> >
>

# Three way switches

## Three way switches

#1
06-22-03, 05:55 AM
AkitaLuvr
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Three way switches

I just replaced two three way switches in my kitchen. I'm an idiot and know nothing about hot, common, etc. (I do know which is the ground).

Got them all wired up and screwed down. I can use each independently but not from opposite sides of the room. If I switch the light on from one side I can switch it off from the other, but if I go back to the first switch it does not come back on, I have to flip the other switch first. Does this make sense?

#2
06-22-03, 10:02 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 17,733
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
You're in luck. This is one of those problems that an idiot can solve. Knowing which wire is ground is by far the most critical piece of knowledge to possess.

You can solve this by trial and error. A 3-way switch has 3 wires and 3 screws (not counting the ground). The only truly important connection is the one you make to the black-colored screw. The other two connections can be interchanged without ill effect (unless you're picky about whether the light is on or off when both levers are down).

So follow this algorithm:[list=1][*]Shut off the breaker.[*]Rearrange the connections so that a different wire is connected to the black screw.[*]Turn the breaker back on.[*]Test. If it is still wrong, return to step one.[/list=1]Since you touched both switches, you will need to do this trial and error on both switches in combination. There would only be three possibilities with one switch, but there are nine possibilies with two switches (AA, AB, AC, BA, BB, BC, CA, CB, CC). Keep a log to make sure that you aren't going around in circles by trying the same thing over and over again. You're certain to find the correct operation in nine tries or less. And walking back and forth to the breaker panel is good exercise.

#3
06-23-03, 04:08 PM
Skeetr69
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Hope I don't sound too dumb, but I have this same problem but I don't have a black screw from the switch. What I do have on the switch is a Red, green and two black wires and from the wall there is a white, black, red, and copper. I figured out that the copper and the green go together but that is as far as I get. Hope you can help and thanks.
Roger

#4
06-23-03, 06:17 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 17,733
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
Roger, would I be far off if I guessed that your switch was a dimmer?

Follow the same advice as above, but treat your red wire as if it was the black screw.

#5
06-23-03, 06:19 PM
Skeetr69
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
yea its a dimmer. Will do.
Thanks a bunch, Roger

#6
06-23-03, 06:23 PM
Skeetr69
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Whoo hoo, it works.
Thanks again, Roger