3-way switch with multiple fixtures

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  #1  
Old 12-23-04, 09:24 AM
jhughe90
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3-way switch with multiple fixtures

All the diagrams I can find always show a simple 3-way with only 1 fixture. I'm doing a 3-way with 6 recessed lights. My understanding is that 1 fixture can tie the two 3 wire lines together, but the rest of the cans must have a separate line run to them pigtailed off the black and non-hot neutral? Load goes to the switch first.
 
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  #2  
Old 12-23-04, 09:29 AM
jhughe90
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Actually found a decent diagram:

http://www.the-home-improvement-web....s/wiring7l.jpg

So I think that confirms my question. Main difference is again I have 6 fixtures, and that switch #2 breaks off after fixture 3, with the remainder pigtailed off there.
 
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Old 12-23-04, 09:55 AM
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Boy, you sure want to make it difficult on yourself.

Just run the power to the first three way switch. Run a piece of 3 conductor cable (of course with ground) to the second three way switch. Then run your two conductor cable to the first light, to the second light, etc.

The above is the easiest to understand and to debug should problems arise.

If you insist on something else, make yourself a diagram on paper. What you linked to is very unclear and the average novice would have a hard time understanding it.
 
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Old 12-23-04, 04:50 PM
jhughe90
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That is easier, but also uses a lot more cable considering the distance between the first light and switch. I got it all wired up and running, but have another question. Can multiple 3-way dimmer switches be used? Only the 2nd switch will dim the lights.
 
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Old 12-23-04, 05:00 PM
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Two 3-way dimmers on the same fixture will not produce good results. If you really need to control the dimming from more than one location, you need a smart dimmer, about $45 for the receiver and $30 for each transmitter. Most people settle for dimming control from one location.
 
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Old 12-27-04, 09:13 PM
jhughe90
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Ms

Okay I discovered the no-no with multiple 3-way dimmers, so I made the second switch a regular 3-way. The 3-way behaves correctly, but the first dimmer switch will still not dim. I will diagram it out tomorrow to see if I can figure out what's not right, and will post here if I cannot figure it out.
 
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Old 12-27-04, 11:24 PM
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Other than the fact that the dimmer does not dim, does everything else work properly. Can you turn the light on or off from either the dimmer or the regular switch? If everything works except the dimming function, then the dimmer is probably fried. This is very common if you ever misconnected it in an earlier experiment.
 
  #8  
Old 12-28-04, 07:53 AM
jhughe90
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Mr

Yes the 3-way behavior is working. I did have it miswired initially but corrected it. I will try the other dimmer (that did work on the 2nd switch) and see if that fixes it. Thanks for the tip!
 
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