Another 3 way Problem

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  #1  
Old 09-25-19, 08:57 AM
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Another 3 way Problem

Hello..

3 way wiring help. We have a 3 way light set up in our attached garage and last week my wife shut our garage entry door and the lights went out.

When I check it out, I found that the switch was probably bad because when I wiggled it, the lights would flicker. No problem on the side door entry switch. I bought a 3 way switch and switched it out, wire for wire. When I turned the circuit back on, the switch hummed and the light turned on but very dim and the circuit tripped. I shut off the circuit and switched the switch to the up position and turned the circuit back on and turned on the other switch by the side entry door and everything worked on that switch as it should, turned it off and turned on the replaced switch and the lights dimmed so I quickly turned it off. Turned on the other switch and the lights turned on and off as it should. The circuit is a 15 amp circuit.

I "Borrowed" a diagram from another web site resembling what I have and photo shopped the wiring I have to illustrate my current wiring. Also I have photo shopped the position of the switches as I have in their current positions. The problem switch is the one from the power source.

After the light in the diagram, the wiring goes to three other lights in the ceiling. The wiring I have does not represent the diagrams I have seen on other web sites. I have included the original diagram which looks like what mine should look like.

I currently have the circuit turned off. No other problems on any other lights on that circuit. The switch is in a 3 gang box with one single pole switch going to a spotlight on the outside of the garage and the third switch is a 3 way for the inside room lights.

The house was built in 1964.

How Should I rewire my switches to the correct terminals ? Thanks
 
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Last edited by Twisty516; 09-25-19 at 09:38 AM.
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  #2  
Old 09-25-19, 10:07 AM
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Switching wire for wire does not always work for three ways. You need to identify which wire is the common and move that wire to the common of the new switch. The two travellers don't matter which screw you put them on.

The ground always goes on the green ground screw.

From your description it sounds like you may have put the ground on one of the switch screws. There is no configuration of the switch screws that will make the breaker trip.

I am assuming(maybe a bad idea) that you only messed with the wires on the screws on the switch and did not change any of the other wires that might be in the box. If you messed with any other wires then you need to give us a full description all the wires in the box.
 
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Old 09-25-19, 10:41 AM
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Thanks Joed for the reply..I did not attach any ground to the switch. Maybe I should. The grounds in the wires are all wired together and grounded to the metal box with a grounding clamp. One thing I noticed is in my posted diagrams is that red and white wires should be switched to match the diagram on the right ?? but that switch is not changed out.
BYW...I did not change any other wires on any of the switches. Also currently all switches are removed from the box.
 

Last edited by Twisty516; 09-25-19 at 10:51 AM. Reason: Added content
  #4  
Old 09-25-19, 12:19 PM
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Wire colour is not important. The common screw is important.
No way the breaker should trip even if the wrong wire is on the common screw. The switches simply won't function properly. Something else is wrong to trip the breaker.
 
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Old 09-25-19, 02:09 PM
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On the new switch, the side with the two screws, one is black and one is brass in color. The incoming source black wire is attached to the black screw. My diagram show this.
 
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Old 09-25-19, 02:41 PM
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Everything you are telling me says the switch is installed properly.

Maybe the switch is defective. Even installed with the wrong wire on the common it will not trip the breaker.
 
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Old 09-25-19, 04:18 PM
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Joed ! Success !
I went and got a new switch and everything is GOOD !
Very frustrating when you get something that is new and it doesn't work !
A defective new switch would have been the last thing I would have thought of!
THANKS BIG TIME !
 
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