3 way switch problem

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  #1  
Old 05-28-04, 06:41 AM
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3 way switch problem

Two switches, one fixture. When first switch is off, you can't turn the fixture on from the second switch. When first switch is on, second switch works. First switch appears to be a three way.
 
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Old 05-28-04, 08:15 AM
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The wrong wire is on the common screw of one of the switches.
Tell us all the cables and the wire connections in each switch box and the light box.
Here is a site that shows 3way switch methods. There are at least 8 different ways this could be wired.
 
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Old 05-28-04, 09:40 AM
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bigdog, Some history would help our guesses. Did you just go to bed one day when the switches were working perfectly, and wake up the next morning and the switches exhibited this behavior? Or did some event (such as you messing with the wiring) coincide with the commencement of this problem? Or has it worked this way for as long as you've lived there?
 
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Old 06-01-04, 09:43 AM
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I just moved into the house a few months ago. The inspector noted that wiring for this fixture was not done properly in his report. It's not that big of a problem, stuff like that just bothers me...I'll take a look at how it's wired currently and see if I can't get you guys some more info.
 
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Old 06-01-04, 11:44 AM
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Then Joe's answer is correct. The previous owner replaced one or both of the 3-way switches and mixed up the connections, or installed the wrong switch.

First, make sure both switches are indeed 3-way switches. The switch lever should be blank, rather than saying "off" and "on". If they are, then you can solve this problem by trial and error if you want. There are a lot of combinations, but the walking back and forth to the breaker box between tries is good exercise.
 
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