Stumped by the 3-way switches

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  #1  
Old 02-06-13, 12:00 AM
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Stumped by the 3-way switches

I will try to make this as clear as possible. I have a 3 way switch problem. In fact, there is six of them and none work as they should. I know if I can figure out one, I can figure out the rest.

Location

I have a ceiling fan thatís being controlled by two 3-way switches. The fan motor is controlled independently by a single pole switch in a double gang. T

The single pole switch and 3-way switch for the light are in a double gang box on one side of the room. The other 3-way switch which controls the light as well is in a single gang on the far end of the room.

Wires Present:

The double gang 3-way switch has two 14-3ís coming in (red white and black) and one 14-2 (line) coming in. The other 3 way switch just has a single 14-3 coming in.

I looked at various 3-way switch diagrams and I am totally confused because they donít show two 14-3ís coming in as well as a 14-2 going into one box. They usually show just one 14-3 and one 14-2.

Here is a photo of the double gang. I will try and get a better one with the wires more separated and clearly shown.

3 way light and single pole for ceiling fan - Imgur

In the double gang, I have black from the line going to common and thatís pig tailed to the fan motor.

The white and red are going to the travelers.

In the single gang, I have black as common, white and red as travelers.
 
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  #2  
Old 02-06-13, 12:18 AM
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In the single gang, I have black as common, white and red as travelers.
Ok......that's perfect. So that means you have the black wire on the odd or dark colored screw.
That white should be taped......red for example.....so that it's not white. White signifies neutral and in this case......that white is not a neutral.

The 14-2 is the feed or hot wire to the box.
The other 3 wire goes to the fan/light.

In the double gang, I have black from the line going to common and thatís pig tailed to the fan motor.
Black from the two wire is going to common screw on 3 way switch and one screw on the single pole fan switch.

The red and white travelers go on the 3 way switch that now has always
hot connected to the common screw.

That leaves red and black coming from the fan/light. Red is the light and goes to the black wire coming FROM the single 3 way switch. (connection already done). Black is the fan and connects to the available screw on the single pole switch.

The white from the two wire goes to the white of the three wire that goes to the fan/light.

Wiring in your picture pretty much matches what I posted here so I'm not sure what kind of trouble you're having.
 
  #3  
Old 02-06-13, 08:04 AM
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For a pair of 3-way switches to work, the line must be connected to the common screw on one of the switches and the load must be connected to the common screw on the other 3-way switch. The two travelers go from switch to switch.

To get this pair working, plus the control for the fan motor, in the 2-gang box you can leave the hot power wire connected to the common on the 3-way and to one terminal on the single-location switch, Splice the house neutral to the white wire going to the ceiling. Mark the white wire going to the other 3-way switch with black or red electrical tape or permanent marker - preferably red, but any color except green or gray - and splice it to the red wire going to the ceiling. Connect the red and black wires going to the other box to the two traveler screws on the three-way switch, and connect the black wire going to the ceiling to the second terminal on the single-location awitch, Ground everything and close this box.

In the single gang box, mark the white wire the same way you did in the 2-gang box, and connect it to the common screw on the switch. connect the red and black wires to the two traveler screrws. Ground everything and close the box.

In the ceiling, connect all the grounds together and to the box. Splice white to white. Splice the red wire to the feed for the light, and splice the black wire to the feed for the motor.

Hang the fan and turn the power on.
 
  #4  
Old 02-06-13, 12:26 PM
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did some more testing

More information. I traced how the existing wiring is hooked.


Double gang box.
14-3 FAN
RED to (BLACK on 14-3 secondary)
WHITE to (AC line neutral)
BLACK (to single pole fan switch top)

14-3 secondary (for single gang)
RED (goes to single gang switch) traveler
WHITE (goes to single gang) traveler
BLACK to RED on 14-3 FAN

14-2 (LINE)
WHITE to 14-3 fan White
BLACK Ė to COMMON and single pole fan switch bottom


Single gang box (note, I reversed the travelers so down/down is light off and up/up is light off, I was told that this was ok to do.)
14-3 single
RED - traveler
WHITE - traveler (appears to be always HOT)
Black - common

Tested with test light with power on.

Double gang switch
Down - Down
Black (common) HOT
White neutral
Red (neutral)
Light off (CORRECT)

Double gang switch
Switch up Ė opposite down
Black (common) neutral
Red neutral
White HOT
Light off (INCORRECT)


Single gang switch
Single gang up. Double gang down

COMMON HOT
WHITE HOT (ALWAYS)
RED Neutral
Light ON (CORRECT)

Single gang up. Double gang up
COMMON Neutral
RED Neutral
White HOT
Light OFF (CORRECT)
 
  #5  
Old 02-06-13, 12:38 PM
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new photo

here is a better photo of the double gang

imgur: the simple image sharer
 
  #6  
Old 02-06-13, 01:51 PM
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The image doesn't really help - it's a bit close in and doesn't show the connections clearly.

I'm not sure what you've done. It kinda sounds like the wiring should work, but it's hard to follow. Here's what I described, in your format. This will work.

Double gang box.
14-3 FAN
RED to (Re-designated White on 14-3 secondary)
WHITE to (AC line neutral)
BLACK (to single pole fan switch top)

14-3 secondary (for single gang)
RED (goes to single gang switch) traveler
WHITE (Re-designated) to RED on 14-3 FAN
BLACK (goes to single gang) traveler

14-2 (LINE)
WHITE to 14-3 fan White
BLACK Ė to COMMON and single pole fan switch bottom

Single gang box (note, I reversed the travelers so down/down is light off and up/up is light off, I was told that this was ok to do.)

That's cool. That's the way I wire every 3-way switch pair


14-3 single
RED - traveler
WHITE - (Re-designated) common
Black - traveler
 
  #7  
Old 02-09-13, 04:13 PM
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thanks all, got it working.

The other switches were way off too, but I got it sorted out.
 
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Old 02-09-13, 04:55 PM
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Great news and good job
Thanks for stopping back and updating us....it is appreciated
 
  #9  
Old 02-09-13, 08:38 PM
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Glad you got it. .
 
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