3 way switch wiring help


Old 04-29-17, 12:07 AM
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3 way switch wiring help

Hey everyone. I am in the process of replacing all the switches in my house to a more modern type switch. I sucessfully replaced all the other switches by carefully removing them, making note of which wire went where and connecting the new switch wiring the same way. And wouldn't you know it, the last two 3 way switches are giving me some trouble.

I've attached a diagram, with some pictures as well, to hopefully clarify things.

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When I removed Original1 the black and white wire stayed connected and the red wire pulled out. Original2 the red wire stayed connected and the black and the white pulled out or broke. I cannot tell which wire goes where for Original 2, besides the red. (the blue circles are for wires unknown to me)

Also, the new switches have the common and travellers (is that the correct terminology?) in different positions. I'm a little confused about this.

Please someone help me sort this out.

Thanks in advance,

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Old 04-29-17, 12:21 AM
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The dark/common terminal is the only important one. It doesn't matter which terminal is where.

Whatever wire comes off the common.... MUST go back on the common.
The other two are interchangeable.

So on switch 1 - white is the common.... and on switch 2 - white is the common.

Do you want to know how I know that ?
On switch 1 you know you have red and black as travelers.
That means on switch 2.... red and black also must be travelers.
That leaves white for the common.
Old 04-29-17, 03:08 AM
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I hope you aare not using the backstabbed connections on new switches. Always use the screws.
Old 04-29-17, 10:58 AM
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Thank you PJmax done and working.

And pugsl, yes, am using the screws. Like I said when I took the old switches out the wires just pulled from the back. I don't trust the backstabbed connections.

Thanks again,
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