3 way switches


Old 01-22-05, 10:21 AM
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3 way switches

I currently am replacing switches in my home. Two hallways operate off of a 3 way switch. I have replaced the switches but now am wondering how I can "fix" them to have the lights work from both switches. Right now one switch has to be on for the other switch to work. They are wired with black wire only and the red common wire. Can I add the white and will this solve the problem?
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Old 01-22-05, 10:43 AM
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: SC
Posts: 171
This frequently happens. Pull the switches out and look at them. one wiring screw will be one color and the other 2 screws will be another color. What has to happen is the wire coming from the breaker goes to the one screw that is a color by itself. Then you have 2 wires left, they go from the 2 similarly colored screws on the switch to the similarly colored screws on the other switch. Lastly, the remaining wire at the other switch goes from the one screw colored differently to the light fixture.
This is simpiler them it sounds. Remove all wires from the switches making sure none of them are touching. With the breaker turned on, check for power from each wire to the ground wire. when you find it turn the breaker off and attach this wire to the screw of a single color. next, tie the two other wires together. Take an ohmeter to the other switchbox and determine which of the two wires are the ones connected together. they will be the ones with least resistance, actually being shorted together. Then hook both ends of both wires to the two screws colored the same on both switches. That will leave one wire disconnected on the second switch, it connects to the final screw colored by itself.
Old 01-22-05, 11:25 AM
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Thanks Jedi!

Thanks Jedi!

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