Troubleshooting 3 way switch


  #1  
Old 12-26-14, 08:30 AM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Troubleshooting 3 way switch

My basement light has two 3 way switches, one at the top of the steps and one at the bottom. It worked fine for a decade. Without warning, the light would not turn off. My hypothesis was that one of the switches went, so I replaced both, but can't seem to get it wired properly so that each switch works independently.

The bottom box has a white wire which is hot that I attached to the common on the new switch. There are also a red wire and a black wire.

The top box has a white which is hot and a white which is not hot that are attached together by a wire nut and not connected to the switch. There is a black that is hot that I attached to the common. Another black that is not hot and a red that is not hot.

I've tried every combination for the travellers, but can't seem to get it working properly. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 
  #2  
Old 12-26-14, 09:02 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Jersey
Posts: 64,590
Received 3,880 Upvotes on 3,477 Posts
Welcome to the forums.

You are describing a three way circuit tied to a switch loop.

Name:  3w.jpg
Views: 368
Size:  13.5 KB
 
  #3  
Old 12-26-14, 09:06 AM
P
Temporarily Suspended
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 10,265
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Disconnect all the wires on both switches & determine which wire, in which switch box, is hot from the circuit breaker. The other two wires are the travelers. Once you know that, you'll be able to wire the first switch correctly. Then go to the second switch box & determine what's hot when the first switch is in each position.
 
  #4  
Old 12-26-14, 09:10 AM
Handyone's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: U.S.
Posts: 4,807
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Yes,
This can be a little confusing if you're not familiar with a switch loop.
The top box white that is hot is actually your hot feed wire in. The black from that same cable will go to the common terminal of the top switch.
The white (hot feed that is at top box) will be connected with wire nut to the bottom switch common terminal. The other wires are travelers.
 
  #5  
Old 12-26-14, 02:23 PM
S
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Got it working. Thank you!
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: