3 way switch won't shut off when wired


  #1  
Old 10-31-00, 10:23 AM
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I'm replacing a kitchen light fixture which operates on a three way switch. After carefully following a three-way switch diagram, the light lit up but neither switch would shut it off. Here is what I have:

Switch one: one black, one red and one white wire

Switch two: three bundles of wires- From the bottom there is one black and one white wire. From the top right there is a black wire and a white wire. From the top left there is one black, one white, one red and one green wire. They are connected as follows:
The black wire from the bottom is connected to the green wire from the top left and they are capped off. The white wire from the bottom, the white wire from the top right and the black wire from the top left are connectd together and capped off. The black wire from the top right is connected to the switch. The white wire from the top left is connected to the switch on the same side as the black wire. The red wire is connected to the switch opposite the white wire.

From the ceiling are two sets of wires. One set is one black and one white wire. The other set is one black, one white and one red wire. If the white wires are not connected, there is no power in the basement.

I don't know if this makes a difference but the previous light fixture was flourescent.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
 
  #2  
Old 10-31-00, 10:28 AM
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I stopped when I read the part about the black wire connected to the green wire. This is completely nuts, and means that we can't trust or assume anything. You need a complete analysis of this wiring. If you can do it, great. If not, perhaps you should consider on-site help.
 
  #3  
Old 10-31-00, 12:04 PM
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John Nelson

I believe what he has is an electrician that cheated. The wiring design from the switch to the light is one hot wire short and the e/c used the smaller green wire as a hot conductor. If it was the same size then we could just field identify it, but with the green wire being smaller then I suggest that the bring a new power source to the light box to power the rest of the garage. Thus changing the green wire back to its designed equipment grounding use.

I've got to go back to the office. If you can guide him go ahead. I suggest that a new power source be brought in for the rest of the basement. Then you could redesign his three way switch system. I read between the lines that he has both power and switch leg in the first 3 way switch box along with the 3 wire cable going to the second 3 way switch. I will check back in when time allows to see if you got him straight.

Good Luck

Wg
 
  #4  
Old 10-31-00, 12:37 PM
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I am going to make some assumptions. It sounds to me like the power comes into what you are calling switch 2. It also sounds like you have no ground wires (bare or green) except one, and that is miswired. Here is what you should do to verify things.

First, turn off the power at the breaker/fuse. Next, disconnect all the wires at switch 2 and leave them exposed and not touching each other or the box. Take down the light fixture and disconnect all the wires there also. Is there a green wire there? If so, was it connected to the white or black wire of the fixture? If the answer to these two questions was yes, then you need to connect the wires at the light fixture as white-to-white, black-to-black, and green-to-green(or bare). If there is no grren or bare wire on the fixture, connect the green wire to the metal box that the fixture mounts to.

Now, back at switch 2, make sure nothing is touching still. Turn on the power and test to see if you have 120 volts between the black and white of the bottom cable. If not, check the other 2-wire cable. Remember which one has power on it. Turn the breaker off again.

Connect the black wire from the cable with power to the black screw on the switch. Connect the white wire from that cable to the white wire on the upper right (goes to the light). Hook the red and white wires from the 3-wire cable to the other 2 screws on the switch (doesn't matter which way). Connect the black wire from the 3-wire cable to the black wire going to the fixture. At switch 1 make sure the black wire is connected to the black screw. The red and white wires connect to the other 2, doesn't matter which way.

If I have made 3 correct assumptions, verified with the tests above, then this should work. If the above is confusing or you don't feel confident about this, then call someone in to look at it. Better to spend $50 and be safe than sorry.

[This message has been edited by ranck (edited October 31, 2000).]
 
  #5  
Old 10-31-00, 06:35 PM
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Ranck you did fine except you missed the fact that the receptacles in the room are also on this switch system.

I suggest that he do exactly as you said then run a 12/2 from that switch to the light fixture to carry power to the receptacle circuit that is fed from that light fixture. Otherwise the receptacles will be switched with the light.

HOpe this helps

Wg
 
  #6  
Old 11-01-00, 06:08 AM
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Thanks for the advice. An electrician is coming to check wiring next week. Will let you know what he says.
 
  #7  
Old 11-01-00, 07:59 AM
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You're right WG, I missed the part about the basement power coming off of this circuit. I was typing up my response when you posted yours, so I did not see it till after my post. Anyway, glad to hear slynch has an electrician coming out to look at it.
 
 

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