3 way switch wiring HELP

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  #1  
Old 07-30-11, 12:13 PM
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3 way switch wiring HELP

I am trying to replace the switches in my house. In this room one of the switches was a dimmer push button and the other some 25 year old switch. The wife wants everything to match in the whole house and so here comes my question. I bought 2 leviton 3 way switches and thought it wouldn't be a big deal to replace the switches. Well i have tried just about every combination that I can think of and just can't get the lights to work from both switches. Inside each junction box there are a red, black and white wires. The bare copper is grounded inside the junction box. Where do i locate the wires on each of the 3 way switches to get it too work. Any information and help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks a lot in advance.
 
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  #2  
Old 07-30-11, 12:40 PM
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Hi mainah1 and welcome to the forum.

While the pros are enjoying the day, I'll ask a couple of questions.
How many of those red/black/white wires in each box. I'm looking for some extra black and white to identify the power source for this switch arrangement and feed to the light.

I assume the previous push button dimmer and the old switch were both three way as well??

As a caution, avoid switching wires until you have identified them. Do you have a meter or other power detection tool?

One of the pros will be along

Bud
 
  #3  
Old 07-30-11, 01:53 PM
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Simple rules for 3-way switch replacement:

Position of screws may be different from switch to switch so you can't wire based on the position of the wire on the previous switch.

Always mark the common before disconnecting from the old switch. Common is the odd colored screw, usually dark gray/black. Common is key to everything.

Never disconnect any wires not connected to the switch.

Each switch box should should have at least one 3-wire(+ground) cable. You may or may not have a 3-wire cable at the light. As Bud said there should also be one or more 2-wire (+ground) cables. One of those is hot. We need to know where that one is and how it is connected.
 
  #4  
Old 07-31-11, 05:15 PM
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Thanks for the help, I finally figured it out and have them working.
 
  #5  
Old 07-31-11, 05:33 PM
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Glad you got it. Thanks for letting us know.
 
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