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Old 10-15-2011, 04:38 PM   #1
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3 way dimmer problem


We have a ceiling fan with separate switches for the light and fan. The light switch was a 3 way dimmer. We have changed both switches to the light. We have tried every combination we can with the wires. When switch one is flipped up the other one will work. When switch two is fipped down the other one will work. But you if you turn it off with one you can not turn it back on with the other. What might be the problem?

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Old 10-15-2011, 05:10 PM   #2
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3 way dimmer problem


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We have a ceiling fan with separate switches for the light and fan. The light switch was a 3 way dimmer. We have changed both switches to the light. We have tried every combination we can with the wires. When switch one is flipped up the other one will work. When switch two is fipped down the other one will work. But you if you turn it off with one you can not turn it back on with the other. What might be the problem?
You didn't make a drawing before removing the old switches
OK, what color wires do you have connected to each switch? Note that each switch has one screw that is different, usually black, and this is the common. The other two are travelers.

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Old 10-15-2011, 06:45 PM   #3
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3 way dimmer problem


No drawing. My husband thought he hooked them up the same so I'm not sure what the problem is.
We replaced a knob dimmer with a rocker dimmer. The rocker dimmer switch and the box have one black, 2 red, and one green ground. We hooked the black to the black (I believe this becomes the common for that switch).
We have tried switching reds to see if that matters and it didn't change the outcome.
The other switch (across the room) is a regular 3 way rocker switch. The box has a copper ground, one red and two black wires. We tried every combination with this box. Red as the common, switching each black and Each black as the common and switching the red and other black.
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Old 10-15-2011, 07:03 PM   #4
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3 way dimmer problem


I looked in the box and these are the wires coming in:
there are three sets:
one has one black, one white, and one copper
the other two have one red, one black, one white, and one copper
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Old 10-15-2011, 07:26 PM   #5
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3 way dimmer problem


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The other switch (across the room) is a regular 3 way rocker switch. The box has a copper ground, one red and two black wires. We tried every combination with this box. Red as the common, switching each black and Each black as the common and switching the red and other black.
Is the wiring "romex" cable, this would be where the wire is encased in a plastic sheathing, or does the wire come into the box through conduit?

You have two black wires in one box and two red wires in the other. There is no white wire in the one box?
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Old 10-15-2011, 07:59 PM   #6
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3 way dimmer problem


There are actually 4 sets of wires in the box that holds the fan and light switches:
-I believe it is Romex - all the wires in a set are encased in a white plastic-
A: one black, one white, one copper
B: one black, one white, one copper
C: one black, one red, one white, one copper
D: one black, one red, one white, one copper
All the white wires are together and capped
All the copper wires are together then two come off, one for the light and one for the fan switch
The black wires from A and B are both connected to same pole for the fan switch.
The red from C goes to the light, the black from C goes to the fan
The red and black from D are going to the light

The fan switch works fine and is not affected by either of the 3 way light switches.
The 2- 3 way switches will only work when the light is turned on by the other one.
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Old 10-15-2011, 08:14 PM   #7
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3 way dimmer problem


The other 3 way switch box has two sets of wires:
A: one black, one white, one red, one copper
B: one black, one white, and one copper

The white wires are capped together. The copper ones are twisted into one.
The Black from A is going in the common slot (black screw)
The Red from A and the Black from B are going into the other slots (brass screws)
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Old 10-15-2011, 08:54 PM   #8
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3 way dimmer problem


Each three way switch has two screws for "traveler wires." The traveler wires only go between the two switches but may pass through other electrical boxes on their way and may even have splices ( wire nuts). These travelers will be in the same cable.
This comment in your one post doesn't seem right:
Quote:
The Black from A is going in the common slot (black screw)
The Red from A and the Black from B are going into the other slots (brass screws)
I would expect the black and red from A would be the travelers and the black from B the common.
This would match the other comment:
Quote:
The red and black from D are going to the light
They probably are passing through that junction box.
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Old 10-15-2011, 09:04 PM   #9
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3 way dimmer problem


So in the single 3 way box.
Should the Red and Black from Set A be hooked to the regular screws and the black from Set B be hooked to the common?

For the other box (3 way light and single pole fan) : When I said they go to the light I just mean the light switch.

So the Red and Black from Set A of the Single Box should connect to a A Red and Black from the Double Box? Then I put those to the traveler wires. If I do this a black will be hooked to a red traveler wire. Is that okay?
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Old 10-15-2011, 09:24 PM   #10
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3 way dimmer problem


Thank you so much Your post about the travelers being on the screws helped me figure it out.
I hooked the traveler wires to the brass screws in the single pole and the traveler wires on the dimmer switch to a the same path of wires. The red from the ceiling fan went to the dimmer switch and the black from the ceiling fan went to the fan switch.
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Old 10-15-2011, 09:36 PM   #11
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3 way dimmer problem


So it is working, good. I'm sure next time you'll draw a picture

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