Duplex Three Way Switch

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  #1  
Old 01-19-08, 08:22 PM
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Duplex Three Way Switch

I am having a problem with a Pass & Seymour duplex three way light switch (two three way switches in a single gang box.) Both switches in the duplex are three ways. The original set up was two standard three way switches on each end of the room. One controlled the light and the other controlled a ceiling fan. I replaced two switches on one wall with the duplex. I connected the wires to the duplex switches exactly as they were on the standard switches. Now, if I turn off the light from the new duplex switch, you can not turn it back on from the standard switch on the opposite wall. I have to flip the duplex switch back on to use standard three way. Any suggestions on what I done wrong?
 

Last edited by mackross; 01-19-08 at 08:24 PM. Reason: correct error
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Old 01-19-08, 08:41 PM
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You did not wire it properly. Try again.

Remember that there might be a tab that has to be removed on one side of the switch.
 
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Old 01-20-08, 07:11 AM
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You have the wrong wire on the COMMON screw.
 
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Old 01-20-08, 07:35 AM
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Each switch has 3 screws on it. 2 on the bottom(one on each side) these are called travilers. The two travilers go from one switch to the bottom of the other switch. Then find which switch has the hot (120v) wire going to it. This wire goes to the top screw. The other switch has a third screw also. This wire goes to the load (Fan or light).
 
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Old 01-20-08, 09:08 AM
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I just disconnected the duplex three way that operates the lights and reconnected the original standard three way and it works correctly. I can turn the light on from one switch and turn it off from the other and back on from the other. When I reconnect the duplex three way, wired exactly like the standard, I can turn it off at the duplex but not back on at the other three way.
This makes me think that in this duplex three way the terminals aren't exactly as on a standard three way. The apearance is the same, two terminals on the top and one on the bottom.

Joed, you say I have the wrong wire on the common screw, based on my description above with two screws on top and one on bottom and looking at the switch from the front, there is one screw on the left and two on the right, which wires sould I change?

Thanks for everyone's help.
 
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Old 01-20-08, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Kevin McLaughli View Post
Each switch has 3 screws on it. 2 on the bottom(one on each side) these are called travilers. The two travilers go from one switch to the bottom of the other switch. Then find which switch has the hot (120v) wire going to it. This wire goes to the top screw. The other switch has a third screw also. This wire goes to the load (Fan or light).
Kevin, while this is true perhaps for the switches you have seen it is not necessarily true for all switches and there is no top or bottom to a 3 way switch nor does right and left have any meaning.

There are two screws the same color that the travelers hook to and one different colored screw that is the common.... most times. The common could also be marked some other way such as a "C" on the switch.
 
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Old 01-20-08, 09:49 AM
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Ok, using the info posted by ray2047, I checked my two switches. The duplex three way has two copper colored screws on the same side and a single black screw on the opposite side. On my standard three way, it has two copper colored screws on the top, or opposite each other and a black screw on the right below one of the copper colored screws. If I rewire the duplex based on matching screw colors rather than screw location, do you think that might correct my problem?
Thanks for the help.
 
  #8  
Old 01-20-08, 10:25 AM
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Yes, that should correct it. There is no standard position for screws.
 
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Old 01-20-08, 10:30 AM
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Yes, placing the wires by terminal color will correct your problem. You cannot go by screw location, as they are not always the same.

Certainly the directions that came with the switch and the directions in your wiring book would have pointed you in the right direction.

If you do not have a wiring book, get one. You should not be doing electrical work until you at least understand the basics. One wrong move and you could burn your house down or kill yourself.
 
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Old 01-20-08, 11:38 AM
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Like I said you had the wrong wire on the COMMON. How can a duplex switch have the same screw position as a simplex switch? There should be three extra screw terminals on the duplex.
 
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Old 01-20-08, 12:21 PM
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I just finished rewiring and everything works. Thanks for everyone's help and advice. I always have problems when rewiring a three way that someone else initially did and this duplex through me. Thanks again.
 
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