3 way light not functioning


Old 07-18-05, 05:05 PM
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3 way light not functioning

I have an odd problem with the 3 way light fixture in my dining room. I'm guessing when they built the place, they got the electrician on the cheap (see my previous posts about "odd" problems) and he seems to have miswired the switches.

I can turn the light on and off just fine with the switch by the hallway, but only if the switch by the back door is on. My guess is he got the traveler mixed up. My question is - short of getting a continuity tester with r-e-a-l-l-y long leads, any easy way to find out which is which and do it right??
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Old 07-18-05, 06:00 PM
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3 way switch

I don't think this problem is that odd, since I have mis-wired them this way a few times. The way to check them is this: Turn off the circuit. Unhook all wires from BOTH switches. turn the power back on, and test which wire is hot. That wire should go on the common terminal of switch #1. The other two on switch #1 do not matter, they can be hooked to either screw.

To test for continuity, twist the two wires together at one end, and test the other end for continuity. You don't need a "really long" continuity tester.
Old 07-18-05, 08:03 PM
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I usually advise a trial-and-error approach for this problem. It's guaranteed to work in 9 tries or less with no analysis or testing required, and the median number of tries should be 5. Here's an example.

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