You have helped before


Old 09-10-01, 04:01 AM
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You all helped me before with my electrical needs and now I am back.

I installed new light switches in my hall. (one light switch on each side to operate 2 lights at the same time) I used the 3 way switches, but now when the light switches have to be in a certain way for them to work. Can you help me? Do I need different switches or did I connect one of the wires incorrectly.

Then for my last question. I bought new light fixtures for my hallways. How can I be sure that they are not too strong (watt wise) for my current wiring? Strange question but one of my friends put the fear in me that I will soon be burning down my house...

Thank you for your help.
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Old 09-10-01, 04:04 AM
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How did you run the cabling? Did you run the cable from switch to light to light to switch? If so, you can't get this to work.

If not, please detail both the cabling and the connections that you made.

Post back and let us know.
Old 09-10-01, 04:07 AM
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Well all that I really did was follow exactly what as there before.

How can I detail it for you.

Please let me know what to look for..

Thank you
Old 09-10-01, 12:56 PM
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Where did you connect your power source [at one of the switches or at the light fixture]. This should be a cable with a black, white and bare wire in that cable.

Then where did you run your cables coming from the switch [from the switch to the light fixture or from switch to switch] This should be a cable with a black,red,white, and bare wire in that cable.

This info should help John help you.

Good Luck

Old 09-10-01, 04:22 PM
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I think I understand now. You replaced the switches, perhaps because you changed from white to ivory or ivory to white. You didn't run any new cables. Is this anywhere close to true?

Also, this problem came about when you changed the switches, not when you changed the light fixtures. True??

The most common mistake that people make when replacing 3-way switches is incorrectly assuming that the "bottom left" screw on the old switch is equivalent to the "bottom left" screw on the new switch. This is not a good way to decide where to hook the wires.

I hope you still have the old switches that you took out. Look at both the old switches and the new switches. On each, identify the "common" screw. The "common" screw is usually black in color, and/or is labeled "COM" or "COMMON" embossed in the plastic on the back of the switch. You need to make sure that the wire that was connected to the "common" on the old switch is connected to the "common" on the new switch.

If you don't have the old switch for comparison, or for some other reason cannot figure out what wire was previously connected to the "common", we can still help. But we'll need you to tell us all the wires that are in each switch box. Here's an example:

In switch box #1, there are five wires (not counting bare grounding wires): two black, two white, and one red. In switch box #2, there are three wires: one black, one white, and one red.

Note that I am not asking for just the wires connected to the switch. I am interested in ALL the wires.

Also, tell us if your boxes are plastic or metal. Also tell us whether your house uses Romex cables. You can identify this because at the point you see the wires come into the box you will see an inch or so of white sheathing around a collection of two or three wires.

Old 09-11-01, 08:21 AM
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Thank you John,

I will go home tonight with your note and see...

You are exactly right...

1 - I don't have the old switches...
2 - I went from Ivory to White
3 - I still have the same light fixtures... But I bought new ones (should I wait to put them in)

How do I know if my new light fixtures are to strong? (over the old)

Thank you again.

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