Changing light switches

Old 06-14-01, 01:51 PM
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Having painted the den, had to change the plugs and light switches to match the color. Everything works great except when I turn on the last double switch to light up the stairs, when I get to the top, a switch that was not changed will not shut the light off. It will shut it off temporarily by holding the switch in a middle position. Thinking the switch was bad, I found an old switch I had removed and tried it. The same thing happened.
Please advise.
Earl Hobbs
Old 06-16-01, 07:09 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: ottawa canada
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The switch in question is a 3-way switch , the one at the top of the stairs that you have now touched is also a 3-way switch ?

Leave the one at the top of the stairs alone, it works before and you haven't touched it , so we will assume it is correct.

With 3 way switches there are 3 wires attached to the 3-way switch . On these switches there is one screw that is labelled as common, it is usually a darker in color screw and on the back in fine print (hard to read) it says common. Even if you have the correct 3 wires reattached to this switch and the wrong wire is attached to the common screw,it will not function correctly with the 2nd switch.

If you are certain that you are dealing with correct 3 wires , move the wires around on the switch until you find the correct combo. If the 3-way are not an illuminated siwtch , you are dealing with only 1 side of the power line therefore no danger of a short, it just may not work right if it is wrong. bares are always grounds so we are not moving any grounds , the wires in question will be white/black/red.

Let us know what happens or if you require further help.


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