa
2015 17A: 2011 Honda Pilot
In Orbe Terrum Non Visi / RLTW
dfandrews is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2016, 06:30 PM   #5
Site Team
 
rbryan4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Canyon Lake, Texas
Trailer: 2015 19 "Past Tents", 2018 F150 2.7L Ecoboost
Posts: 9,484
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfandrews View Post
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?
__________________
"You can't buy happiness, but you can buy an RV. And that is pretty close."
rbryan4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2016, 06:46 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
dfandrews's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Ventura County, California
Trailer: 2015 Escape 17A -- "The Pullman"
Posts: 1,879
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
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.
__________________
Don & Teresa
2015 17A: 2011 Honda Pilot
In Orbe Terrum Non Visi / RLTW
dfandrews is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2016, 07:50 PM   #7
Site Team
 
rbryan4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Canyon Lake, Texas
Trailer: 2015 19 "Past Tents", 2018 F150 2.7L Ecoboost
Posts: 9,484
Quote:
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?
__________________
"You can't buy happiness, but you can buy an RV. And that is pretty close."
rbryan4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2016, 07:59 PM   #8
Site Team
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chilliwack, British Columbia
Trailer: Escape#4, 2019 Escape21 DejaView pulled by 2014 Ram Hemi/8sp
Posts: 19,987
I had the same problem wa back, need to find a ground, see here I need a ground...
__________________
Jim
"Never in doubt,..... often wrong!"
cpaharley2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2016, 08:24 PM   #9
Site Team
 
rbryan4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Canyon Lake, Texas
Trailer: 2015 19 "Past Tents", 2018 F150 2.7L Ecoboost
Posts: 9,484
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).
Attached Images
File Type: jpg diagram.jpg (92.3 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg switch.jpg (69.8 KB, 17 views)
__________________
"You can't buy happiness, but you can buy an RV. And that is pretty close."
rbryan4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2016, 08:32 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Greg A's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Trailer: 2015 Escape 19 "Seventy Degrees"
Posts: 2,872
I believe these are constant illumination switches so I'll be curious if you can wire it to only illuminate when switched on.
Greg A is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2016, 08:34 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Phoenix Area, Arizona
Trailer: 2014 Escape 19
Posts: 762
See: https://www.oznium.com/rocker-switch
(Scroll down to the wiring diagram.)

The indicator light needs to be wired in parallel with the load, not in series. Without a ground it can only be series.
jamman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2016, 09:19 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
Posts: 12,052
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
I guess it's a pretty simple thing, but me and 12V wiring are just getting acquainted.
For most purposes 12V DC and 120V AC wiring is effectively the same, with the positive and negative (ground) DC wires being used the same way as the line (hot, normally black) and neutral (normally white) wires of the AC wiring. Forget about the protective ground of AC wiring (green or bare wire) - there's no equivalent in DC wiring. That's the source of the black/white colour standard used in RVs which seems to confuse people so often because they're expecting red/black. That's only a general idea of course, to help adjust context.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
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).
Correct.

Whether the light in the switch is alway-on or on-when-switch-is-on, or on-when-switch-is-off (all three kinds exist), the wiring is the same; the difference is internal to the switch.
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2016, 12:25 AM   #13
Site Team
 
rbryan4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Canyon Lake, Texas
Trailer: 2015 19 "Past Tents", 2018 F150 2.7L Ecoboost
Posts: 9,484
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
For most purposes 12V DC and 120V AC wiring is effectively the same, with the positive and negative (ground) DC wires being used the same way as the line (hot, normally black) and neutral (normally white) wires of the AC wiring. Forget about the protective ground of AC wiring (green or bare wire) - there's no equivalent in DC wiring. That's the source of the black/white colour standard used in RVs which seems to confuse people so often because they're expecting red/black. That's only a general idea of course, to help adjust context.


Correct.

Whether the light in the switch is alway-on or on-when-switch-is-on, or on-when-switch-is-off (all three kinds exist), the wiring is the same; the difference is internal to the switch.
Ok, thanks.

By the way, they're not constantly illuminated switches -- they light when the switch is on.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
__________________
"You can't buy happiness, but you can buy an RV. And that is pretty close."
rbryan4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2016, 01:51 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
Posts: 12,052
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
By the way, they're not constantly illuminated switches -- they light when the switch is on.
Yes, I understand the purpose is for the indicator light to show that the controlled light is on. I don't have any of these in my trailer, but I have this arrangement in my motorhome for the storage compartment lighting, since it would otherwise be easy to leave those lights on accidentally and not realize it. The water heater switches (one for propane, one for electric heater) are lit when on, too. In home wiring devices, this is usually called a switch with a pilot light, and requires a neutral connection just as the 12V lighted switch requires a ground connection. I've been meaning to put some in my house for outside floodlights which can be accidentally switched on and not noticed in daytime.

