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Old 07-17-2015, 08:35 PM   #1
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3 Way Switch Issue


I ran into another issue with a 3 way switch I need some help with.

Here is my test...

switch 1 - 3 way dimmer
  1. turned power on and identified the hot wire (black)
  2. turned the power off and plugged the hot wire to the common
  3. twisted the other two together

switch 2 - 3 way switch
  1. verified no power to to this switch on the 3 wires
  2. used a multimeter and ran a continuity test
  3. received a tone touching the red and white wire.
  4. attached the black to the common
  5. attached the other two travelers

went back to switch 1 and inserted the two travelers
turned on power

Result:

If switch 2 is on, I can turn on and dim from switch 1. If I turn switch 2 off, switch 1 is dead. This makes no sense!!!! What am I missing??

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Old 07-17-2015, 09:36 PM   #2
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Quote:
If switch 2 is on, I can turn on and dim from switch 1. If I turn switch 2 off, switch 1 is dead. This makes no sense!!!! What am I missing??
switch 1 is dead at all terminals (to a known good ground)?

switch 2 will have nothing to do with power at switch 1. You have hot going into 1 and out on one or the other traveler. Then it goes to switch 2 via whatever traveler is hot. Depending on how the switch 2 is set you have output on the common at 2 or not. Switching 2 will alter the state.

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Old 07-17-2015, 10:11 PM   #3
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Careful about that three way switch. Some have the switched terminals on the same side of the switch and some of them on opposite sides.

It is possible that you have the hot and travelers miswired. Check the switch with your ohmmeter and proceed accordingly.
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Old 07-17-2015, 10:14 PM   #4
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There are multiple configurations that can make three way switch wiring confusing, depending on which switch is on the power end of the circuit and where the light is located in relation to those switches.
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Old 07-18-2015, 02:36 PM   #5
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ok this is the third time I am posting this. Token issues on this forum.

I retested everything again and still no luck. Switch 1 the black wire was hot. I connected it to the black screw. I then connected the red to the blue wire and white to brass and connected the ground. I then disconnected switch 2 completely and turned on the power. The light would not turn on. I am assuming the circuit is not complete?

I then went to switch 2 and connected the black to the black screw and the red and white to the brass screws and then I connected the ground. I verified again that the red and white were travelers based on a connectivity test.

When I turned the power on, if switch 2 is on, everything works. If switch 2 is off, switch one will not work.

What is going on here???? This should work lol. This is the switch I am using without the companion. The other switch is just a 3-way paddle switch.

http://www.lowes.com/pd_161308-539-M...AID=1422429275
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Old 07-18-2015, 03:45 PM   #6
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That switch does not wire like a normal 3 way when you use a regular 3 way at the far end. Look at the diagram with the switch. Ask me how I know😧
At the regular 3 way, there is only a connection to the common and 1 of the travelers. Look at the diagram.
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Last edited by rjniles; 07-18-2015 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 07-18-2015, 06:24 PM   #7
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That dimmer does not connect like a regular three way.
Connect the live wire to the common and to one of the traveller wires to the other switch.
Connect the other traveller to one of the traveller screws.
Leave the other traveller screw empty.

At the dimmer
Connect the live wire to the black wire.
Connect the traveller to the blue wire.
Connect the lighting load to the brass terminal.

Diagram is here on page 4

http://www.lutron.com/TechnicalDocum...ry/369613a.pdf
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Old 07-18-2015, 09:31 PM   #8
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Thanks again for the replies all.

@joed - A picture is worth a 100 words they say so I have attached a few lol. I looked at the diagram and tried what I thought was the correct config and then tried many more possible combos with no luck.

Based on the attached images, what do you guys suggest?

From the looks of the diagram, the second switch black wire should be capped off. White remains on black and then red is connected in one of the remaining two spots. Sound right?

Dimmer:
you can see:
black wire on black screw
white on brass
red on blue
and ground




2nd switch (latest test version 1,368)
Before I was going black wire on black screw and that was not working either. The below setup I can dim the lights and turn it on providing switch 2 is on. In other words, same results as the 500 other tests I have run.


Last edited by xDazedx; 07-18-2015 at 09:50 PM.
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Old 07-18-2015, 09:55 PM   #9
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You should only have two wires connected to the 3 way switch.

Connect the white with the black on the common screw.
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Old 07-18-2015, 09:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joed View Post
You should only have two wires connected to the 3 way switch.

Connect the white with the black on the common screw.
Thanks Joe

ok so:

red in one of the two remaining terminals
connect black and white together and attach to the common
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Old 07-19-2015, 05:09 PM   #11
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Joe - I changed the non-dimmer switch so that black and white were on the black screw. I was not able to dim the light or turn it off from the dimmer. I then switched the location of the red wire and the same result.

Ready to punt on this one lol.

Appreciate the help.
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Old 07-19-2015, 05:22 PM   #12
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Let's start over with the wires.

At the dimmer you should have
red on blue screw.
Live black on black screw.
white on brass screw.

At the 3way switch you should have
white and black to the COMMON screw
red on one of the traveller screws.
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Old 07-19-2015, 06:04 PM   #13
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Thanks Joe. That is exactly what I had. I did not touch the dimmer so it is the same as the pix above. The 3-way switch I just added the black and white to the common and the red I tried in both travelers. <bangs head on wall>

looking at that diagram, it looks like black is only on the dimmer and not on the 3-way at all. It looks like the 3-way only has white to common and red to traveller. Am I seeing that right?

Last edited by xDazedx; 07-19-2015 at 06:21 PM.
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Old 07-19-2015, 09:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
the red I tried in both travelers
What do you mean by this? The red should only connect to one of the traveller screws. The other one is left empty.
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Old 07-19-2015, 10:16 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joed View Post
What do you mean by this? The red should only connect to one of the traveller screws. The other one is left empty.
I tried one screw and when that did not work I put it on the other. Same result.

Looking at the diagram that you posted though...

The dimmer should have:
black on black
white on brass
red on blue

3-way
black on black
red on brass
white not connected


I have not tried this yet but does that look right?

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