2 Switches, 2 lights, 12-3 and a fun, vexing challenge

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Old 01-18-14, 03:40 PM
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Exclamation 2 Switches, 2 lights, 12-3 and a fun, vexing challenge

Hi friends. I can't find anyone who says this would work, but for the past 4 years, I had 2 working 3-way switches that controlled 2 lights. I was replacing one of the fixtures and got distracted and didn't remember which wire went where. I'm going to describe what I see in as much detail as I can, please help me figure out how to wire L2.

I believe it to be wired as follows: P1 (12-2) S1 (12-3) L1 (12-3) L2 (12-3) S2. All on a 15A circuit.

Again, I totally get the people who believe that this set-up can't work, because I can't find a good diagram. But it worked for years -- honest. It makes me wonder if it's actually wired in a different order or in a different way, but I can't really tell. That's where you come in.

All are grounded. All source wiring is described how I think, but that could be wrong.

S1 -- P Black to Common over Red. Black lower and to the other side. Whites tied together
L1 -- in Red to out red. in white to light. in black to out white. out black to light.
L2 -- Reds remain twisted together. in and out black and whites are loose.
S2 -- Black into Common over Red. White lower and to the other side.

Again, this is all after the first switch over 12-3. Would love to just rewire L2, but am open to rewiring, would not want to have to add new cable. Please help.
 
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Old 01-18-14, 03:45 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

If you were just changing the second light...... why all the confusion ?
Did you open every splice in that junction box ?
 
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Old 01-18-14, 03:51 PM
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All the confusion because it's not working. I also replaced L1, but I did so concurrently and didn't make any mistakes (so far as i can tell).

I haven't opened the Red that's twisted together in L2, but i opened the others to replace the light. It's been several days of off-an-on trial-and-error and I can't remember if there was a black and white twisted together in L2 or what.
 
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Old 01-18-14, 04:01 PM
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If you did not touch the switch wiring and the three way switches were working correctly then you don't have the wiring order correct. You can not connect two lights in the middle of a three way circuit like that.

Do you have 2) three wire cables at both lights ?
 
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Old 01-18-14, 04:10 PM
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That's the only wire I see in the junction box. I figured as much about wiring order.
 
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Old 01-21-14, 07:06 AM
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Sorry, yes, both lights have 2 3-wire cables, one switch has one cable and the power comes into the other switch.
 
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