Odd 3 way switch, what is wrong ?

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Old 08-04-18, 07:27 PM
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Odd 3 way switch, what is wrong ?

I have standard setup where bulb controlled by 2 three way switches. All looks wired correctly. Yet of the four possible ways of having each of the 2 light switches be up or down , in 3 of the positions the light stays on.

Is this something seen before ? Only 1 of the boxes has a hot wire. When I took off both switches and connected hot wire to one of the traveler wires the other traveler became hot too.

This then would seem like a short. But then the two travelers should always be hot meaning the light should stay on always, not just 3 of the 4 positions.

The only thing I can think of is one traveler is shorted to the other when power goes to it but not the other way around. This seems impossible or highly unlikely.
 
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Old 08-04-18, 08:05 PM
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Hi Stevie,
While we wait for the pros I'll ask, did the problem just start or did you replace something? If no wiring changes have been made I would suspect one of the two switches. I'll watch.

Bud
 
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Old 08-04-18, 08:56 PM
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Hi Bud,

I think it has always been this way. House was built in 2012 and we bought it 3 years ago from original owners. I donít think they did any work on home. So Iím guessing been like this since it was new. I just got around to trying to fix it, thought it would be easy fix but am stumped. One idea is maybe something wrong at light fixture junction.
 
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Old 08-05-18, 03:46 AM
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Good morning. Be safe when working on electrical.
Here is a link to help you identify which wiring method you have.
https://www.homeimprovementweb.com/i...way-switch.htm

Bud

Thanks pc
 
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Old 08-05-18, 03:47 AM
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Tell us the colors and number of wires in each switch box. Do you have a meter?
 
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Old 08-05-18, 05:05 AM
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Pictures may help also. How to insert images.
 
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Old 08-05-18, 05:59 AM
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Hi, why are you concerned about the switch handle positions?
Geo
 
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Old 08-05-18, 09:48 AM
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Typically power only appears at one end. That wire must be on the dark/black colored screw.
Look at the two remaining wires...... those are the travelers. They should go into the same cable. That means they come out of the same cable at the other end. The remaining third wire (load/light) goes to the dark/black colored screw.
 
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Old 08-05-18, 01:27 PM
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Okay everybody. Things are working now. It was the switch. In total I had to replace three bad switches in my house. Maybe builder had a bad batch when house was built.

I was very confused though because when I removed switch and connected hot to one of the travelers I saw that the other traveler was hot. I thought just shouldnít happen ever based on my knowledge of a 3 way switch wiring. I just tested with one of those pen things that light up red and beep when touching live wire. Maybe I messed up test though.

My father in law suggested it was the switch because he noticed light flickered when flipping light switch.
 
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Old 08-05-18, 01:44 PM
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Thanks for the update. Problems often look simple once you fond the solution.

And, pick up an inexpensive analog meter, not a digital one.

Bud
 
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