3-Way Switch / 2-black wires & one neutral?

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  #1  
Old 04-20-00, 05:07 PM
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Question: I am trying to replace a 3-way switch in a really old house. The switch that was there only had 3-screws while the new 3-way switches have 4: 2-for black, 1-white and 1-ground. I wired the new switch with the white & black attached to the correct screws and wired the other black wire to the ground screw (this is how it was done on the previous), however, the light is not working.

Is the wire attached to the grounded screw suppose to be attached to the other screw (looks like reserved for hot)?

Help, please.
 
  #2  
Old 04-21-00, 09:40 AM
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Your old switch was not grounded. Your new switch has a pole for a ground wire.

You probably do not have a grounded service.

The black wires are both hot. One of them runs back to the other switch to activate the 3-way.

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  #3  
Old 04-21-00, 11:07 AM
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Ok, so I attached the 2-hot wires to the correct screws and the neutral is attached as well, however, the light will only work if the switch downstairs is in the ON position. I can turn it on and off upstairs but if I switch the downstairs switch OFF, the upstairs won't work.

Sorry about the redundant paragraph!
 
  #4  
Old 04-21-00, 01:47 PM
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Both switches need to be three-way. There are no "on" and "off" on 3-way switches. When the pole is thrown the circuit is either broken or completed.

When one side is off the other side should go on with the flip of the switch, as long as the 2 hots and neutral are all connected to the correct type of switch.

------------------
MTAC - Van Buren,MO
www.carpenter.cjb.net
Home repair & Construction

"Where the character and work are always upright"

Anything worth cutting down a tree for, is worth doing right.
www.toolreview.cjb.net
 
  #5  
Old 04-21-00, 03:42 PM
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Both switches are 3-ways and I think they are wired correctly: 1-hot to brass screw, 1-hot to black screw, neutral to silver, no ground. Light still only works as I indicated in my last reply.

Could one of the switches be defective?
 
  #6  
Old 04-21-00, 04:46 PM
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A couple of comments. You do not have a neutral here. you have two travelers and a switch/hot lead.
Assume the other switch is correct.
You need to determine which is the hot or switch leg.
The white must be a traveler. That must go on one of the two light colored screws.
Now that leaves two black.
Since you had it wired and it only worked one way, this indicates that you have reversed one of the travelers.
Thus, the black wire that you had on the dark screw, must be switched with the black that you thought was the traveler.
If you do that, everything should work.
 
  #7  
Old 04-21-00, 04:48 PM
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hello fx,
reasion your switch will only work from 1 location is it is wired wrong. the way a 3way works is there is a common screw and 2 traveler screws,(confused im sure), im incloseing 2 links to help u under stand and hopfully fix your 3 way situation. http://www.howstuffworks.com/three-way.htm
http://www.wfu.edu/~matthews/courses/p230/switches.html

the green screw on your new 3 way is just a ground and has no bearing on how the switch works, if u do not have a bare or green wire it isnt used.
the white wire in your 3 way is not a nutural, it is eather a traveler, hot or a switch leg. the links shuld help u understand.
 
  #8  
Old 04-21-00, 04:54 PM
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Cool

Ok, you guys are THE GREATEST!

Thanks and have a great weekend.
 
 

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