Unusual light switch wiring

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  #1  
Old 02-01-16, 10:49 AM
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Unusual light switch wiring

Few days ago a switch in the wall that controls dining ceiling fan/lights stopped working. Thinking wiring came loose or switch broke I tried replacing it, but couldn't. At first glance it looked like a 3-way switch with red "traveler" wire, but I don't have second switch anywhere that controls this fixture! Also 3 wires that it has connected are neutral, common and some red wire. I checked with multimeter and indeed there's 120V between neutral (white) and common (black). I replaced it with a 3 way switch, but it still doesn't work (could be issue with fixture or wiring in the wall/ceiling). Here's a picture. Any idea why it's wired like this?Name:  light_switch.jpg
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  #2  
Old 02-01-16, 10:59 AM
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Tell us about the wiring at the light. Tell us if there are any more wires in the switch box.
 
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Old 02-01-16, 11:24 AM
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That switch in your picture sure looks like a four way switch.

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Old 02-01-16, 12:50 PM
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Switch

Is the switch a duplex switch?
 
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Old 02-01-16, 05:00 PM
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I don't know what duplex switch is
4 way? I'm not sure to be honest. I think those bottom connectors are bridged anyway... There's only one switch in the house that controls that fixture...
Ray, I didn't remove fixture (ceiling fan) so not sure about wiring there. Box where switch is, has another switch for different circuit (controls wall outlet).
All wiring connected to this switch comes from same conduit.
Anyway I scheduled electrician to take a look at it tomorrow, sorry I couldn't provide more information...
 
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Old 02-01-16, 05:45 PM
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Dang! We love a good mystery. A duplex switch is two switches on the same yoke.

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  #7  
Old 02-02-16, 01:24 PM
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Oh yeah, I knew that!
Well it gets interesting. Electrician was here and fixed issue in 5 minutes. He confirmed it was a regular 3-way switch and he fixed it be flipping red and white wires. So when I asked him why it stopped working, he said because I re-wired it wrong... But but I didn't touch it, it was working like that for at least 2 years until it stopped
Either I sleep walk and rewire switches at night or... it's something else...
I showed him picture you all saw (I took it before I tried replacing switch) and he was as puzzled as I am. Oh and not to mention, there's no second switch that controls this light anywhere in the house!
Here's new switch correctly wired (dang I was so close, I only had black and white wires reversed when I tried it)....
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Old 02-02-16, 06:34 PM
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You either had a three way switch that has been disconnected/bypassed or you haven't found it yet.
 
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