3-Way Switch Installation Question

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Old 10-09-09, 10:12 AM
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Question 3-Way Switch Installation Question

Hi folks—first post here. I've been replacing all the builder grade electrical in my house with decorative Lutron switches, dimmers, and receptacles. Until now I've had no problems, replacing more than 30 switches and dimmers (mix of single pole, 3-way, and 4-way). But I came across a 2 gang box with wiring unlike anything else in the house. After changing the switches, they no longer function.

The box has two 12/3 and two 12/2 cables coming into it. See picture below:




The single pole switch on the right controls a single keyless fixture in our garage. The 3-way switch on the left controls a receptacle. I connected the wires on the new switches EXACTLY as they were connected to the old Leviton switches (I labeled each wire prior to making the change). Neither the light nor the outlet function after changing the switches.

Notes: There is a black hot wire from the far left 14/3 cable that is connected to the right switch. Also, the 3-way switch does not have a second switch accompanying it. Not sure of the significance of either...

Again, I connected the wires to the new Lutron switches EXACTLY as they were connected to the old switches. If anyone could help shed some light on this I would appreciate it. I can take more photos if necessary. Thanks in advance!
 

Last edited by OmegaRed1723; 10-09-09 at 10:16 AM. Reason: clarification of wire gauge/type
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Old 10-09-09, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by OmegaRed1723 View Post
The single pole switch on the right controls a single keyless fixture in our garage.
There are too many wires on that switch to be single pole. I count three blacks -- is one hiding somewhere behind it?


There is a black hot wire from the far left 14/3 cable that is connected to the right switch.
That part's kinda weird.

Also, the 3-way switch does not have a second switch accompanying it.
Is there another j-box where a switch could be installed? Are you sure it's supposed to be a three-way and not a half-switched receptacle?
 
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Old 10-09-09, 01:06 PM
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If you turn the single pole switch ON does the other switch work properly?

The ground wire should go around the screw in a clockwise manner.
 
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Old 10-09-09, 01:37 PM
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Without asking several questions and looking at your wiring I would say that the 3 wire cable that has the hot black going to the single pole is a multiwire branch circuit that is being split at this electrical box. If so then the red wire with the blue tape should also be always hot.

Is that the case?

Also does one single pole breaker remove power from all the wires in this box or a double pole breaker or two single pole breakers?

Also could you post a picture that shows the wire connections on the switches....what terminals they are connected to???

You said you made the connections to the switches exactly as they were before which by looking at the wiring suggests to me that the 3 way switch is being used as a single pole switch as you say there isn't another 3 way. Otherwise you have a resourceful wiring scheme going on.

Are you also sure the white wires were in two separate wire nuts??
 
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