3 way switch problem

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  #1  
Old 11-15-20, 10:02 AM
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3 way switch problem

I have an LED ceiling fixture in my DR that is controlled by two 3-way switches. This weekend I replaced one of the switches with a Lutron C/L dimmer - PN 03011882. The dimmer works as expected but the other 3 way switch will only turn the ceiling light ON or OFF when the dimmer switch is in the ON position.

Any ideas why?
 
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Old 11-15-20, 10:48 AM
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Most dimmers will not work with a standard three way switch regardless of the instructions.
I don't recognize that number and don't see it listed.
Most of those dimmers have a name.... like Diva, Maestro, Ra, Pico, etc.
Most of those dimmers also have a companion slave switch for 3w operation.
 
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Old 11-15-20, 11:17 AM
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Pete - Thanks for the response. The dimmer is a Lutron Diva DVWCL 153PH-WH. I wired the hot black to the black on the dimmer, the red traveler to the red on the dimmer and the other black to the red/white wire on the dimmer.
the instruction sheet troubleshooting says that the symptoms I have are because the traveler and the hot wires are swapped. I tried swapping them and in that position the other switch does not work at all.

I am a bit confused because I always thought that the red wire between switches was called the traveler but these instructions seem to also call the 14/3 black wire a traveler.
 
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Old 11-15-20, 11:20 AM
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Any wire can be a traveler. With three way switch wiring there are two travelers and a common wire.
Color means nothing. The wire on the common/dark screw is the important color.

You need to determine which box/switch has the line(hot) and which has the load(light).
You can check at the switch end to see which two are the travelers.

 
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Old 11-16-20, 09:40 AM
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Pete - I've got the lines figured out. I know which wire is the source, a 3 way switch feeds the dimmer, and the dimmer feeds the light fixture. I had the travelers correctly identified and connected at the dimmer. Voltages supplied to the dimmer from the 3 way are as expected - 125V switches between the travelers at the dimmer when the 3 way switch is operated.

I am replacing the 3 way switch but I don't know my next step if that doesn't fix the problem. I'm hesitant to try to squeeze the dimmer into the box that has the 3 way, it's a 4 gang box and pretty full but in that configuration it would match your diagram.

The only thing odd is that the traveler that is switched off at the 3 way has a voltage that varies between 35V and 72 V. In other words if black is at 125V then red has the odd voltage. If red is at 125V then black will have the odd voltage. This is with the dimmer completely disconnected. Could this voltage be my problem?
 
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Old 11-16-20, 11:08 AM
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With three wires between the switches you can change where the line and load appear.

You have two boxes..... call them A and B.
Which box is the feed at:
Which box is the load/light at:
Which box do you want the dimmer at:

Low voltages appearing on the travelers are ghost voltages.
Usually picked up by inductance by them being near other live wires.
 
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Old 11-16-20, 02:28 PM
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Pete, I'm a bit embarrassed to admit it but I had a large brain fart when installing the dimmer. The instructions from Lutron show the dimmer installed on the line side. I was installing it on the load side. No problem except I marked and connected the wire from the "black" screw as if it were the common wire per the instructions when in fact it was the black traveler. I figured it out as soon as I read your last post about box A and Box B. Now the light dims and the wife is happy.

Sorry about the fire drill.
 
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Old 11-16-20, 03:01 PM
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No problems. Sometimes it needs to be drawn out to be understood.
 
 

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