Unusual 3 way setup

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  #1  
Old 01-01-07, 03:50 PM
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Unusual 3 way setup

New to this forum and looks like its pretty helpful. I'm going to try to explain this as best I can. I've read just about every 3 way switch post on here and it looks like it does not really apply to my situation. Here goes:

(2) 3 way switches
1 fixture (stairway)

Sounds simple? Problem is, the feed goes to the fixture NOT the switch. Because the spare bedroom fixture gets its power from the feed from the stairway light. Its an old house and all the fixtures are looped. I've tried wiring a few different ways and I just keep tripping the breaker. I've been updating switches and wiring and I don't recall how it was originally wired, but I will tell you that the feed never went to either switch.

Both switches are wired I believe the way they should be.
Black-common
Red and white-travelers

Everything is junctioned at the fixture and is currently wired as follows:

Black feed wire to: common on 1 switch, spare bedroom fixture black wire
White feed wire to: all other white wires
Red traveler wire to: red traveler wire on other switch

Black and white from other switch to: Stairway fixture black and white

Thats about it. The breaker is fine until I throw one of the switches.
 

Last edited by racraft; 01-01-07 at 04:09 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-01-07, 04:07 PM
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Location: Central New York State
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Why did you not pay attention to how it was wired BEFORE you messed with it?

Of course you trip the breaker. You have the neutral going to the switch. Switches never get a neutral wire unless they are a special switch involving a light or timer or something similar. In your setup the neutral should not go to the light.

I suggest that you draw this out on paper. There is nothing strange or unusual or about this setup. It is just as easy to make this work as it is to make any other setup involving two switches work.

At the light connect the power white wire to the light white wire and the white wire to the bedroom.

At the light connect the power black wire to the black wire to the first switch and to the black wire to the bedroom light.

At the light connect the light black wire to the black wire for the second switch.

At the light connect the red wire for the first switch to the red wire for the second switch.

At the light connect the white wire for the first switch to the white wire for the second switch.

At the first switch connect the black wire to the common of the switch and the red and white wires to the travelers of the switch.

At the second switch connect the black wire to the common of the switch and the red and white wires to the travelers of the switch.

At all locations connect all ground wires together and then properly ground the switches, light and metal boxes.
 
  #3  
Old 01-01-07, 04:18 PM
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Thanks for quick response. Well, me and a buddy that does electrical work took it apart and he somewhat marked wires but It did not help me out so I decided to start from scratch. Thanks! I will try that!
 
  #4  
Old 01-01-07, 04:49 PM
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WOW! THAT WAS IT! That was kinda dumb. I didn't realize I had neutral going to the switch. Thanks!!!
 
  #5  
Old 01-01-07, 05:25 PM
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bob-

you are awesome!
 
  #6  
Old 01-01-07, 07:13 PM
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Location: Central New York State
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BALLOONBOOB,

You are not the first one to make that mistake, and you won't be the last one. I hope you learned something from this. Take detailed notes of the wiring before you start the project.

In this case, it also helps to make a drawing, which I encourage you to do even now that you are done. With a drawing you will see why your wiring was wrong, and what you need to do to make it right.
 
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