3-Way not working properly

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  #1  
Old 12-18-05, 10:21 AM
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3-Way not working properly

I just relocated a 3-way switch for a fixture in my stairwell. In order to do so, I had to extend the length of the original wires which I didn in a j-box. Neither switch (the one @ the top of the stairs), or the one I just relocated at the bottom of the stairs. There is power to the light and you turn in on and off with both switches, but only if the other switch is in a certain position. They both used to work properly before, but now it depends on which position the other switch is in.
It's obviously a wiring issue. But my question is, is the problem more likely at the switch itself, or the j-box where I made my wire extensions??
 
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Old 12-18-05, 11:38 AM
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Assuming you are using 14-3 (the -3 is the key), the red wire is the common wire that will run between the two switches. All three are required to run the distance but how they connect depends on where your power source comes into the circuit. Check on line for a three way wiring diagram or look in the package the switch came in for this. Can't tell you where the problem is unless we know the power source location. I find this is usually a mistake made in the connection at the switch though.
 
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Old 12-18-05, 11:44 AM
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I have a wiring diagram here. The instructions don't really specify which terminl to attach the red wire or the white wire to. I'm thinking I may have those on the wrong treminals on the switch, but i wasn't sure if it made a difference. Only one way to find out, I guess.
 
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Old 12-18-05, 01:34 PM
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Which wire is which depends entirely on the wiring configuration. You cannot call the red wire the common, as there may not even be a common.
 
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Old 12-18-05, 01:36 PM
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You should have simply taken the wires attached to the switch and attached them a to a piece of 12-3 or 14-3, and then run that to the new switch location. Then you attach the wires to the same screws they were originally attached to.

Make sure that the junction box where you made the extension remains permanently accessible.
 
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Old 12-18-05, 02:16 PM
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Three way not working properly

Three way switches have two terminals on one end, and one terminal, usually andonized at the other end. The andonized, or stand-alone terminal is used at one switch for "line", or your hot lead, and at the other end for your "load" or to your light bulb. It doesn't matter which wire you attach to the two screws, as long as it is not the bare wire. Keep in mind the neutral wires in the switch boxes are already tied together with b-caps. None of the wires going to the switches are "neutral". The two remaining wires are just carriers, and cause the switches to become hot alternatingly with switch movement. Usually the black wire is "hot" and "load", and the red and white wires are runners. Hope this helps. Good luck.
 
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