3 way switch to two 3 way dimmers????

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Old 01-31-05, 07:33 PM
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3 way switch to two 3 way dimmers????

Let me try to explain this:

I am working on wiring the electrical in my basement. I have a 3 way switch at the bottom of my stairs. This switch is the first item in the circuit. It controls all 12 can lights in the basement. I have 14/3 wire from that 3 way and it is split to 2 other 14/3's that each go to a dimmer switch. Each dimmer operates 6 of the 12 cans. I turned on the power and they worked like a charm....

...but here's the problem. The dimmers only "dim" if the first 3 way switch is in the right position. If it's in the "other" position the dimmer switches work as if they are regular switches. The dimming function no longer works.

I hope this explains my situation. Any tips from you pro's would be appreciated!


Thanks.
 
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Old 01-31-05, 07:49 PM
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No, this doesn't adequately explain the situation.

Are the dimmer switches three way dimmer switches?

Why did you want to wire in this manner? If I understand what you intended to do, you would end up with some might strange behavior, such as having to have the dimmers in a certain position so that you can have both lights off at the same time.

Perhaps you should explain all of the wiring at each of the three switch boxes, including the neutral wires.
 
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Old 01-31-05, 08:07 PM
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OK - I'll give it another shot.

The first 3 way switch is first in line from the power source. It is wired according to this diagram:

http://www.the-home-improvement-web....s/wiring1l.jpg


The 14/3 coming out of this switch goes to a juction box. I have pig-tailed so that 2 14/3's come out of the jucnction box. The 2 14/3's go to seperate 3 way dimmers.

The dimmers work great. Perfect. They each independantly operate 1/2 of the can lights. Unfortunately the 1st 3 way switch must be in the "right" position for this to happen. If it is not they still work fine but just don't dim. they work like regular 3 way switches.

I hope this helps explain my issue. Thank you very much for your help.
 
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Old 01-31-05, 09:20 PM
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This is totally mess up. You cannot simply add another 3-way in parallel.
They must be in series and the middle ones must be 4-ways.

If you are intent on dimming from all locations electronic "smart" dimmers can be used but they are a bit more expensive and they must be used in all locations.

Check this out:3 & 4 ways Ignore the first post in this link and look at the diagrams furhter down.
 
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Old 02-01-05, 05:21 AM
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As Speedy and I said, you can't really wire in this manner.

If you want each of the six lights to be separately controlled, then install a second three way switch right next to the first one. Then keep the circuits completely separate from that point on.
 
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Old 02-01-05, 07:06 AM
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Thanks for the tips guys. I think I will take your advice racraft. I will just put another 3 way at the entrance to the basement and keep the 3 way dimmers completely independent of each other. That’s a really easy fix and that way it will be done right. The goofy thing is that it worked – ALMOST…. Oh well – it was a good try.

Speedy – The link to the diagrams helped me understand why you can’t wire the 3 way dimmers in a series. I have found the electrical work in my basement to actually be kind of fun. It’s very logical actually.

I have been referencing this forum for quite some time now and this is the first time I have posted. I would like to thank you guys for all your help. it is truly appreciated.

I’ll post back if I run into any more problems.
 
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