3 way switch

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Old 10-02-16, 02:03 PM
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3 way switch

I just replaced a 3 way wall switch. I bought 2 and wired them the exact same way. Now they only work if one is in the on position. If its not the other doesnt work. The old ones had a black and white romex and a red. No ground.old house.
I put the black hot on the new black screw. The neutral above it brass on the same side. The red was on the only screw on the other side. I wired them the same on both. I should have wired them differently per switch??
 
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Old 10-02-16, 02:43 PM
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Not all 3 way switches are designed alike. You must have your "LINE" on one black screw on one switch and the "LOAD" on the other black screw on the other switch. Generally the red and white are travelers and it doesn't matter which screw they attach to, except for the ground. BTW, there is no neutral in switching. The white is a traveler.
 
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Old 10-02-16, 03:04 PM
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its a Leviton from home depot. cheapest one. can you be more specific.
there is a black screw on the bottom right. then 2 brass screws. one above the black and one on the other side.
 
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Old 10-02-16, 03:30 PM
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When working with three way switches.... there is no top or bottom left side or right side to the terminals.

There are two brass colored screws that are the travelers. These two wires are interchangeable.
There is one black/dark colored screw. What ever wire came off the dark screw on the old switch must go on the dark screw on the new switch.

If you've forgotten which was the dark colored screw wire......look into the boxes. The two traveler wires should be in the same cable AND usually the traveler colors are the same at both ends.
 
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Old 10-02-16, 04:08 PM
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The neutral above it brass on the same side.
Just to add: That was a white wire not a neutral. It should have been remarked blue or red or black or any color but gray or green to indicate it was hot but many installers skip that code required step.
 
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Old 10-02-16, 04:08 PM
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I put the wires exactly the same as what they came off of. So the switches wont work unless the far one down the hall is on. Then they work. There is only 2 switches here not 3.
I tried swapping wires around ,no luck. It seems that if I was to add a jumper to the far on
it could be on, always and then they would work. What do you think of that idea????where should the jumper go??
 
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Old 10-02-16, 04:17 PM
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It seems that if I was to add a jumper to the far on
it could be on, always and then they would work. What do you think of that idea????
Better to re read the advice and connect the wires correctly.

How many 2-conductor cables (black, white) and how many 3-conductor cables (black, red, white) are in each switch box.
I put the wires exactly the same as what they came off of.
That may have been your mistake. You have to go by function of the wire as indicated by screw color not location because that screw may be in a different location on the new switch,
 

Last edited by ray2047; 10-02-16 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 10-02-16, 04:25 PM
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the old switches had an old type switch. 1970s. It had black and white on one side and red on the other side with only one brasss screw. If someone could post a pic of a modern Leviton 3 way...they cost 2 bucks I think... and show how .......again the whole system works IF the one
down the hall is in the ON position...
 
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Old 10-02-16, 04:58 PM
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IF the power comes in at the light fixture, here is a diagram you can use. There is no "on" position with three way switches. There is "up" and "down", but it doesn't indicate whether the lights are on or off.

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Old 10-02-16, 05:45 PM
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say there is no way to know how its wired.... how can I test the wires to find the right way to make it work??
 
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Old 10-02-16, 05:54 PM
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Here's a leviton 3 way switch with wiring that you requested. Tell us all the wires in each switch box. Pictures sure would help. Remove the power to the circuit, pull the switches out and give us some good pictures of them. Blue is white in this picture

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Old 10-02-16, 06:39 PM
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say there is no way to know how its wired.
Then you answer the questions I asked in my previous post: "How many 2-conductor cables (black, white) and how many 3-conductor cables (black, red, white) are in each switch box".
 
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Old 10-02-16, 06:45 PM
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i found this and it made it easy.... thanks anyway...solved

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fz9KKvoS6p0
 
 

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