help, 3-way switch

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  #1  
Old 12-16-06, 10:58 AM
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Question help, 3-way switch

I replaced an existing light fixture with a celing fan/light that is operated by two 3-way switches. The 3-way switches worked properly after I completed installation of the new light/fan. A few months later, I replaced all of the electrical outlets in the room and for some reason the light switches stopped working. The light/fan still works, but it can only be turned on/off by the chains on the light/fan. All of the electrical outlets in the room are working properly. I'm trying to replace the old light switches so they match the electrical outlets.

Switch box 1 has four feeds: one marked FEED IN (b,w,g), one marked FEED OUT (b,w,g), a third not marked with b,w,g wires and the fourth has b,w,r,g wires. Switch box 2 only has one line with b,w,r,g wires.

In switch box 1, I have a white, black and red going to the switch.

What is the correct way to wire the switch? I have the black wire to the black screw and the red and white to the gold screws. If that's correct, then I'm back to my original problem of why did the light switches stop working after I replaced the electrical outlets?

This exact same thing happened in two bedrooms upstairs. Both rooms have two 3-way switches working the light/fan. Switch boxes are setup the same in both rooms.

Any ideas?

Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 12-16-06, 12:59 PM
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Half of one or more of the receptacles were also controlled by the switch. If you still have the old receptacles look at the gold screw side. Some of then will have the tab broken off.
 
  #3  
Old 12-16-06, 01:01 PM
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OK, so after putting up the fan, the switches still worked correctly, right?

Then you replaced the recepticals, but did NOT touch the switches, yet the switches stopped working correctly, right?

Did any of the recepticals have "extra" wires connected to them? Do you know whether any of the old duplex recepticals were half switched, half unswitched before you started replacing them? (In other words, turning the lights off by the switch also killed power to half of a particular duplex receptical, allowing a lamp plugged in there to be controlled by the switch.)

If you still have the old recepticals kicking around, look at them and tell us whether any of them had the tab between the two gold screws removed. I suspect at least one of them did, and when you replaced it, you failed to remove the tab on the replacement, thus rendering the switches useless.
 
  #4  
Old 12-16-06, 04:33 PM
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Unfortunately I did not keep the old outlets, so I pulled the cover plates off the new outlets and found one that does have extra wires. It has a couple wires capped off with 2 black wires and one white wire going to the outlet.

So do I break only the tab on the gold screws (black wires) or do I need to break both tabs.

Thanks!
 
  #5  
Old 12-16-06, 05:21 PM
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Only the Gold side (the side with 2 wires).
 
  #6  
Old 12-16-06, 07:00 PM
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Success in the first room!

In the second room, I believe I found the half switch receptical because it's the only one with an extra set of wires. However, this receptical has all 3 sets of wires going to the receptical with black wires to both gold screws and the top push hole. Same setup with the white wires on the other side, each silver screw and the top push hole?

I broke the tab on the gold screws, but the light switches still aren't working. Would breaking the tab on the silver screws work? When I put the new outlet in, I made sure to copy the same wiring setup as the old outlets, so this is how the old outlet was wired when everything worked properly -- I just didnt know about the tabs.

Appreciate all the help!
 
  #7  
Old 12-17-06, 10:04 AM
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Sounds to me it is either , A not a split receptacle or B it is just in the middle of the run adn therefor will have a few sets of wires in it .
 
  #8  
Old 12-17-06, 10:35 AM
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Could be more than one split receptacle. If any one of them has the tab the switch will be disabled.
 
  #9  
Old 12-18-06, 04:12 PM
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Ok, so I completely removed the outlet and the light switches are now working properly.

How do I correctly wire the outlet to get both the outlet and the light switches to work? I've determined that the outlet is a split receptical.

The outlet's wire box looks like this:

2 sets of wires coming in on the top/left side
--Set 1: Black wire is hot
--Set 2: Black wire is hot when lights are on and dead when lights are off

1 set of wires coming in on the top/right side
--Set 3: I think this set ties in the outlet on the other side of the wall (in the hallway), which went dead when I removed the bedroom outlet.

I checked all of the other outlets in the bedroom and they all have just 2 sets of wires, except for one that only has one, which I assume would be the last outlet on the circuit -- so I don't think there is more than one split receptical.

Thanks!
 
  #10  
Old 12-18-06, 04:52 PM
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Well the one with the lights is a switched hot, most likley to control your split receptacle.
 
  #11  
Old 12-18-06, 05:01 PM
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Since you don't have three screws on the receptacle you will need a pigtail and nut to fix this.
Connect the hot and the hall way black wires together with the pigtail. Connect the pigtail to the bottom gold screw.
Connect the switch black wire to the top gold screw.

The tab should be removed on the gold side only.
 
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