In home switches, most illuminated switches are opposite: they are lit only when they are turned off, since the idea is just to be able to find them in dark. Those ones usually don't require a neutral connection because the internal light is wired to bypass the switch and use the controlled lamp as the path to neutral (it is the series connection which Doug mentioned). This two-wire scheme would work for 12V DC lights too, but wouldn't work for some equipment, is a problem with LEDs, and would work opposite to what is desired here anyway.
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2016, 08:24 AM   #15
Site Team
 
rbryan4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Canyon Lake, Texas
Trailer: 2015 19 "Past Tents", 2018 F150 2.7L Ecoboost
Posts: 9,484
Thanks Brian. Yeah, I knew you understood about the illumination - the "by the way" was for everyone.

I'll have to get a flashlight in the upper cabinet opening and poke around for a ground wire. The switches in question are on the end of the upper cabinet over the sink. Hopefully there's a ground wire nearby.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
__________________
"You can't buy happiness, but you can buy an RV. And that is pretty close."
rbryan4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2016, 10:16 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Notasulga, Alabama
Trailer: 2010 EggCamper (#083); 2017 Escape 21 (#053); 2016 F-150 5.0L FX4
Posts: 1,744
I suggest you set a 12V battery on a work bench along with a 12V light bulb and your switch, cut 5 or 6 foot-long pieces of electrical wire with small alligator clamps attached to each end, and then challenge some 5 year-old neighborhood kid that if they can get it wired to work correctly (with adult supervision, of course), you'll buy them an ice cream cone. I bet they'll have it figured out in no time. Then just wire your camper the same way (and don't dare tell the kid you couldn't figure it out!).
War Eagle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2016, 11:09 AM   #17
Site Team
 
rbryan4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Canyon Lake, Texas
Trailer: 2015 19 "Past Tents", 2018 F150 2.7L Ecoboost
Posts: 9,484
Quote:
Originally Posted by War Eagle View Post
I suggest you set a 12V battery on a work bench along with a 12V light bulb and your switch, cut 5 or 6 foot-long pieces of electrical wire with small alligator clamps attached to each end, and then challenge some 5 year-old neighborhood kid that if they can get it wired to work correctly (with adult supervision, of course), you'll buy them an ice cream cone. I bet they'll have it figured out in no time. Then just wire your camper the same way (and don't dare tell the kid you couldn't figure it out!).
Probably right. My grandsons constantly amaze me at how quickly they can navigate a computer, and I'm supposed to be the engineer.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
__________________
"You can't buy happiness, but you can buy an RV. And that is pretty close."
rbryan4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2016, 01:28 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Area 51, New Mexico
Trailer: pondering.....
Posts: 728
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
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).
still don't see anything in those pictures of the package to indicate this switch is in fact wired internally as a 12vdc indicator. On the JR website page this switch is not listed as either 12vdc or 120vac illumination while the others are. Could be just a website error.
Like the other post, testing on the bench with a small battery seems prudent and to somewhat limit the current, even a 9v battery should illuminate the LED but maybe a bit dimmer. Connect negative battery to switch pin 1 GND and positive battery to switch pin 3 -Power... per your labels. Turn the switch on/off and see if you have lift off!
http://jrproducts.net/index.php/catalog/load_product_list/Electrical/On/Off%20Switches/
freespirit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2016, 03:07 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Area 51, New Mexico
Trailer: pondering.....
Posts: 728
Quote:
Originally Posted by freespirit View Post
still don't see anything in those pictures of the package to indicate this switch is in fact wired internally as a 12vdc indicator. On the JR website page this switch is not listed as either 12vdc or 120vac illumination while the others are. Could be just a website error.
Like the other post, testing on the bench with a small battery seems prudent and to somewhat limit the current, even a 9v battery should illuminate the LED but maybe a bit dimmer. Connect negative battery to switch pin 1 GND and positive battery to switch pin 3 -Power... per your labels. Turn the switch on/off and see if you have lift off!
JR Products :: Catalog
and perhaps the switch internal illumination components are both 12vdc/120vac compatible
freespirit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2016, 03:23 PM   #20
Site Team
 
rbryan4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Canyon Lake, Texas
Trailer: 2015 19 "Past Tents", 2018 F150 2.7L Ecoboost
Posts: 9,484
Quote:
Originally Posted by freespirit View Post
On the JR website page this switch is not listed as either 12vdc or 120vac illumination while the others are.
A snip from the JR Website:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg JR12045.JPG (55.7 KB, 28 views)
__________________

__________________
"You can't buy happiness, but you can buy an RV. And that is pretty close."
rbryan4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off






» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Escape Trailer Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:05 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.
×