Two switches/one light

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Old 08-11-19, 11:13 AM
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Two switches/one light

I replaced some light switches and must have either purchased the wrong switch, or messed up my wiring. I was fairly careful when swapping it out, and thought i wired it correctly, but something is obviously wrong.

There are two switches that control the light. After swapping the switch out, both have to be in the on position for the light to come on. Previously, both switches operated independently of each other. Another words, if one was in the "on" position, and the other was in the "off" position, and the light was off, flipping either switch would turn on the light.

I managed to do this on two lights, so im thinking i just got the wrong switch. I don't recall the terminalogy of the the one i bought (spdt, etc), but it does have 3 terminals (not including ground.)
 
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Old 08-11-19, 11:18 AM
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You have a three way circuit using three way switches. There is a dark/black colored screw on the switch that is the common terminal. It should be on the old and the new switches. The wire that was on that dark terminal must go back on the dark terminal regardless of position on the switch. The other two wires are called travelers and can go on either screw.
 
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Old 08-11-19, 11:42 AM
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I see the dark colored screw, but i admit, i didn't use it as a guide when switching out the switch. I just lined it up top, and put each wire in the same location. One switch has a red, black, and white. The white is going to common. The other switch has two black wires and a white, with one of the black wires going to common.
 
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Old 08-11-19, 12:00 PM
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Pull out the switches...... look at the three wires.
Usually the two traveler wires will go into the same cable.
The common wire is usually a separate wire.
 
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Old 08-11-19, 12:15 PM
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one switch only has one set of wires all going into the same sheathing, black/red/white. It appears to go to the other switch box, which I am trying to sift through and map out now.
 
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Old 08-11-19, 12:18 PM
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Ok..... temporarily do nothing there. Go to the other switch. Find which two wires go into the same cable. When you know that..... those same two wires will be the travelers at both ends.
 
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Old 08-11-19, 12:24 PM
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That was an excellent explanation! The red wire was the common on the switch with just 3 wires coming in, all working now.

Thank you!
 
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Old 08-11-19, 01:28 PM
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Good job. Name:  thumb.jpg
Views: 21
Size:  1.6 KB You're welcome.
 
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