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hubbard53 11-17-2007 10:26 AM

3 way circuit drving me nuts!
OK, so i am replacing toggles with rockers in my kitchen. i have one 3way circuit controlling the overhead lighting. . . and replaced each 3way toggle with a 3way rocker. Wire for wire and it didnt work properly.

So I did come troubleshooting and verified the common wires and made sure they were correctly connected. Tried it again. No luck.

Now i think there MUST be a bad switch so I replace the 'cold' rocker with the original toggle - still the same issue so I keep the old toggle in place and replace the 'hot' rocker with the original toggle - NOW IT WORKS! I assumed the rocker was defective so I kept the toggle in place and replaced the 'cold' toggle with the new rocker... now it DOESNT work :censored:

I can accept one bad rocker but not two. . . are rocker switches somehow different than toggles in terms of how they work? What am I doing wrong? I am not a professional electrician but also not a newbie. . .

Andy in ATL 11-17-2007 11:44 AM

Hub, The only thing I can think of is that (obviously) your mixing the wires up. A three-way switch has screws for 2 travelers that will be the same color. Then you have 1 screw that is a different color. When you look at your toggle you might have the two similiar screws on one side and the "common" screw on the other. On the rocker switch you may have a traveler screw and the common screw on one side and a traveler screw all by itself on the other.

See how, while accomplishing the same thing with the same number of screws, two different manufactureres made the switch slightly different. Does that make sense? Is it possible that's what happened? The odds of you having two bad "snap" switches is extremely low.


joed 11-17-2007 12:31 PM

You are not identifying the common wire properly. You can't go by position on the switch. The common screw on your new switch will be the black one. Replace one switch at a time and keep trying a different wire on the common screw until it works. It will only take three tries max as the traveler wires don't matter. Then do the same at the other end.

Andy in ATL 11-17-2007 12:36 PM

Joed states things much clearer than I do... I sometimes struggle!:laughing: :yes:

hubbard53 11-17-2007 01:44 PM

ok i got it...its working now. I bought new switches, hooked em up and they worked... either bad switches or I had the wires misidentified the first time and then messed it up again, got lucky, and got em correct. . . I'm blaming the switches :)

Andy in ATL 11-17-2007 01:50 PM

I like your attitude....Damn switches!!:laughing:

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