3 way switches

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Old 07-06-13, 05:46 AM
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3 way switches

I have 2 3-way switches that work a light in my kitchen. From what I can tell, it is set up that the first switch has power and goes THROUGH the light to the 2nd switch. Long story short I removed the switches and ended up putting them back in. I thought I put the wires exactly as they originally were, but apparently not. Both switch work somewhat. When one of the switches is working the light but I flip the switch to off, the other switch does not work. If the switch is left on, the other switch will work as it should. This works the same for both switches. Do you know where I'm off here? I can provide more detail on how I wired it if needed.
 
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Old 07-06-13, 06:04 AM
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Most likely you have a black, white and red wire attached to the switches. Grounding is a given and not listed in discussion. The black wire should be attached to the black, or andonized screw on each switch. The red and white can be attached to the other two screws in any order. Let us know if that fixes it or not.
 
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Old 07-06-13, 06:22 AM
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Thanks for your reply Chandler. The way I read it, I have done what you mentioned. Following is how the wires are connected.

FIRST SWITCH
White wires bundled
Top Left - White wire goes to other single switch in box. (wrapped around screws)
Top Left - Common Black
Bottom Left - Red
Bottom Right - Black
Green Screw - Ground

SECOND SWITCH
Top Left - Black
Bottom Left - White
Bottom Right - Red
Green Screw - Ground
 
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Old 07-06-13, 06:38 AM
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From your description you have a 4 way switch in the mix. Is there yet another location where you can control this light?
 
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Old 07-06-13, 06:59 AM
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I am fairly certain there is not a 3rd switch for this light.
 
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Old 07-06-13, 07:07 AM
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OK, would it be possible for you to remove the power to the circuit, pull the switches from the box and take a few pictures so we can see what you are seeing? Sometimes that helps. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...your-post.html
 
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Old 07-06-13, 07:44 AM
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Wires

Why do you have two black attached to the first switch?
 
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Old 07-06-13, 09:20 AM
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Hot coming in and traverler going out I believe.
 
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Old 07-06-13, 09:46 AM
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I think you shoul find your answer here with the schematic.

3-way or Three-Way Switch Maintenance and Troubleshooting
 
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Old 07-06-13, 10:07 AM
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Or this one could be easier to understand. Maybe!
 
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Old 07-06-13, 12:24 PM
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First 3 should be first switch and last 2 should be second switch.

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Old 07-06-13, 12:37 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

I have 2 3-way switches that work a light in my kitchen. From what I can tell, it is set up that the first switch has power and goes THROUGH the light to the 2nd switch. Long story short I removed the switches and ended up putting them back in. I thought I put the wires exactly as they originally were, but apparently not. Both switch work somewhat. When one of the switches is working the light but I flip the switch to off, the other switch does not work. If the switch is left on, the other switch will work as it should. This works the same for both switches. Do you know where I'm off here?
You've transposed a traveler with a power wire on one of the switches. Top, bottom, left and right don't mean anything since there is no standard orientation for switches. What matters is that the common terminal on one of the switches must be connected to incoming power and the common terminal on the other switch must be connected to power out to the light.

In the box where power comes in, make sure the wire with the unswitched power is connected to the common terminal on that 3-way switch. The common terminal is usually anodized black. The traveler wires are the red and black wires in the 3-conductor cable. Connect those two wires to the two traveler terminals on the 3-way switch, which are usually bright brass. If that doesn't correct the problem, post back and we'll work on the second switch.
 
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Old 07-06-13, 02:20 PM
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Nashkat1..........I had the first switch as you suggested. Unswitched hot wire is in common terminal and travelers are in other two.
 
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Old 07-06-13, 02:23 PM
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Could the white wire on the second switch be the hot wire? I have the black wire on the second switch (which I believe is a traveler off the first switch) in the common terminal and the red and white on the other two terminals.
 
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Old 07-06-13, 02:26 PM
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I believe you can disregard my last question. I tested the unswitched hot wire on the second switch and it appears to be the black traveler, which I have in the common terminal.
 
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Old 07-06-13, 10:59 PM
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I tested the unswitched hot wire on the second switch and it appears to be the black traveler, which I have in the common terminal.
It may just be the way you said it, but that doesn't sound right.

Here's the way to nail the wiring on the second switch: Disconnect the three wires from that switch and separate them, out in front of the box, ready for testing. Turn the power on and test each wire for voltage. Only one should have power. Mark that wire. Go flip the first switch and test again. One of the other two wires should now have power. Mark it.

Turn the power off. Connect the two wires that you marked to the two traveler terminals. Connect the third wire to the common terminal.
 
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Old 07-07-13, 07:11 AM
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Nashkat1......that was it. I had one of the 2 marked wires in the common terminal. Thanks for the help everybody.
 
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Old 07-07-13, 10:34 AM
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Glad you got it fixed, and thanks for telling us what you did to get it working.
 
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