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Series Switches

WHILE EXTREME CARE HAS BEEN IMPLEMENTED IN THE PREPARATION OF THIS SELF-HELP DOCUMENT, THE AUTHOR AND/OR PROVIDERS OF THIS DOCUMENT ASSUMES NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ERRORS OR OMISSIONS, NOR IS ANY LIABILITY ASSUMED FROM THE USE OF THE INFORMATION, CONTAINED IN THIS DOCUMENT, BY THE AUTHOR and / OR PROVIDER.

There is very few circumstances in which multiple switches in series would be desired.

Switches wired in series require all switches to be in the on position for the circuit to be on, when any one switch is off the circuit is off regardless of the position of the other switch.

Now at the moment I think of one possible usage for this, and that is for a cut off switch for the furnace, this switch is often labeled with the 'ON' position on the faceplate. In an emergency you want without a doubt know where the off position is. If you desire a cut off in two different locations 3 way switches is not the answer as there is no definitive position of 3 way switches as to off and on. If you wire two basic switches wired in series you can position these switches so that on is always with the switch up and off is always with the switch down, both switches must be on for the circuit to be on.

For those that live where the new 2011 NEC code is in effect, please read

2011 NEC New Rule 'Switch Connections'

This new rule applies to switch circuits that control lighting loads.

Since I could never imagine anyone using a series type circuit switch wiring for lighting loads I have not created specific wiring sequences for series switch wiring that meet this new NEC rule, but just for your information the 'power source and switched feed on different switch' would be the only option that I provided that would meet the new rule criteria.

Two switches wired in series options....

click on desired selection
Power Source at Switched Item
Power Source and Switched Feed at Same Switch
Power Source and Switched Feed on Different Switch

By: Donald Kerr
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