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Old 06-24-2013, 03:30 PM   #16
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3-way switch with 2 live wires


ok, so i just moved on to replace another 3-way switch in my house and i have exactly the same issue. 1 hot wire in each switch box. Any ideas?

What is a California 3-way switch - how would that impact my wiring if that's what I have?

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Old 06-24-2013, 03:51 PM   #17
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3-way switch with 2 live wires


is it possible you have redundant single pole switches? Not being a wise guy, just a thought
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Old 06-24-2013, 03:55 PM   #18
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3-way switch with 2 live wires


they were all hooked up as 3-way switches (and worked, before I tried to replace them)
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Old 06-24-2013, 04:19 PM   #19
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3-way switch with 2 live wires


Quote:
Originally Posted by frenchelectrican View Post
Matt.,

Is some way you can post the photo what it look like ?

The reason why I say knob et tube mean like very old style conductors ( wires ) due the old K&T do have very instering conferation of three way operation.

If not then you have little more modern than that.

I know you say both black are alive with test light to the netural but is other colour or how many more pairs cable are in the switch box.

I am pretty sure but not 100% yet but ya got either californine three way or Carter three way ( either one is illegal per modern codes )

What about the luminaire itself how many conductors you have in that luminaire junction box?

I know one style of connection is legit but very tricky if not heeded but let me post it so you may get some idea.



There are couple verison of this being used.

But the best answer is take a photo we will go from there.

Merci,
Marc
Marc.... I'm lost.... Could you explain the above diagram to me?

Looks to me the light is always on.

I'm missing something.

(The reason I ask is that my daughters home , 2wire/noG, had a hallway 3way configuration (original wiring in place but normal new 3 way switches in place). It never worked as three way, exactly as this OP's. Now she is in Cali and I don't remember the spec's and where power was fed and my wiring runs, but I could not find a solution to make the three ways work correctly. (I ended up assuming that the original wiring was never done correctly, and quit trying to solve it.)

Thank you

EDIT: EXCUSE ME, I initially was thinking both blacks were a hot feed, because of what the OP was saying.

Best
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:29 PM   #20
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3-way switch with 2 live wires


Getting desperate.....i have 4 or 5 of these around the house I need to switch out. Previously i posted a pic of the switch, here's a diagram which shows how they're wired. In each instance, every switch box has one hot black wire - see below diagram as to how they're wired. The blue wire is on a darker screw in each instance, and is directly opposite the red wire. It's exactly the same wiring in both switches in the 3-way. I've tried many combinations but can't get anything to work right...:

3-way switch with 2 live wires-switch.jpg
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:53 PM   #21
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3-way switch with 2 live wires


MMhendrie.... I'm sure it's not the issue, but I've never seen that model of a three way.

Are you using a multimeter and do you know how to check continuity?

Just double check the switch... make sure it's a spdt (one terminal should connect to either of the other two, each time you hit the switch)
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:20 PM   #22
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3-way switch with 2 live wires


Quote:
Originally Posted by MTN REMODEL LLC View Post
Marc.... I'm lost.... Could you explain the above diagram to me?

Looks to me the light is always on.

I'm missing something.

(The reason I ask is that my daughters home , 2wire/noG, had a hallway 3way configuration (original wiring in place but normal new 3 way switches in place). It never worked as three way, exactly as this OP's. Now she is in Cali and I don't remember the spec's and where power was fed and my wiring runs, but I could not find a solution to make the three ways work correctly. (I ended up assuming that the original wiring was never done correctly, and quit trying to solve it.)

Thank you

EDIT: EXCUSE ME, I initially was thinking both blacks were a hot feed, because of what the OP was saying.

Best
Bonjour MTN remodel.,

As I know you will or someone will ask me that question and if you look at the diagram as I posted the top black conductor on the photo that is power supply and the bottom black et white conductor that will go to the other luminaries as needed to be.

Now let say for OP's situation the black is incomming feed then red for shuttle ( traveller ) then bleu for luminaire so it will work due this is legit due we are NOT switching the netural at all as you noted.,,

Now as I mention to the OP about the light bulb the reason why I mention to remove the light bulb so the OP can able indentify which one is actual incomming source ( unless the source is actual lumianire location) and indenfity the other two for shuttle ( travellers ) conductors.

That methold I have done few time to speed it up without take the rest of lumianire apart due you actually open up the connection to rule it out of backward connection ( from time to time it will happend like that so that how I can indentify it.)

But if the OP really want to make sure how it connect then the OP can check the luminaire to see how it hook up and the conductor colour there.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:44 PM   #23
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3-way switch with 2 live wires


Quote:
Originally Posted by mmhendrie View Post
Getting desperate.....i have 4 or 5 of these around the house I need to switch out. Previously i posted a pic of the switch, here's a diagram which shows how they're wired. In each instance, every switch box has one hot black wire - see below diagram as to how they're wired. The blue wire is on a darker screw in each instance, and is directly opposite the red wire. It's exactly the same wiring in both switches in the 3-way. I've tried many combinations but can't get anything to work right...:

Attachment 73057
Swap the Blue and Black so that the Black is on the darker colored screw. Do this on both switches.

Take a close look at that switch to see if the word "Common" is stamped into the plastic housing of the switch.
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:08 AM   #24
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3-way switch with 2 live wires


Quote:
Originally Posted by frenchelectrican View Post
Matt.,

Is some way you can post the photo what it look like ?

The reason why I say knob et tube mean like very old style conductors ( wires ) due the old K&T do have very instering conferation of three way operation.

If not then you have little more modern than that.

I know you say both black are alive with test light to the netural but is other colour or how many more pairs cable are in the switch box.

