What's wrong with this wiring?

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  #1  
Old 01-04-14, 07:10 PM
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What's wrong with this wiring?

I replaced some three way switches and must have got a wire incorrect. The power is coming into the junction (and also feeds another wire), then goes to box number 1 with 14/2 then a 14/3 to box number two. Attached are photos that tell the story better.

It works when one of the switches is on but not the other. It worked before I replaced the switches so I'm sure the problem is just that I put one of the wires back in the wrong place, but not sure where to start.

In the first box the white is connected to the black which seems strange, but again, it worked before I started.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Pics are:
Light box
1st switch
2nd switch
 
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  #2  
Old 01-04-14, 10:56 PM
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At both switches you need to move the white wires to the dark/black colored screw.

In your case the traveler pair is red and black which means those two colors need to be on the brass screws. It doesn't make a difference which color goes on which brass screw.


Keep in mind when replacing three way switches ..... the color wire that was on the odd color screw must go to the odd color screw on the new switch. Location on the switch is of no importance.
 
  #3  
Old 01-05-14, 09:27 AM
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Not quite PJ

The switch that only has 3 wires in it (not counting grounds) The black needs to be connected to the common (black) screw. Red and white are the travelers.

The switch that has the wires nutted together, red and white go to the brass screws (travelers) and the black goes to the common
 
  #4  
Old 01-05-14, 11:20 AM
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I did look again............. white can't be a traveler.

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  #5  
Old 01-05-14, 12:57 PM
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A white can be a traveler, it can not be a switch leg, although we are dealing with existing wiring here.

I do see how you are wiring it, however to me, it looks like the 3 wire cable is on the right in the 3rd picture, not the left. I guess the OP will have to confirm.

I made this minor change to your picture:

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  #6  
Old 01-05-14, 01:03 PM
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Switch #1:

white of 2-wire cable to marked switch terminal, black of two-wire cable to white of 3-wire cable.
Red and black of 3-wire cable to other two screws on 3-way switch

Switch #2:
white of 3-wire cable to marked switch terminal.
Red and black of 3-wire cable to other two screws on 3-way switch

In both switch boxes, all of the white wires need to be marked with black tape or paint

/mike
 
  #7  
Old 01-05-14, 05:37 PM
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I really wish that everyone who is trying to change switches, especially a three-way circuits, would have the new switch next to the old one and take one wire off and put it on the new switch immediately. They should also take a couple of pictures of the wiring on the old switch trying to starting any work. This would prevent a lot of problems like this.
 
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