3 way switch problem


  #1  
Old 05-24-19, 07:00 PM
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3 way switch problem

I need help wiring my switches to my hallway light. My brother installed our parents light in the hall over 5 years ago and only one switch (or the other) in the hall has ever worked since then. I attached photos of the wiring in the boxes. I did trial an error of connecting the wires in different spots on the two switches with no luck...I just can't seem to get the wiring correct.

With the power on, I used a non-contact voltage detector to determine which wires had the power/voltage and determined the following:

Box 1:
1-no voltage
2-has voltage
3-has voltage
4-has voltage (all 3 I believe)
5-no voltage (both I believe)

Box 2:
1-has voltage
2-has voltage
3-has voltage

Please note, I did not wire the ceiling hall light myself so I do not know what the wiring looks like, but I can take it apart if necessary (but hopefully not as it seems time consuming).

Any help with this would be much appreciated.

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Last edited by PJmax; 05-24-19 at 07:09 PM. Reason: added pics from links
  #2  
Old 05-24-19, 07:12 PM
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With the power on, I used a non-contact voltage detector to determine which wires had the power/voltage
A non contact tester is not reliable enough to trust. You need to use a test light or analog multimeter.
 
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Old 05-24-19, 07:13 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

A non contact tester is not terribly helpful in this type of problem.
A test meter.... even analog... is more effective.

At box 1......
2 and 3 are travelers and go on the brass screws.
1 is the light/load and goes on the black/dark common screw.
Only 4 is always live/hot.

At box 2.....
1 and 2 (the same red and white as 2 and 3) go to the brass screws.
3 goes to the black/dark common screw.
 
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Old 05-25-19, 08:52 AM
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It worked!!!!

Thank you so much PJ! Very much appreciated.
 
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Old 12-25-19, 09:46 PM
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Update

Looking to now swap out one of the switches with a wifi switch. Preferably at box 1, but I am open to whichever is easier.

1. What is the neutral wire at box 1?
2. What is the ground wire at box 1? (Looks as if the copper ground wires at box 1 donít have an end, but rather loop around and go back into the wall, but I could be mistaken)

Unless box 2 is easier, I can put the wifi switch there. In that case, what is the common wire at box 2? Seems like there isnít a common wire there.

The new switch has the following connections:

1. Neutral (white colored wire)
2. Ground (green colored wire)
3. Traveler (silver colored screw)
4. Traveler (silver colored screw)
5. Line/Load (black colored screw)

 
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Old 12-26-19, 05:35 AM
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Hi, at box 1 connect the conductors as per Pete’s instructions for the existing 3 way, the group of whites are the neutrals #5 connect the neutral from the WiFi switch there.
Geo
 
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Old 12-26-19, 10:06 AM
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<img src="https://www.doityourself.com/forum/attachments/lighting-light-fixtures-ceiling-exhaust-fans/105342d1558746523-3-way-switch-problem-box1.jpg" width="504" height="638"/>

1 goes to line/load of switch
2 & 3 are travelers. No polarity.
5 neutrals
The copper loop is ground.
 
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Old 12-26-19, 11:41 AM
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Thank you both.

The switch came with some wire nuts.

so just use a wire nut for the ground wire on the switch and the copper loop? This the best method with it being a loop?

 
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Old 12-26-19, 12:08 PM
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If there is no end to that copper wire....... gently squeeze it in half and add a short piece of wire to it with a wirenut for the switch.
 
 

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