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Thread: switch with pilot light

  1. #1
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    switch with pilot light

    I have this switch that has a little pilot light on it that is supposed to glow when the switch is on. On one side of the switch are a brass and a silver screw. On the other side are 2 black screws that are at this point connected together with a metal jumper. I thought I wired this according to the diagram supplied but the pilot light does not glow when the switch is on. The line in goes to the lamp (fixture) first. I wired the lamp box so that the common (white)is connected to one terminal of the lamp. The hot (black) is sent to the switch and then returns to be connected to the other terminal of the lamp. So the lamp lights as its supposed to and I'm sure of wiring that properly.
    The switch is wired so that the silver screw white wire also connects to one of the black screws.
    wow...this is confusing. I will go look at the wiring diagram again. sorry.
    this is for a lamp that will light up the inside of a root cellar I built in my basement. Supposedly I built it so well that if the light is on inside I wouldn't know it from the outside without the pilot light.

  2. #2
    the expression pilot light threw me.
    You mean there's a little LED that lights the switch.

    Those can fail. They can also be dead from the factory.

    I've installed a few illuminated switches single and two pole and don't recall doing anything special.

    What brand is this, how many poles

  3. #3
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    its made by cooper. I got it at lowes. they call it a single pole switch and pilot light. you can wire it to be a pilot light or a night light. i think i need to check the connection where i wired 3 neutrals together with a wire nut.

  4. #4
    https://images.tradeservice.com/gjPi...CC00005_A7.pdf
    This is normal single pole illuminated switch.

    There is nothing special ya gotta do. Just wire it up the way you would a normal non-illuminated switch.

  5. #5
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    k thx...will try that tomorrow.

  6. #6
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    Randy - Is your electrical system grounded?
    Measure twice, cut three times, start over. Repeat as necessary.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Cohen View Post
    its made by cooper. I got it at lowes. they call it a single pole switch and pilot light. you can wire it to be a pilot light or a night light. i think i need to check the connection where i wired 3 neutrals together with a wire nut.
    I have nothing to help your problem but I quit buying electrical supplies from Lowe's even though the local one is virtually within walking distance. I do go there often for other stuff, but many things I have found to be lesser quality, and electrical stuff is one of them.

  8. #8
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    Hi Randy, the line goes to the brass screw, the load to either of the black screws, and the neutral to the chrome plated screw.

    Regards, Rod.

    P.S. If I understand your post, the power comes into the light fixture first.

    If this is correct then you need three conductors from the light fixture box to the switch box.


    At the light fixture box
    - black feed into the light box gets spliced to the black to the switch box.
    - white feed into the light box goes to the lamp holder neutral, and is spliced to the white going to the switch box
    - red from switchbox connected to brass lamp screw
    - ground of course goes to the light box, then spliced to the ground to the switch box. (Lamp holder may also have a ground connection)

    At the switch box
    - ground goes to box, spliced to ground terminal on switch if required.
    - black wire to brass screw
    - red wire to black screw
    -white wire to chrome screw

    Regards, Rod.
    Last edited by Rod Sheridan; 09-17-2009 at 9:43 AM. Reason: Added post script

  9. #9
    If there is no light bulb in the socket, the light in the switch won't work.
    Lee Schierer
    USNA- '71
    Captain USN(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  10. #10
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    Rod, your method worked perfectly. Thanks for the education.
    Lee-I need to try that.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Cohen View Post
    Rod, your method worked perfectly. Thanks for the education.
    Lee-I need to try that.
    Randy, you're welcome.

    Lee, that's not correct for the switch that Randy is using. He is using a switch with a pilot lamp, it lights when the switch is on and the return wire for the pilot lamp is the neutral.

    No load required for that type of pilot lamp to operate.

    In an illuminated switch, the switch lamp is on when the switch is open. In that case it's a small lamp connected across the switch terminals. In this case Lee is correct, the return path for the pilot lamp is through the load. Remove the load and the pilot lamp doesn't work.

    An illuminated switch is a two wire device, a switch with pilot lamp is a three wire device.

    Regards, Rod.

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