How To Setup A 'Multiple Switch' Operated Motor?

The purpose of this exercise is to setup a home wiring

system whereby multiple users can switch a water pump

"ON" from different locations inside the house. Once it

is turned on (by one or multiple users), the pump should

stay ON until the last user has switched it OFF. To that

end, my parallel circuit diagram.

The problem is, I think the way I have it figured out, it

won't quite work like I need it to. The neutral & live wires

are sourced from the main DB near the WAPDA meters.

If all the switches are turned off, you still have the live &

neutral wires attached to the terminals of the motor. So

the motor will keep on running! ?.

What am I missing here ?. Before I lay down the wiring, I

need to be sure that it'll work like I need it to. Any smart

DIY'ers or electrical engineers in da 'house' ?.

Sheikh 'Pump-ed Up' Chilli

i always wonder , How do you write in condensed paragraphs instead of full lines.. ? :o

Don't hook it up like that! You will short out the phase.

Connect the neutral directly to one terminal of the motor.

Connect the switches in parallel to the live wire. All switch outputs need to be connected to each other (shorted) and then connected to the motor's other terminal.

jo thori boht light aati hay wo bhi jay geee :D

This should work as per your requirement.

1) If you have single phase supply, then you can take the live from the nearest point where you want to install the switch.

2) If you have 3-phase wiring, don't do that. That is because two switches having different phases (e.g phase 1 in room A going to switch "A" and phase2 in room B going to switch "B" )will short the phases if turned on together. (If confused, i can make another diagram to make it more clear.)

Excellent, guys! @Asad & @Ijaz Ahmed see n-o-w it

makes sense, thanks to you. @tufail_74, yes, we wouldn't

want that, now would we.

In the past, I have experienced tiny explosions, followed

by breakers tripping, whenever the LIVE and NEUTRAL

wires have come together. So it felt very wrong.

Curiously, we have one light in the attic which is operated

by two switches, like this arrangement. One on the landing

and the other in the attic itself. Saves one from stumbling

into the dark.

Thanks again guys. Much appreciate the help. Now I can

put this into practice with a heightened level of confidence.

Sheikh 'Pur TolTay Hoey' Chilli

PS: @farhan_ds Keyboard ki aik taang tuti hoi hai. :)

[quote=“Asad, post:3, topic:21660”]

Don't hook it up like that! You will short out the phase.


:D :D

[quote="sheikh_chilli, post:6, topic:21660"]

Sheikh 'Pur TolTay Hoey' Chilli


Tesla has all his fingers crossed in his grave & mumbling in a screechy voice "mi casa es su casa".... :D

please take care of your wings :)

Tommorows headlines will read

[quote=", post:, topic:"]

We are gathered here

due to the sad demise demise

of beloved Sheikh chilli..


a good man, a bad electrician.. :(


@Ijaz Ahmed:

No, I understand. You wouldn't want to mix phases together

since they operate at different phase angles and connecting

one with another too, would cause an 'explosion'. :)

We have 3-phase wiring. I mean to run new wiring for a single-

phase wire directly from DB into each individual rooms. L1 will

run into switches, while a separate wire L2 will run out of them,

finally connecting to the LIVE outlet of the pump. Effectively

creating switches in parallel (all on the same phase) for the LIVE

wire, as you indicated in your circuit diagram.

I wish there was a way to avoid the expense of putting in all this

wiring. Like employing a remote garage-door-opener for this pur-

pose, which could activate the water pump from anywhere in

the house! Now that would be neat.

Sheikh 'Khiyali Pulao BanaTay Hoey' Chilli

@SC: What do you want to achieve with all this? i.e. What is the end goal?

If you just want to get the tank filled up, why not use a water float switch instead? It will turn on motor automatically when the level gets low and stop once it is filled up.


That float switch is identical to the one we have. We no

longer use it, since it never really worked out that well

for us. After 2-3 months the metallic ball inside wouldn't

roll back 'n forth properly. We also have a float valve that

shuts off water supply to the overhead tank, so when the

float switch failed it burnt our motor. We finally hung it up.

That thing was made in Taiwan or Malaysia, I don't quite

remember. But yeah, it kinda sucked for us. I hear there

is a much more useful and reliable Italian option available

in the market. Will maybe give that a try some day.

This particular setup however, is intended for a pressure

pump working in unison with a water pump. An entirely

different kettle of fish.

