3-way switch issues

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  #1  
Old 07-10-02, 08:02 PM
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flimflam
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Unhappy 3-way switch issues

I just hooked up a light between 2 three way switches. I turned my circuit breaker back on and the light was already on. When I try each switch, the light just flicks off quickly(when the switch is neither on or off) then comes back on(when the switch gets to the on or off position).
I beleieve I have tried all possible combinations, but cannot figure this one out.

Any suggestions?
 
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  #2  
Old 07-10-02, 10:49 PM
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FREDDYG_001
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flimflam, What color wires are connected to the brass color screws and what color wires are connected to the dark color screws on both switches? Also, are the three wires you connected coming out of one cable from inside boxes or from two separate cables?



Fred
 
  #3  
Old 07-11-02, 06:14 AM
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flimflam
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I've tried so many combos that I'm not exactly sure which one it was that got me to the point I was describing. Of course I'm at work right now so I can't actually look at it, but I'll give it a shot:

When I first hooked it up, it was like this:

switch #1
14/2 power in - black to common on switch
14/3 to light - red and black on switch traveler, with the white to the 14/2 white.

light
14/3 from switch #1 - red to red, black to white, white to white on light.
14/3 from light to switch #2 - black to black on light

switch #2
14/3 from light - red and white(marked hot) to switch traveler, with the black to common.

(the above combo didn't work at all)

BUT, when I got the problem described in my first post, this is what I had(I think):

Everything was the same up to switch #2. I just swtiched the white (marked hot) and the black. i.e. moved the white (marked hot) to the common and the black to a traveler.


Hope that helps..........
 
  #4  
Old 07-11-02, 06:30 AM
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Gary Tait
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Perhaps you have mis-identifed the common on the switches.
 
  #5  
Old 07-11-02, 06:35 AM
J
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What you described is correct. So either something went wrong with the implementation of what you described, or the cable you have identified as a "power in" isn't really a power cable, or Gary is correct that you have misidentified a common. I suppose it could also be that you have a defective switch.

Do two things: (1) Post back and describe the origin of the "power in" cable, and (2) double-check all your connections.
 
  #6  
Old 07-11-02, 06:51 AM
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flimflam
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Both switches are new and have the common labeled on them.

I guess it could be a bad switch. I will check it out this evening and post back.

Thanks much for your input!
 
  #7  
Old 07-11-02, 06:54 AM
J
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Changed my mind.

The most likely thing that explains your symptoms is that there is a short somewhere interconnecting the two travelers. Of course, this short could still be inside a defective switch. Shut off the breaker. Without disconnecting anything, use an ohmmeter to test for continuity between the two traveler screws on either switch.
 
  #8  
Old 07-11-02, 07:50 AM
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FREDDYG_001
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flimflam, Your first switch fine. Your problem is at the second switch. The red and black travellers from the first switch connect the brass color screws on the second switch( I make my traveller colors the same on both screws, if red is on the right at first switch, same on the second switch, if black is on left at first switch, same on the second switch. Force of habit). Now, for the light (i'm going to assume 14/2 was used for the light), determine which two wires are the light light, connect the white wire for the light to the white wire coming from the first box, connect the second wire for the light (black or red, whichwever of the two colors is being used for the hot to the light) to dark color screw on switch. Turn your circuit breaker on and see what you got. If their are other wires in that second their probably for another branch circuit.



Hope this helps.


Fred
 
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