Replacing 3-way switch - lights just flicker

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Old 12-12-15, 02:44 PM
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Replacing 3-way switch - lights just flicker

I had a (90% sure- one switch I rarely used) working 4-way (3 switch) light setup. One switch stopped turning on/off the lights. The switch sounded funny- like it wasn't clicking like ti should.

I took the old switch out. There was 1 orange wire connected to the brass terminal and a yellow and orange wire that looks like they used the back stabs and came out when I pulled the switch out (so I couldn't verify where they came from).

I wired in a new switch (call it C) putting the 2 orange wires to the 2 brass screws and the yellow to the black screw.

When switch A is up and B is down and I flip C, it works fine. When A is down and B is up, switch C just causes the lights to flicker for an instant.

Switch A and B work fine switching back and forth if C is off (or disconnected).

I don't know if the wrong wires were used on switch C or there is a problem in one of the other switches. Any ideas how to figure this out?
 
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Old 12-12-15, 04:13 PM
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Yes, it was a three way switch and looked like the one above. The yellow wire I can so going to a pigtail in the box.
 
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Old 12-13-15, 04:34 AM
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As I said, there is only 1 wire connected to the switch when I removed it and it wasn't the common wire.
 
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Old 12-13-15, 10:51 AM
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Sorry I misread your original post. (I have deleted my replies to avoid confusion.) Was there only three wires in the box? What colors are the travelers in the other switch box? Try those colors for travelers on the new switch and remaining wire as common.
 
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Old 12-19-15, 10:28 AM
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The other switches have orange travelers as well. I can't figure out what could be wrong.
 
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Old 12-19-15, 10:50 AM
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Orange travelers? Orange isn't even common for conduit and not found in cable. What is the wiring method, cable or conduit? Please post pictures of both switches pulled out so we can see the connections. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/li...rt-images.html
 
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Old 12-19-15, 11:10 AM
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It is in conduit. Here are the 3 switches.
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Old 12-19-15, 12:02 PM
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Nice picture.

It certainly looks like you have conduit, that the orange wires ARE the travelers and you have things connected correctly.

Unfortunately a four way circuit can be tricky to troubleshoot. Most of the time if the circuit stops working in one direction at one switch it's a bad four way switch. Both travelers travel and are switched thru the four way switch.

I usually recommend replacing all three switches at once. It's pretty easy to ID your commons at the the three way switches..... they're the none orange wires.

I'm guessing there are two conduits at the four way switch with two orange wires in each pipe. Here you must keep the pairs ID'ed. If there is not two pipes then two wires go to dark screws and two go to light screws. That needs to be maintained.
 
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Old 12-26-15, 12:07 PM
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I replaced all three switches and it works fine. Thanks for the help.
 
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Old 12-26-15, 01:47 PM
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Thanks for letting us know the outcome.
 
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