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# 3 way switch wiring

## 3 way switch wiring

#41
02-07-15, 07:37 PM
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I was about to do the job you offered.
I thought G1W2 and G1B2 cable connected to SW2 like diagram above.
I measured voltage gradient between G1W1-G1W2 and G1W1-G1B1.
If the wiring is same as diagram, there should not be voltage, at least one.
Both shows 110 volts even if I detach C2 from switch.

Something wrong.

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Last edited by hansoldc; 02-07-15 at 07:53 PM.
#42
02-07-15, 08:01 PM
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Ray suggested rewire everything. I think that's a good approach. There are too many unknowns here.
I would rewire, or, completely disassemble everything and see if you can recreate this circuit properly.
Wiring 2 3-way switches should not be hard.
Find your source power and start there.

#43
02-07-15, 08:33 PM
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Here is a basic 3-way circuit.

#44
02-07-15, 09:40 PM
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I could do wiring from scratch.
However I would not do wiring outside of the wall.
If I could I'd better use existing wire.
To use existing wire, I need figure out where those wire ends come from.
Confusing...

On the diagram on #41 posting,when I tie G1W2 G1B2 together, I could see two wires are shunt together from SW2. That means two wires are wired like diagram.
However G1W1-G1W2 and G1W1-G1W2 shows 110 volts.
Those results does not make sense.

Confusing.

How do I find light wire and power wire?

Please let me know, I'd better study wiring from the first.

#45
02-08-15, 06:57 AM
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How do I find light wire and power wire?
The power cable (not wire) will be a 2-conductor cable that when disconnected at a switch box reads ~120 volts. You disconnect all cables in the switch boxes (but leave lights and receptacles connected in their boxes at the ceiling or wall) and connect the cables one at a time to the identified power in cable and see what is on (light or receptacle) when that cable is connected. After testing a cable you would disconnect that cable and connect the next one to be tested. You may come up with some cables that when connected to power in go don't power anything. We will talk about those later. As you go mark your findings on each cable.

When doing the testing you must be sure all wires in the switch boxes are not touching anything.

#46
02-08-15, 07:29 AM
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The more I think about it the more I think this should just be done with new cable from the house. It would be much simpler to tell you how to do that. Also better because I suspect the cables from the house are old and nearing the end of their life span.

#47
02-08-15, 07:57 AM
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I want to work with others and not take over.
I have a suggestion that will help to identify a few cables.

First - The "simple" garage ceiling light switch in box 2 must be working.

Does it switch the ceiling lights and are they working?

I'll post my suggestion after I know the switch works.

#48
02-08-15, 08:18 AM
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Brian, all help appreciated. For me this is becoming to difficult to do by remote.

Handsolc, I'm going to back off and let you answer Brian's questions.

#49
02-08-15, 09:15 AM
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Hi Handyone
This morning I did some job.
#41 diagram,
Physically I tested and confirmed that Two wires are connected between SW1 and SW2 like #41 diagram.
However as I mentioned before, two wires have 110 voltage gradient between hot wire separately.
And two wires are not shunt.
Not connected to ground or White(neutral)

And I tested and confirmed that in SW2 black line which connected to common is for lights.
White neutral came from same cable goto neutral.
I saw brilliant light when I test it.

Yes , simple switches in Garage1 and garage2 for ceiling lights works fine.

I am very curious how come the cables above the ground makes voltage.
What kind of circuit makes 50 volts.

Anyhow, I found light cable and power cable.
And if the traveler is OK, I could do simple switch system.
If I put simple switch on garage 2, I could ignore 2 cables on garage 1.
However I want put switch on garage 1.

That is problem.

Thank you

#50
02-08-15, 09:30 AM
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What kind of circuit makes 50 volts.
You need to use an analog multimeter. Most digital meters can give false readings when used for AC voltage. Even the cheapest analog will give more accurate readings. You "50v" is probably really 0v and just induced voltage, that or your reading through a load.

#51
02-08-15, 10:08 AM
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That was my idea, to confirm #2 common went to lights. (I think neutral is taken care of).
Did you power the lights temporarily from a hot wire in box 2?

I think your next step is:
Mark wires at #2 3-way with tape.
Disconnect travelers from switch.
Check your travelers for continuity, ensure one final time these are travelers and mark them.
Check continuity between the tips of travelers in box 1 and 2.
Also check if they have any continuity between neutrals or grounds, or hot.

You want: Each traveler to have continuity between ends, And Nothing Else.

#52
02-09-15, 05:30 AM
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Hi Handyone
That was my idea, to confirm #2 common went to lights. (I think neutral is taken care of).
Did you power the lights temporarily from a hot wire in box 2?
Yes I powered the lights and I saw those lights were ON

I think your next step is:
Mark wires at #2 3-way with tape.
Disconnect travelers from switch.
Check your travelers for continuity, ensure one final time these are travelers and mark them.
Check continuity between the tips of travelers in box 1 and 2.
those two tavelers has continuity between two ends and NO continuity between two travelers
Also check if they have any continuity between neutrals or grounds, or hot.
two travelers has NO continuity with grounds or neutral. And has voltage to hot on SW2 and voltage to G1W1 on SW1 on #41 diagram

You want: Each traveler to have continuity between ends, And Nothing Else.
Yes there is continuity between two ends of travelers, but each has voltage to hot(this is not expected one)

#53
02-09-15, 06:10 AM
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I still don't see a neutral in the wiring for the garage lights.

