3 way switch problem


  #1  
Old 12-18-01, 01:47 PM
Guest
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Unhappy 3 way switch problem

I am having a problem with a 3 way switch that had been working fine. Now, when switch A is up, switch B doesn't work, and when switch B is down, switch A doesn't work....

any clue? a loose wire? should I check both switches... any advice is appreciated..

Thanks
 
  #2  
Old 12-18-01, 03:20 PM
J
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You probably misidentified the common wire on one or both switches. This often happens when you move wires from the old switch to the new switch by screw position rather than by identifying the common on each switch. Different switch manufacturers put the common screw in different places.
 
  #3  
Old 12-18-01, 03:34 PM
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We haven't changed anything on either of them -- we've been here two years, and they had been working fine. Now, we've got the problem. We did take the switch plate covers off about 3 months ago when we painted, but didn't change switches or anything more than removing the plate.
 
  #4  
Old 12-19-01, 04:08 AM
J
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Sorry, I just assumed you had replaced the switches. I see now that that assumption was not justified.

You have lost the connection of one of your two travellers. Examine both switches and the light (another of my assumptions -- you never said what the switches control) for loose connections. Sometimes the push-in connectors in the back loosen up. If you think they might be, move the connector to the adjacent screw. Be sure to turn off the breaker before you start.

If there are red wires at your switches, but no red wires at your light fixture, then the problem is not at the light fixture. So start with the switches and examine the light fixture last.
 
  #5  
Old 12-19-01, 12:33 PM
Wgoodrich
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You may have a switch that has a bad set of points in the switch itself. This also can cause your problem. This is a good bet if nothing has been changed at any time in the wiring of that switch system.

A loose connection as John suggested is about as common to be the problem also just thought I would add that bad switch idea.

If you replace your switches be sure to mark the wire that goes to the odd colored screw of the old switch before you remove your old switch. This is a most common mistake people make. They fail to identify the common wire and the two traveler wires before they remove their switch.

Good Luck

Wg
 
 

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