3-Way Switch Wiring Help

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Old 11-17-19, 01:37 PM
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3-Way Switch Wiring Help

I've got a three way switch setup that I am replacing in a modern custom built house.

The old switches were electronic (communicated via signals over the electrical system) so were not wired together as normal 3-way switches would be.

I'm trying to install a Lutron MACL-153M and MA-R (dimmer + slave remote). I wired Black to Black (black screws), White to White (brass screws), and Red to Red (Blue Screws). This tripped the breaker when I turned power back on. Black is always the hot wire and White is always the common wire in this house. The Red wire from the old master switch was labeled "load." See image below.

So I used the multi-meter and found the following:

> Switch 1 -----------------------------------Switch 2
> Black -------shows continuity---------- Black
> White -------shows continuity--------- White
> Red --------- NO continuity ------------ Red
> Red ---------shows continuity---------- White
> White & Red (Show Continuity)

With breaker on and wires all disconnected:

Switch 1
--------------------------
Black & White - 110v
Black & Red - 110v

Switch 2
-----------------------------
Black & White - 110v

Any ideas how this is wired AND is there a way to wire these for 3-way switches? I am hoping I do not need to take off the two fixtures to correct this.

Thanks in advance.
 
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Last edited by mseifert9; 11-17-19 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 11-17-19, 01:52 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

I would rather see pictures of your wiring. Descriptions don't often click.
You are also not installing standard switches. You are installing a dimmer with a slave controller. That combo is not wired as a standard switch would be.

How-to-insert-pictures.
 
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Old 11-17-19, 02:45 PM
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I've attached a drawing of what I can see. Thank you for the correction stating that a Dimmer => Slave is a different wiring situation from a standard 3-way.
 
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Old 11-17-19, 03:58 PM
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Fixtures

I finally was able to get into the fixtures. I didn't find what I expected (e.g. NO red wires). I did not test continuity or voltage but

1) the fixture on the left only had one Romex cable with 2 wires (Black and White) and

2) the fixture on the right had two Romex cables with 2 wires each (Black and White)

I presume they are wired as shown in the image. Sorry for the crude drawings.
 
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Old 11-17-19, 04:41 PM
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From what I can deduce, there has to be another junction box somewhere where the red wires from each switch have their termination. Until I find this (perhaps in an electrical outlet), this won't make any sense.

I will do some more multimeter testing but for now, I wish I could delete this whole thread!
 
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Old 11-17-19, 08:28 PM
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It is possible there was a switched receptacle that was converted to unswitched and the light were installed connecting into the receptacle junction box.
 
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Old 11-17-19, 08:38 PM
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You are mostly right.

I discovered the long lost junction box hidden behind a painting strategically placed on the wall (actually my wife reminded me of it after my explaining the problem). Why we had it wired this way is lost in memory but was likely a change in plans.

So it looks like I have all the missing parts, but not the time this evening to undo all the wiring nuts and figure out where each wire leads.

Thanks for your suggestion.
 
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