Problem replacing 3-way switch

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  #1  
Old 07-30-17, 10:23 AM
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Problem replacing 3-way switch

One 3-way switch in my kitchen went bad.
Replaced the switch and it still doesn't work. On that switch I replaced I have 2 red wires and 1 white wire.
The second 3 way has 2 red wires and 1 black wire. I replaced the second switch as well and still doesn't work.

I assume the 2 reds at the switches are traveler wires, and the white at one switch is the hot wire, and the black at the other switch is the hot wire.

It all seems straight forward but none the less doesn't work!

Any assistance will be greatly appreciated!
 
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Old 07-30-17, 11:12 AM
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Every three way switch has the common terminal marked. On very old switches it was hard to see.

The common screw is darker, sometimes black, than the the traveler screws.
Whichever wire comes off the old switch common terminal MUST go on the new switch's common terminal. It doesn't matter if the screw terminals are in a different location.

When you see two reds and a black wire..... a red will be a common.
Look into the box.... a red and black wire will go into the same jacket. Those are the travelers. The extra wire is the common.

Same with two reds and a white.... a red will be common.
Look into the box.... a red and white wire will go into the same jacket. Those are the travelers. The extra wire is the common.

The travelers always travel together in the same cable.
 
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Old 07-30-17, 02:36 PM
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I'll look at that and give it a try, then I'll report back. Three way switches have always confused me.
Thanks for the reply.
 
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Old 07-30-17, 03:14 PM
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Three way switches have always confused me.
Key is to remember power goes into one common and out the other common.
 
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Old 07-30-17, 05:00 PM
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"The travelers always travel together in the same cable".

That worked! And the quote above is something I can use in the future.
Thanks for the help!
 
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