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Old 10-10-2009, 11:04 AM   #1
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3-Way Switch. Help!


Greetings,

I recently had a contractor in my house doing some minor remodeling and painting. The work required the contractor to move a light switch about a foot on a wall in my kitchen. The lights in my kitchen are controlled from two switches at opposite ends of the room.

Here is the problem. One of the switches MUST be on for either switch to work. If I turn on the lights from that switch the other switch does nothing. If however, it is in the 'correct' position, the other switch works normally.

The contractor tried, to no avail, to fix this and played with both switches. Therefore, we can't assume that the switch which was not moved is fine and that the other one is the only one which is messed up.

I have a multimeter that can check continuity if that will help. How do I diagnose and fix this problem?

Thanks in advance.

Torch

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Old 10-10-2009, 11:08 AM   #2
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3-Way Switch. Help!


You need to open both switches and tell us how the wires are connected. Make special note of which wire is on the common screw. The common screw will be different colour from the others, usually black.

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Old 10-10-2009, 11:22 AM   #3
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3-Way Switch. Help!


Thanks for the quick response.

OK, here is what I see.

On the switch that only works when the 'master' switch is on there are three wires and three terminals. The single terminal on the left side (silver screw) has a red wire connected to it. The right side has two terminals (one black and one gold colored) and they each have a single black wire on them.

The other switch (the master switch that has to be in a certain position for the other switch to work) is the same type of switch and has the same connections with the exception being that the black screw has an additional black wir attached to it (for a total of 4 wires).

Would you like a picture?

Last edited by Torch; 10-10-2009 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 10-10-2009, 01:44 PM   #4
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3-Way Switch. Help!


Torch this video might help you out good video
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Old 10-10-2009, 01:54 PM   #5
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3-Way Switch. Help!


the one switch box you should have power (feed) and a three wire red,black,white,ground tie your grounds together and leave a pistail to ground swith Next tie you whites together with a wire nut and tuck into box.The black (feed) wire will go on the common screw on three way the other red an black goon either side on the silver screws.The other box you should have a 12-3 and a 12-2 goes to light put that on the common screw the white from the 12-2 and 12-3 wirenut together and tuck in box .Your ground do the same thing pigtail and ground switch the other 2 wires you have left are from the 12-3 wire red and black they go on the silver screws hope that helped.
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Old 10-10-2009, 03:40 PM   #6
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3-Way Switch. Help!


Need to know all the wires in the switch boxes and which cables they come from if more than one. Don't care about right, left, up, down on the switch only care about the common connection which is the black one.

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