3 way switch with only 2 wires?

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Old 08-22-14, 07:45 PM
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3 way switch with only 2 wires?

Me again!

A couple of months ago, we took out a closet in our living room (at the bottom of the stairs) and I had to re-route all of the wiring (at this point, I've rewired the whole downstairs of the house because the previous owners did some really jacked up DIY, including leaving live wires just naked inside the walls ).

Anyway, when I did this I removed some wires that were now extraneous because we no longer had 2 extra walls. There are/were 3 switches that control the same 3 lights, 2 can lights in the upstairs hallway and one chandelier on the stairway ceiling, one switch at the bottom of the stairs, one at the top and one down the hall. After replacing the switch with a new 3 way switch, the light switch at the bottom of the stairs has to be on for the other two to function. This makes sense to me because there is no red wire to serve as the traveler.

I am confused because, it worked before with an old-school 3 way switch and the same wire going through the wall (I only removed cables that were "downstream" as it were). FYI, I have the same thing going on with a switch by the kitchen and one at the bottom of the basement stairs- removed a snarl of wires and now the 3 way switch has to be on at the bottom of the stairs in order to work from the switch at the top. There was no red wire in the original configuration either.

I've been planning on just taking down the drywall and running new cable with enough wires, but I figured I'd see if it was possible to avoid doing that. (I can't fish it through due to studs) The switch at the top of the stairs does have a red wire, fyi.

Also, I did none of the wiring at the top of the stairs, that is "as is".

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Old 08-22-14, 08:08 PM
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The downstairs switch is clearly missing a wire(traveler) and could not operate as a three way switch correctly.
 
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Old 08-22-14, 08:18 PM
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That's what I thought, I'm just wondering how it did it before when there still wasn't a traveler. Weird.
 
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Old 08-22-14, 08:32 PM
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It could operate the light as long as the upper switch was in the right position.
 
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Old 08-23-14, 02:39 AM
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was the downstairs the 4 way switch.............2 in....2 out
 
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