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Old 11-12-2012, 08:19 PM   #1
IONH
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Default Combination switch with pilot light

I'm trying to repurpose a combination switch with pilot light. I removed it from somewhere a few months ago and figured I could just "figure it out" when I went to rewire it. Unfortunately, I am not able to get both the light and LED to work at the same time (and LED shut off when the switch is off).

The diagrams I find online only have a single screw on one side and a double on the other (with a tab which can be broken off). However, my switch has a double on one side (tab between them is in tact) and TWO screws on the other side (one at each end) plus what appears to be a ground screw in the middle because it is connected to a metal strap which goes across the back of the switch.

Can someone suggest how to wire this? If I hook up the black and white wire across from the switch itself, the lights turn on. However, no matter which way I hook up the other screw to the side of the LED, it either stays on all the time or doesn't turn on at all.

Thanks in advance. I diagram would be awesome if you figure out better search terms for Google than I did.
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:25 PM   #2
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Default Re: Combination switch with pilot light

You might try a web search using the manufacturer's name and the part number of the switch. Or try posting them here ... and pictures always help.
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: Combination switch with pilot light

One of the screws on the non-tab'd side has the word "LINE" on the back. There are no other words on the switch.

From my 220V thermostat work, I thought LINE was for the incoming power source.
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:42 PM   #4
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Default Re: Combination switch with pilot light

Give us a picture of the back of the switch.
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:39 AM   #5
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Default Re: Combination switch with pilot light

Without seeing it I'm not sure, but one version of a switch with a pilot light which is on when the circuit is on requires a four wire hookup. I use one for a thermostatically controlled barn fan which I do not want to leave energized when I am not around - the pilot light helps remind me to turn it off. Maybe that's what you have.
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:58 AM   #6
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Default Re: Combination switch with pilot light

Quote:
Originally Posted by IONH View Post
I'm trying to repurpose a combination switch with pilot light. I removed it from somewhere a few months ago and figured I could just "figure it out" when I went to rewire it.
By "light", I assume you mean "load". BY LED, I assume you mean the indicator light (although it may not actually be a LED).

Quote:
Unfortunately, I am not able to get both the light and LED to work at the same time (and LED shut off when the switch is off).
In my mind that is the proper function of a "pilot light". The indicator light is only on when power is being provided to the load.

Do you want the indicator light to be on all of the time ?

Leviton Single Pole Switch with Pilot Light

Last edited by theoldwizard1; 11-13-2012 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:09 AM   #7
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Default Re: Combination switch with pilot light

It is an "indicator" of when the switch is turned on, not that the switch has power. There is the same type of switch next to the door in my house which tells me if the basement lights are on. I can probably pull that out to see how it is wired.

I have class tonight after work, but if I get a chance I'll put up a picture.
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:34 AM   #8
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Default Re: Combination switch with pilot light

Pilot light switches require a neutral to function. The screw marked line goes to the unswitched hot wire (black). The tabbed screw across from it goes to the load (light). Leave the tab in place and no wire on the tabbed screw across from the pilot (this is the switched hot to the pilot light). The other screw across from the pilot needs to be wired to a neutral (white). The ground (obviously) gets wired to a ground wire.

I've not seen one like this in real life but this is the only way that makes any sense.

If you don't have a neutral in the box you are SOL.
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:51 AM   #9
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Default Re: Combination switch with pilot light

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Originally Posted by dockterj View Post
Pilot light switches require a neutral to function. The screw marked line goes to the unswitched hot wire (black). The tabbed screw across from it goes to the load (light). Leave the tab in place and no wire on the tabbed screw across from the pilot (this is the switched hot to the pilot light). The other screw across from the pilot needs to be wired to a neutral (white). The ground (obviously) gets wired to a ground wire.

I've not seen one like this in real life but this is the only way that makes any sense.

If you don't have a neutral in the box you are SOL.
This is a 110 circuit, so I do have a neutral available.

I could have sworn I tried it that way but I will try it again.

I am dealing with nearly all black wires and the other item in the box is a switch with outlet combination where the outlet is always hot and the switch controls an exterior light. It is possible that I have the line and load backwards as they are nearly all black wires. I'll have to take a multi-meter to confirm.
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:41 PM   #10
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Default Re: Combination switch with pilot light

Are you sure this isn't a nightlight switch instead? One meant to be lit when the switch isn't on so you can find it in the dark? I've seen those installed and in stores and they look nearly the same.
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:29 PM   #11
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Default Re: Combination switch with pilot light

Let me try to clarify my earlier post. There are actually two types of pilot light switch. In one type, the pilot light is on whenever the switch is in the "on" position, and in the other, the pilot light is on when the switch is in the "on" position AND the load is drawing power. For example, in my application I wanted the pilot light to be on whenever the switch is in the "on" position- that is very different from having the pilot light on whenever the switch is "on" and the load is drawing power, the usual configuration. Think it through and you will see what I mean. The switches for the two applications are different, and from your description I think you have the switch that can be wired to turn on the pilot light when the switch is in the "on" position, whether the circuit is drawing power or not.
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Last edited by Thruxton; 11-13-2012 at 05:32 PM. Reason: wrong!
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:18 PM   #12
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Default Re: Combination switch with pilot light

Here are pictures of the switch. The other item in the face plate is a switch on top (powers outside light) and outlet (always on) on bottom.
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File Type: jpg IMG_20121113_204350.jpg (136.2 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20121113_204401.jpg (128.6 KB, 20 views)
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:09 PM   #13
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Default Re: Combination switch with pilot light

read this link
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:34 AM   #14
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Default Re: Combination switch with pilot light

Quote:
Originally Posted by theoldwizard1 View Post
Thanks! Exactly what I was trying to describe.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:36 AM   #15
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Default Re: Combination switch with pilot light

Thanks guys, I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:53 AM   #16
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Default Re: Combination switch with pilot light

Not sure about my advice now. The "line" looks like it has the tab. If that is the case then I would think the "line" screw should go to the load, the screw opposite the "line" by the switch should go to the load (the light) then a neutral needs to be on the other (non-tabbed) screw.


Do you have an ohm meter? The top two screws (line and the other one) should be controlled by the switch.

For sure you will need to hook a neutral up somewhere.
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:41 AM   #17
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Default Re: Combination switch with pilot light

I'm pretty sure this is how the switch is wired internally (first pic). If so, this would be the easiest way to wire it up (second pic). I'm confused by them marking the tabbed screwes "line" but this is an industrial switch and the light can be controlled by anything.
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File Type: jpg 1.jpg (14.2 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg 2.jpg (35.9 KB, 11 views)
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:29 PM   #18
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Default Re: Combination switch with pilot light

We had light switches in a house I used to own that the light in them was on when the load was off so that you could find the switch in the dark.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:17 PM   #19
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Default Re: Combination switch with pilot light

yousesteers - that is the "normal" residential lighted switch. From a wiring standpoint it doesn't look any different from a non-lighted switch. Internally the lamp is wired between the switch contacts. It relies on leakage current through the load (the light bulb) when the switch is off.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:22 PM   #20
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Default Re: Combination switch with pilot light

Thanks for the help guys. I was thinking originally that the indicator would basically be in series with the attic lights being powered. The white wire is what I was missing. If you look at the original pictures I posted, you can see there are no white wires going to the switch.

I attached a couple of the completed installation pictures. It is an old (repurposed) switch so the light is not that bright plus my phone's flash went off so that probably drowned it out too.
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File Type: jpg IMG_20121115_180847.jpg (130.5 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20121115_180854.jpg (130.4 KB, 3 views)
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