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# two way switch

#1
11-13-04, 04:34 PM
jesanoldude
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two way switch

l have two way switch to my cellar light problem is only one works at a time.
If the top light is on an l turn off the bottom switch then the top one doesn't work. lf l turn the light out with the top switch then the bottom doesn't work. How do l correct this problem?

#2
11-13-04, 04:44 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
How did this happen? Did someone try to replace the switches and not get it right?

Tell us the wiring at each switch location and at the light. Then we can go from there.

#3
11-14-04, 09:50 AM
jesanoldude
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Three way switch wiring

As to how this was done l have no clue as l bought this house as a
fixer-upper, an believe me it needs it LOL

On the two switches the wires are: black on the single side(bottom) on the double side white on the top an red on the bottom.

In the light there are three sets of wires. Two of them have red,white an black wires the third only has black and white.
The wires are each ganged to their perspective colors.
With the light being wired with a white and a black wire.

#4
11-14-04, 10:10 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
There are three wires attached to each 3-way switch. One screw on each switch is the "common" and the other two are the "travelers" (ignoring the green grounding screw). The common screw is usually colored black for easy identification. The case of the switch is also often marked "COM" at the common screw.

So your problem is that the correct wire is not on the common screw at one or both switches. With three wires and two switches, you have nine possible combinations. Try them all, one at a time, shutting off the breaker between tries. Probability suggests you'll get it right on the fourth or fifth try. You'll be finished in 30 minutes and the exercise (walking back and forth to the panel) will do you good.

#5
11-14-04, 01:24 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 5,599
try this
at light
2 wire black to one of 3 wire blacks
light black to other 3wire black
2 wire white to light white.
red to red
3 wire white to 3wire white - not to light white.

At switches - both the same

Black wire to common screw - it's a different color or marked 'common

red and white to other screws - doesn't matter which one but not the green ground.

#6
11-15-04, 09:52 AM
jesanoldude
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It WORKED almost

l forgot about the second light it now is only half bright (like Me lol).

It has four sets of two wires coming in to the box, one being an outlet an two of them are the old cloth the cloth wires are wired covered wire.The light is wired to one set.The cloth covered wires are ganged one to two blacks an one to two whites.

#7
11-15-04, 03:37 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
If a light is only half bright, then you have wired it in series with something else. Check your connections, you made a mistake.

#8
11-15-04, 04:59 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 5,599
Is the 3way controlled light full bright? When you unscrew the 1/2 bright light what else goes off? Is there a switch controlling this 1/2 bright light?
Do the 3ways work properly for the other light now?

#9
11-15-04, 05:02 PM
jesanoldude
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yes the three way controlled light is full bright and both switches work. This light is suppose to work with the three way also.If the dim bulb is unscrewed the other light goes out

#10
11-15-04, 05:21 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 5,599
The 2 lights are wired in series. Now we need to figure out how the power gets between the 2 lights.
Describe the wires in 2nd light again. I am confused by you description. I think we are not going to be able to control both lights with the 3ways. It sounds like there aren't enough wires between the 2 lights. I think power comes into the new light and feeds the original light.

Use the term cable 1 black, cable 1 white, cable 2 black etc. Tell us which cable looks like the 2 wire cable in the 1st light.

#11
11-15-04, 05:32 PM
jesanoldude
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okay to simplify the second light setup, the two wire from the first light comes from the second light. It looks like ac comes in to the light at the bottom of the steps( formerly second light ) then goes to the light at the back of the basement( formerly first light )

#12
11-15-04, 05:41 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 5,599
We can't make the 2 lights work together with the cabling that is there. The 2 wire going to the 1st light needs to be an unswitched power cable.

#13
11-15-04, 05:56 PM
jesanoldude
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okay so what do l need to do to get both of these lights working with the two switches. Hey l figured it out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Take the white wire from the two wire an hook it up to the other side of the light now BOTH lights are bright

Last edited by jesanoldude; 11-16-04 at 01:37 PM.

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