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# 3 way dimmer and 3 way switch setup not working?

#1
08-12-15, 11:40 AM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: US
Posts: 116
3 way dimmer and 3 way switch setup not working?

I have a 3 way dimmer downstairs and a 3 way switch upstairs that are wired to an incandescent track light. If the dimmer switch is "off" (even though there is no ON/OFF) no power will flow to either traveler wire. So I can't turn the light on with the 3 way upstairs. So in effect it's not a fully functional 3 way system. Is this the way 3 way dimmers are supposed to work?
I've enclosed a pic of the dimmer, installed circa 1985.
Thanks

#2
08-12-15, 12:04 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,943
Of that era, yes. The dimmer would set the brightness, and then either switch location turns it on or off. If you replace the switches with modern 3-way digital dimmers (e.g. Lutron Maestro multi-location), you can have full on/off/dim control at each switch location.