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Old 12-29-07, 03:14 PM
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Unhappy Confused

I had a hall light on a set of 3-way switches, which has not worked since I moved in. I decided to trace it out. Seems it was missed wired. OK, So I started on the feed end. And wired the 1st 3 way switch, then I went to the 2nd switch, and the wires are all the same color ( old BX, with the paint missing ). So I turned on the breaker, and used the old trusty meter to determine what was what. There are a mass of white wires connected together ( old circuits ), so I identified what has to be neutral in the set coming from switch 1, and wired it in with the other whites. I then hooked the light common to the common terminal on the switch, and the remaining 2 from the 1st switch to the traveler terminals.

OK, the switches worm great 1 up 2 up ON, 1 down 2 down ON, other positions off.

With everything working, I cut the power, and reattach the switch to the switch box ( metal ). The I turn on the power, and it blows the breaker. Some how the NOW grounded switch is throwing the circuit. Any thoughts? Might one of the white in that stack NOT be a neutral.

Keep in mind, NO ground wires are present, as this is armored BX where the armor acts as the ground
 
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Old 12-29-07, 04:12 PM
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One of those white wires is part of a "SWITCH LOOP". Was there a white wire with a piece of black tape or a stripe from a sharpie Marker?

OR......

You crushed a wire putting the switch into the box. Take the switch out , and see if it works with the switch outside the box..If it does,,suspect the latter.
 
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Old 12-30-07, 09:27 AM
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I am going to check the other white wires, all the bound ones today. As for the 2nd part. I don't think it is a crushed wire. It works with the switch not mounted, but all it takes to blow the circuit is for the screw to be attached just enough so that the switch grounds, but isn't even in the box yet.
 
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Old 12-30-07, 12:59 PM
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Thanks Unclediezel,

I am not quite sure what was wrong. But I unwired everything in that box. And then just hooked the incoming neutral, to the lights neutral, the light's hot to the common, and then the two travelers to the switch, and it works now. The other wires all seem dead, no current when I attach the meter to each and the case/ground.

So I am stumped. I'm glad it worked, but not sure why, as this appears to be wired the same as in my first post. Other than capping all other wires from old circuits. Nothing in the house is dead, so those wires didn't feed anything else?
 
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Old 12-30-07, 03:47 PM
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Well The switch is grounded through the box with is grounded through the armoured cable. I would suspect the switch is leaking current and when it's not in the box theres no where for it to go. Try a new switch?
 
 

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