The one diagram shows the neutral current going to ground. This is incorrect and poses a shock and safety hazard.

#54
02-09-15, 06:23 AM
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I still don't see a neutral in the wiring for the garage lights.#41 you could see white goes to neutral

The one diagram shows the neutral current going to ground. This is incorrect and poses a shock and safety hazard.I mistakenly draw ground,

#55
02-09-15, 02:57 PM
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Yes there is continuity between two ends of travelers, but each has voltage to hot(this is not expected one)
They cannot have voltage (if not connected). If they do, they're not travelers.
I suggested removing travelers from SW2. I thought SW1 travelers were already disconnected.
Do you understand. Cable needs both ends open and then test. Your goal is to verify these are travelers and not some other wires.
You may need an electrician.

#56
02-09-15, 03:38 PM
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They cannot have voltage (if not connected). If they do, they're not travelers.
I suggested removing travelers from SW2.

That's what I am thinking.
Yes, I disconnected line from SW2 and tested.

I tested like this.
Bind G1W2 and G1B2 together from SW1.
Tested continuity from SW2--->zero resistance.
Seperate G1W2 and G1B2.
Tested continity from SW2---->infinite resistance

Above tests and results are not enough to prove those are travelers?

And those traveler have voltage to hot line <---this is BIG HEADACHE

Last edited by hansoldc; 02-09-15 at 04:08 PM.
#57
02-09-15, 04:07 PM
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And those traveler are voltage to hot line <---this is BIG HEADACHE
If the travelers are not connected to Anything, even each other, and you are reading voltage:

Either they are not travelers, they were wired wrong, or they have come in contact with other wires.

I strongly suggest you hire an electrician. The electrician can fix the problem, show you where things went wrong, and advise on swapping out the 2 conductor cable for 3 conductor.

#58
02-09-15, 06:38 PM
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I'd do it this way with new cables:

#59
02-09-15, 09:17 PM
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If I could, I'd like use new cable.
However how I could put new cable?

#60
02-09-15, 10:06 PM
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Are the walls in the garage open or are they covered with Sheetrock?

How far apart are the garages? Is there dirt between the garages so you could dig a trench?

#61
02-10-15, 06:20 AM
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It is very hard for me to put new cable between two garages.
I'd like use the cable like diagram.
If the cable has no relation with hot line, ie separate circuit, there could be no problem.
I am gonna put simple switch on Garage 1.

DC circuit ON--->AC circuit for light is ON
DC circuit OFF-->AC circuit for light id OFF

There should be switch or relay like this.

Do you know this kind of part?

If I hire electrician my wife might be disappointed, not because of money, but because of others. ^ ^
After this, I think I need hire electrician to find and fix strange circuit.

#62
02-10-15, 08:07 AM
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It may be best you hire an electrician. Your idea of relays would work. I'd suggest you do a search for information on x-10 controls. That is not something I am familiar enough with to help you.
to find and fix strange circuit.
The circuit can not be fixed correctly because to be fixed correctly you need a 3-conductor cable between the switches. You do not have a 3-conductor cable. It may have worked but it was never correct.

#63
02-10-15, 08:38 AM
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Hi Ray

I answered #8 and #10 post regarding 3 conductor cable.
I believe if properly wired 3 wire cable is not mandatory.
We could use 2 cables(which have 4 wires) and do not use one wire, which works like 3 wires.

Thank you.

Last edited by hansoldc; 02-10-15 at 09:07 AM.
#64
02-10-15, 09:24 AM
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We could use 2 cables(which have 4 wires) and do not use one wire, which works like 3 wires.
The code requires all conductors to be in the same raceway (sheath or conduit) to reduce the possibility of overheating. With all conductors in the same sheath the electromagnetic fields which can cause heating tend to cancel each other out,

#65
02-10-15, 10:25 AM
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Ah ! I got it.
That makes sense.
Two different direction of current makes opposite field, which makes Zero field.

Anyhow, in my house, 3 way switch didn't use 3 conductor cable.
I am wondering how come inspection passed.

I need electrician who figure out "hot white conductor" and "acting-neutral-like traveler"(it travels between two garages anyhow)

#66
02-10-15, 10:28 AM
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If he is a good electrician he will refuse to fix it because he would be violating code.

#67
02-10-15, 12:04 PM
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If I ask them 3 way switch using existing cable, he could refuse the job.
However If I ask him to fix abnormal behavior of cable, he could do it for me.
That's my thinking.

Anyhow, for a long time, I appreciate your help.
Thank you.

I am sorry for not using proper grammer and words.
English is my second language.