3 way switch problems

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  #1  
Old 06-17-09, 06:34 PM
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3 way switch problems

I refinished my basement and am having trouble with a 3way lighting circuit...when i energize the circuit the one switch sparks and blackens...I tried a few switchs same results...so I eliminated the bad switch all together and hooked up a single pole switch....it works great....How do I check to see if there is a short coming from the light to the bad switch box (maybe a nail punctured the wire coming from the light to the switch)
any suggestions....Thanks
 
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Old 06-17-09, 07:00 PM
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You could test the wiring using a multimeter set on the continuity setting. Check between all the wire pairs with the power off. Unless there is a short all the pairs should not give a value besides infinity.
 
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Old 06-18-09, 12:24 AM
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I will go with PCboss's way.,

Get mulitmeter { get one with anlog window not the electroinic verison }

set on ohms and take the test leads and touch each other and the needle should swing over to " 0 " { you may need to do the adjustment if need to }

Before you start make sure you have no power feeding on this circuit.

Then start ohmming it out or ring it out { both have same meaning } take red and black { due you have three way set up so before you start this will need a extra step mark them down what they hook up then remove BOTH switches off then do the squeince }
if read infeity or needle do not move then you should be ok but if needle swing toward to zero then you have a short somehwhere.

Speaking of finding short it can be a good Chess game if you know what to look for so if you have older home or pretty modern home some case you will see shuttle { traveler } conductor in the luminaire location if that the case then you can make a note and mark it down FIRST before you take the wirenuts off then seperated them do the same thing on each half of the three way switch circuits once you find the bad part.

To fix the bad part useally result replaceing the 14-3 or 12-3 { 2.5 or 4.0mmX3} it can be fished in if you can able get in there without issue.

If you have more question just holler one of us will help ya.

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 06-19-09, 04:14 PM
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I do not have an analog multimeter I have a digital is it still possible to check for a short with a digital...If I ring the wires out with the digital using the alarm will that let me know if I have a short and were the short is...Thanks
 
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Old 06-19-09, 04:31 PM
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Yes you can use the digital meter.
 
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Old 06-19-09, 08:09 PM
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Yes you can use the digtial VOM { volt ohm meter} and once you sort it out then you can able dail down where is the bad spot is.

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 06-20-09, 04:45 PM
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Depending on how familiar you are with 3-way switch setups, I'd give it about 80% odds that one of the switches is wired incorrectly. The switch is probably causing a dead short.

Confirm that there is no neutral (white wire) connected to any of the switches. Each one should have only blacks or reds.
 
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