2,3way switches ganged HELP!

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  #1  
Old 04-27-07, 03:21 PM
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2,3way switches ganged HELP!

I have 2, 3way switches (following the way they were connected won't work because they were incorrect to begin with) ganged. 3, 3 wire cables entering the box I'll # them as follows: 1st one #1 enters the box on top left. 2nd one, #2 enters on the top right. 3rd, #3 enters on the bottom right. The black cable from #2 is the hot wire. When I touch the red wire from cable #1 to the hot black wire of cable #2, the light comes on. When I touch the hot wire of cable #2 to the black wire of cable #3, the breaker trips (yes dangerous I know). When I touch the hot wire of cable #2 to the the red wire of cable #2(same cable), the second light comes on. When I touch the hot wire of cable #2 to both the red wire of cable #3 and the black cable of #1, nothing happens. Now hopefully thats all the info needed for someone to please help me by telling me how to properly connect these 2 switches so they work. I would hate to have to pay an electrician just for this one thing.
Thanks
 
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  #2  
Old 04-27-07, 03:26 PM
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We need to know the other switches and their wiring, and the wiring of the lights they control.

Do not ever guess and just connect wires together.. You could have killed yourself.
 
  #3  
Old 04-27-07, 04:25 PM
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Or someone else, or burned the house down.
 
  #4  
Old 04-27-07, 05:47 PM
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Not enough info.
Open the other switch of each set and tell us how the cables are connected. We need to know which wire is on the common screw. Common screw is the one that is coloured black. Open the two light fixtures and tell us the wires connected to them.
If you flip the other switches to the other position do the two red wires still light the lights?
 
  #5  
Old 04-28-07, 02:55 AM
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2, 3way ganged switches

I didn't connect any wires, just tapped them together and I tested all before I did that. I wouldn't connect anything permanently unless I knew for sure it was correct. You asked what the wiring of the lights and or switches that are involved. The first switch, which is at the bottom of the stairs is a single 3wire cable that enters the box. It is wired to the switch as follows, black to the common, white and red to the travelers. Then there is the two switches that are ganged together (where I'm having the problem) at the top of the stairs and then the third switch down the hall at the top of the stairs and this one is wired as follows: It is a single switch and 2 cables enter the box, 1 is a two wire and the other is a 3wire. The black of the 2 wire is connected to the common, the 2white wires are nutted together and the remaining red and black wires from the 3wire are connected to the travelers. Thanks for your help
 
  #6  
Old 04-28-07, 04:49 AM
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It sounds like you have two seperate three way setups. Correct me if I am wrong.

Let me make sure I get all this.

Two gang box is:
Cable 1 is black red white
Cable 2 is black white (presumed feed)
Cable 3 is black red white

Single gang box 1 is:
Cable 1 or 3 black red white (we need to find out which)

Single gang box 2 is:
Cable 1 or 3 black red white (we need to find out which)
Cable 4 black and white

One of two possible things seems to be going on. As you said that this setup never worked. One is that there are not enough wires run to do what you want. Two is that these switch loops are miswired at the light fixtures.

Let me throw out a third possibilty, that I am missing part of the picture from above. Please let me know if I missed a wire or something.

You will need to open the lights and let us know how the wires are hooked up in there.
 
  #7  
Old 04-28-07, 05:25 AM
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We still need to know the wiring at the lights.
 
  #8  
Old 04-28-07, 12:49 PM
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Need to know if the switch at the bottom of the stairs is for light that came on cable 1 or light from cable 2.
Need to know if any of the wires in the switch in the hall are hot when no wires are connected in the double gang box. If you flip either of the switches does the position of the hot wire in cable 2 double gang box change?
I think we have a power feed and one light switch leg on cable two.
 
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