3-way switch mystery

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  #1  
Old 07-11-04, 06:50 PM
TSH
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Question 3-way switch mystery

I have replaced 2 3-way switches that control the light at the top and bottom of the stairway in my home. The previous switches were 3 way. I installed 2 Leviton Decora 3-way grounding quiet rocker switch (side wired & quickwire, 15A-120/277V AC/CA). With the previous switches the lights were working fine.

I quickwire installed the black wire (common) to the dark colored scew,
the red wire and white wire (travelers) to the other two screws. The red and white wires are in the same location on both switches.

MY PROBLEM
If one switch is in the up position, then the light cannot be turned on by the other switch.


I thought it does not matter what position either switch is in (up or down), the light will still turn on.

I am having the same problem with the light in the upper hallway, and the stairwell to the garage.


Any help would be greatly appreciated.

thanks,

TSH
 
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  #2  
Old 07-11-04, 06:59 PM
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Extremely common symptoms. You misidentified the common on one or both switches. Perhaps the black wire was not connected to the common on the old switch(es)? The common is not always black. Or perhaps the white wire is not a traveler. Are there exactly one wire of each color in each switch box? No more?

If the answer to the last question was yes (i.e., there are exactly three wires in each box, no more), then you can solve this problem by simple trial and error. You have three wires that might be the common wire in each box, and you have two boxes. That's nine combinations. You're sure to get it working in eight more tries or less.

By the way, the quickwire backstabs make a terrible connection. Everybody recommends that you not use them.
 
  #3  
Old 07-11-04, 07:15 PM
TSH
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John,

Thanks! I will give it a try now. I will let you know later what I find out. I'm off to shut the breaker down.

Tim
 
  #4  
Old 07-11-04, 10:40 PM
TSH
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Thumbs up

John,

THANKS!

It worked!
 
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