A place to sit, Adding a second pump switch in bathroom


Adding the second water pump switch in bath isn't that difficult using 3 way switches. Switch is on/on- 1 in 2 outs or SPDT, switch only determines which out to use. Ensure it is an on/on and not an on/off/on, they are available either way. Using on/on SPDT switches, either switch at either location can the turn pump on or off.

Switches I used actually have 2 rows of 3 spades=== (or an DPDT) I'm only using 1 row). I'm a electrician by no means so my terminology may be incorrect. Hardest part is routing wire due to space. That and trying to describe process:-) there's probably better ways. But this is what I did. The biggest variable is the original switch. Assumed is it's power on/off- if has pilot that's a plus otherwise just replace with pilot lamp


Wiring new switches means by passing the original switch. If original switch has an indicator lamp you can use it as indicator pilot lamp or just leave dead & add a switch or replace altogether. I added a new switch beside original using old switch as a pilot light because I couldn't find lighted SPDT switch the same size. (I'm also thinking now a switch w/light wouldn't work-since its on/on, even though second switch turns on/off power to pump the light would always have power, hmmm use a lamp ) I got cheap toggle switches from local auto parts. Small green led pilot from radio shack. Mounted second switch in bath under sink-see pic. You gotta open the door anyway. Our main kitchen pump switch is in wall, a lot are in range hood, getting wires to bath may be a bit of a challenge

As to having the second bath pilot on all the time as a nite lite, (not showing switch position) I don't think can be done using this method, because this is a switched circuit & myself I wouldn't want the battery drain. However when pump is on you have light. (More on lights as separate subject below)

Overview: what ya need. Running old switch hot into new switch, (2) new lengths of wires from new switch in kitchen to bath location: (1) length of wire from bath switch to pump: (2) 3 way SPDT on/on switches & (1 or 2) pilot lamps, crimp on female spades (depending on switches connections), few wire nuts you may also need a length of wire to ground bath pilot lamp. Figure out location and way to mount new bath switch. I used a standard wall plate mounted to a small block of wood, hot glued the led pilot in bottom screw hole.

1. Turn all off power or breaker for pump, (note at some point you need to determine which is the hot 12v in wire in old switch)

2. My original pump on/off switch had 3 terminals, 12v in/, out to pump and ground for pilot light. At old switch, unplug hot 12v in source and run to new switch location. Unplug existing wire that went to pump and plug into 12v in position on old switch you just cleared (or new lamp). Original switch ground remains (or use to ground new lamp). Old switch will now be only a pilot lamp. [option, If replacing old non-pilot switch with a pilot lamp run existing hot to new switch, use old wire that went to pump as source for lamp (this will become hot once all wiring is done), ground lamp]

3. New kitchen switch, connect existing hot 12v from old switch and connect to in position (center) - run 2 new wires out to bath switch area from both out terminals-(note 2 wires between the 2 switches don't need to be color coded, it doesn't matter)

4. In bath you now have 2 new wires from new kitchen switch , new pilot lamp and new 3 way switch (same as new one in kitchen). connect the 2 new wires to the out terminals (same as other switch). From the In (center) run a new wire to lamp then to pump location. Run a ground from the lamp (i had to run all the way to the kitchen for ground, there was nothing to ground to under sink) I used a standard wall switch plate to mount new switch and pilot in bath.

5. At the water pump, the wire that was 12v feed coming from old switch is now going to power old (or new) pilot in kitchen. Splice new wire from bath switch into this wire, leaving the original wire connected to pump. (As far as the pump is concerned , nothing changed-power is coming from the same wire)

Your done!

I know in trying to describe this it's probably confusing, but its really simple. And obviously yours will be a bit different. Hopefully sketch will clarify and this helps you out...

wiring sketch

Nite lights: I generally turn on the vent hood light at night, its the least obtrusive while snacking @ 3 in the morning. But at some point small lights would be nice. I'm thinking small leds, single bulb pilot lights, or simpler would be some cheap automotive 12v rocker switches. They could be added to existing fixtures or about anywhere, even though they wont control anything, turning them on activates the pilot. The green color seems to be easier to see by, ... I seen someone used the small round hooded license plate type lights. They'd be great for some soft lighting-an option but I'm looking at minimal current draw. Thinking out loud, just some thoughts in passing. I only mention cause might be a good time while your in there to add separate hot lead for a nite light.

    Update 5/19: many years later 11/15 added a circulating pump for hot water with no waste...and again 5/19 to activate from kitchen. Switch added to this plate. Secondray switch in kitchen. Noted here for my info-wiring change
    Add circulating pump
    Add second circulating switch in kitchen

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