I am pretty sure but not 100% yet but ya got either californine three way or Carter three way ( either one is illegal per modern codes )

What about the luminaire itself how many conductors you have in that luminaire junction box?

I know one style of connection is legit but very tricky if not heeded but let me post it so you may get some idea.



There are couple verison of this being used.

But the best answer is take a photo we will go from there.

Merci,
Marc
I think you have a minor mistake on your diagram. The black line connecting to the light bulb should not continue back to the panel. I updated the drawing.

Name:  fig5.jpg
Views: 481
Size:  25.7 KB

The top black wire is always hot and the bottom black wire is switched, while the red is the runner between switches. When both switches are up or down the light is off. When one switch is up and one is down the light is on. Even though this approach uses more wire, it has the advantage of having an always hot and an always neutral wire in every box, which comes in handy for things like timers, remote switches and solid state switches.

To the OP. This is probably what you have.

Name:  fig5a.jpg
Views: 184
Size:  25.9 KB
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:49 AM   #25
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3-way switch with 2 live wires


Quote:
Originally Posted by mmhendrie View Post
Getting desperate.....i have 4 or 5 of these around the house I need to switch out. Previously i posted a pic of the switch, here's a diagram which shows how they're wired. In each instance, every switch box has one hot black wire - see below diagram as to how they're wired. The blue wire is on a darker screw in each instance, and is directly opposite the red wire. It's exactly the same wiring in both switches in the 3-way. I've tried many combinations but can't get anything to work right...:

Attachment 73057
Since you have the switches out. You can easily test the switches with a millimeter set to resistance or continuity setting.

Label the terminals A, B, C. Set the switch in the up position and test between A and B, A and C, then B and C. Repeat with the switch in the down position. Report the results here and someone will tell you where you should stick the wires.
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Old 06-25-2013, 06:02 AM   #26
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3-way switch with 2 live wires


Quote:
Originally Posted by frenchelectrican View Post
Bonjour MTN remodel.,

As I know you will or someone will ask me that question and if you look at the diagram as I posted the top black conductor on the photo that is power supply and the bottom black et white conductor that will go to the other luminaries as needed to be.
Quote:
Originally Posted by goosebarry View Post

I think you have a minor mistake on your diagram. The black line connecting to the light bulb should not continue back to the panel. I updated the drawing.

Attachment 73068

The top black wire is always hot and the bottom black wire is switched, while the red is the runner between switches. When both switches are up or down the light is off. When one switch is up and one is down the light is on. Even though this approach uses more wire, it has the advantage of having an always hot and an always neutral wire in every box, which comes in handy for things like timers, remote switches and solid state switches.

To the OP. This is probably what you have.

Attachment 73069
Marc and Goose... Merci Marc and thank you Goose... Never knew about that set-up .

(You were both saying the same thing in re to the one hot feed... just a diagram labeling / reading issue)

But let me ask this: As the OP says she pulled the bulbs out of the light, and she then found NO HOT at either switch.... could this be the Coast setup, but the switch on the NEUTRALS.(neutral /hot reversed)

I have to get a piece of paper and think some more.....

Best

Peter
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:32 AM   #27
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3-way switch with 2 live wires


Connect the blue wire to the common (dark) screw of each switch. Connect the black wire to the screw on the opposite side of the switch and the red wire to the remaining screw. This is the weird coast version as Marc has pointed out.

As an aside, the true Carter system has the load connected to the common screws and a hot and neutral connected to the traveler screws. The wires to the load can be hot or neutral depending on the switch position. This configuration was seen mostly in knob and tube systems.
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:43 AM   #28
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3-way switch with 2 live wires


Quote:
Originally Posted by HouseHelper View Post
Connect the blue wire to the common (dark) screw of each switch. Connect the black wire to the screw on the opposite side of the switch and the red wire to the remaining screw. This is the weird coast version as Marc has pointed out.

As an aside, the true Carter system has the load connected to the common screws and a hot and neutral connected to the traveler screws. The wires to the load can be hot or neutral depending on the switch position. This configuration was seen mostly in knob and tube systems.
Cause of my kids 2 wire/no ground systems (old Romex not KnT), I'm interested in understanding.

House... I'm lost understanding Carter... any chance of a diagram??


EDIT: Just found it on Google.... Thank you for the lead/info.
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:57 AM   #29
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3-way switch with 2 live wires


Quote:
Originally Posted by mmhendrie View Post
they were all hooked up as 3-way switches (and worked, before I tried to replace them)
It's good to know that they worked before, so it's only a matter of hooking them up correctly again. There are three wires in each of two boxes so there are only nine possible ways to connect the wires and one of them will work. Label the wires in box one, 1,2,and 3 and label the wires in box two,1,2,and 3. Connect the wires one at a time to the common screws, and then the other two wires to the traveler screws.
Box 1 Box2
#1 to common #1 to common
#1 to common #2 to common
#1 to common #3 to common
#2 " " #1 " "
#2 " " #2 " "
#2 " " #3 " "
#3 " " #1 " "
#3 " " #2 " "
#3 " " #3 " "
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Old 07-12-2013, 08:13 PM   #30
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3-way switch with 2 live wires


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Originally Posted by HouseHelper View Post
Connect the blue wire to the common (dark) screw of each switch. Connect the black wire to the screw on the opposite side of the switch and the red wire to the remaining screw. This is the weird coast version as Marc has pointed out.

well, I have put in more hours into this project then I'd ever admit, it was really driving me crazy, and really thought i was going to have to call a pro to sort me out - but THANK YOU! this was the winning combination, I have a whole bunch of 3-way switches in the house and am now running through them all. Really really appreciate it - maybe this helps out the other guy with the daughter in SoCal also!!

thanks again!!
Matt

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