Sheikh 'Aquaman' Chilli

[quote=“sheikh_chilli, post:11, topic:21660”]


That float switch is identical to the one we have. We no

longer use it, since it never really worked out that well

for us. After 2-3 months the metallic ball inside wouldn't

roll back 'n forth properly. We also have a float valve that

shuts off water supply to the overhead tank, so when the

float switch failed it burnt our motor. We finally hung it up.

Sheikh 'Aquaman' Chilli


The switch image above is a generic switch but I have heard and experienced myself that there are various qualities of similar switches available in the market. I had the float switch in the image above installed couple years back and it worked for a number of years before failing. The replacement unit had thinner wires and questionable sealing. The wires on that one burned within the week. :angry: Victim of cost cutting measures from manufacturer. <_<


Yeah, like the ad says, "NaqqalouN sey hoshiyaar rahiyea.

Sirf asli Billi Marka agar baTTi isTeymaal kijiyea". :)

Our float switch had pretty thick wires, but we got burnt on

the 'sealing'. Another thing with these switches, in order for

them to work properly, hang them away from the water inlet

in the overhead tank. The splashing and the waves inhibits

proper functioning, as it struggles to maintain balance. Hang

it in some quite corner of the tank, where the metal ball can

gently roll back into the neck of the bag. That'd be my advice.

If you don't intend to waste a lot of water or burn the winding

on your water pump, every time you fill your overhead, these

things are pretty useful --when they work.

Sheikh 'WaqT Kum Muqabila SakhT' Chilli

well it seems you used the switch in a bit improper way. the switches available are NOT of pump ratings.

You should have used switch with a contactor/relay suitable for pump current rating. I have installed switch with contactor around 5 year back and and it has worked always. now we have almost forgot to think of this issue.

so better make a proper setup then it should work fine.

BTW mine is top mounted not the floating one. even the floating one should work fine. you have to attach the cord to a place so that it gives rigid support to operate rather than just the weight of the plastic piece to operate it.

And when you want to turn it off, you'll be running around entire house looking for which switch is still on....LOL.

^ Exactly. :D.. multi swtich are a hassle.. max 2 switch is enough.

Are you contemplating a pressurized hot water circulation system as they have in hotels and you want to switch on the pump everytime someone needs to take a shower or access hot water?



That is correct, however the prs. pump is going to

be installed with the cold water line out of the over-

head tank.

It doesn't get terribly cold down here in KHI. Just

around 6-8C min, and that too for 10-15 days.

The rest of the year it's 30-40C. Besides, we have

a normal capacity geyser. A prs. pump would likely

deplete it's reservoir before it could replenish itself.

@zedeneye1 & @farhan_ds:

It's not that kind of set up. Normally, people keep

prs. pumps ON the whole time. But since we wish

to conserve water, a precious resource, we would

like to engage the prs. pump for a short while, only

when it's needed.

Sheikh 'Green' Chilli

@ Green chilli

why dont you just ask any electrician or a pump fitter..invite them to house to see and solve problem.... they know 100000s tricks which even engineers sometimes dont know about... they have desi/ smart tootke for all problems..

OK. However be advised that the system shall entail altering/changing the plumbing also for it to work as per your requirement. Normal house piping is not designed for this type of system. In my opinion the electrical system is the easy part; the cost will be in the changes in the plumbing.

This type of system is termed as a re-circulation system and is generally used for hot water, but can be used in cold water system too. Link below explains the basics.

The system of wiring proposed in the above post, while technically correct cannot be recommended. The most obvious danger is to have 220 volts being switched under wet conditions in a bathroom. My proposal is to use a 555 based timer circuit which will be triggered on by a switching arrangement exactly as proposed in the foregoing posts. The only difference being that the switches would be push to make type (like doorbells) and operating voltage would be 12 volts DC. The circuit board can be placed right next to the pump motor. Wires running to each bathroom would be simple telephone leads which would not require any special insulation or shielding. A kit for this is available in Karachi at the following link. (Kit#: QK150 DELAY OFF TIMER)

Every time a user presses any of the buttons, the pump will switch on and remain running for a preset period (say 5 minutes) - set by a potentiometer on the circuit board, and will switch off automatically thereafter. There is no need for the user to switch off after having used the water. So there is no danger of the pump remaining ON if the user forgets to switch off.

Please examine and discuss this and we can take the project fwd if you decide to go ahead.