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Old 04-06-2013, 03:06 PM   #1
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3 way switch with 3 locations and 1 Dimmer


Hello everyone, hoping I can find a solution to my electrical challenge. I have the following: 3 way switch with 3 locations and adding a dimmer.



3 Switches: 1st bottom of stairs (3 way switch) - 2nd front of hallway (new lutron skylark contour cl dimmer and 3rd back of the hallway (single pole switch). The three switches control recessed lighting in the hallway.


Location 1 (bottom of stairs) has a three way switch with white, black, red wire attached to the switch and the ground was not being used. The white has power.


Location 2 (New Dimmer location)- Wires coming out of the box- 2 red, 2 black. (2 ground wires twisted together and pushed to the back and 2 white wires twisted together and capped off)



Location 3 (back hallway) has a single pole switch with 1 red and 2 black wires, with 1 black but off cut, not capped and not being used, 2 ground wires twisted together, not being used and two white wires twisted together and capped off.



Once the Dimmer was installed this is what happens: If the lights are turned off (down position) at location 1 the other two locations will not work. If left in the up (on) position the following happens.
At location 2 (the dimmer) able to turn off and on and dim the lights, however after turning the lights on at location 2, location 3 will not turn them off, lights blink and remain on. Only after retuning location 2 to the off position would location 3 turn the lights on and off.

Then I tried this, location 1 up position (lights on) then turn lights off at location 3, then return location 2 and was able to turn the lights on.

Hope this is understandable and someone has a simple solution to this mystery. The house was built in 1969, if that helps any. I have had this problem since I purchased the house 7 months ago.

I really appreciate your help.

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Old 04-06-2013, 03:21 PM   #2
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3 way switch with 3 locations and 1 Dimmer


Quote:
Originally Posted by geminitx View Post
3 Switches: 1st bottom of stairs (3 way switch)
- 2nd front of hallway
3rd back of the hallway (single pole switch).
The three switches control recessed lighting in the hallway.
Not likely.

Quote:
Hope this is understandable...
Unless the single switch is used as a separate on/off for the circuit...
3 way switches will NOT be used in conjunction with regular single switches.

Go back and figure out what you really have installed.
Determine where the power for the circuit starts (often at the light fixture)
and determine how that power gets switched before it gets to the lamp(s).

hth

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Old 04-06-2013, 04:20 PM   #3
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3 way switch with 3 locations and 1 Dimmer


If you need more than two switches to control the same light you must have a 3-way at each end, and to add more switches, the switches in between the 3-way switches must me 4-way switches. There has to be 3 conductor cable (with ground) connecting each the switches together.
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3 way switch with 3 locations and 1 Dimmer-4-switch-circuit.jpg  
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Old 04-06-2013, 04:22 PM   #4
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3 way switch with 3 locations and 1 Dimmer


You probably need a 3way at location 3. Sounds like you already have a 4 way dimmer...
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Old 04-06-2013, 04:43 PM   #5
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3 way switch with 3 locations and 1 Dimmer


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Originally Posted by TTW View Post
You probably need a 3way at location 3. Sounds like you already have a 4 way dimmer...
Find me a 4 way dimmer.
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Old 04-06-2013, 05:11 PM   #6
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3 way switch with 3 locations and 1 Dimmer


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Originally Posted by k_buz

Find me a 4 way dimmer.
Any digital switch can be dimmed at all locations.
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Old 04-06-2013, 05:20 PM   #7
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3 way switch with 3 locations and 1 Dimmer


Quote:
Originally Posted by geminitx View Post

Location 2 (New Dimmer location)- Wires coming out of the box- 2 red, 2 black. (2 ground wires twisted together and pushed to the back and 2 white wires twisted together and capped off)
Oops, I read this as 2 red, 2 black coming out of the dimmer.

You are correct, there is no 4-way dimmer.
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Old 04-06-2013, 07:27 PM   #8
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3 way switch with 3 locations and 1 Dimmer


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Originally Posted by stickboy1375 View Post
Any digital switch can be dimmed at all locations.
While true, every one I've installed has needed a second electronic device in one of the other locations. It's not like you can simply switch out the 4 way switch with a 4 way dimmer.
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Old 04-07-2013, 02:18 PM   #9
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3 way switch with 3 locations and 1 Dimmer


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Originally Posted by k_buz View Post
While true, every one I've installed has needed a second electronic device in one of the other locations. It's not like you can simply switch out the 4 way switch with a 4 way dimmer.
I concur, thanks for the clarification...

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