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Old 05-04-2009, 09:54 PM   #1
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3 way switch problems


Just installed 3 recessed lights and having trouble with the 3 way circuit.

I followed the diagram below. I do not seem to have power at the first light or any. I do have power from switch to switch through travelers and commons. Any ideas on what this is. Im using quick connects that was on the halo 5" cans that came with.
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Old 05-04-2009, 10:08 PM   #2
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3 way switch problems


Ok, think I can Help. 3-ways are very simple Travelers are just that. They transfer power between terminals on the switches only. They are only connected to the silver or gold screws on the switches and thats all. The black terminals on the switches are for power and switch leg or wire that goes to power the light. Does that diagram really match your wiring?

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Old 05-04-2009, 10:38 PM   #3
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3 way switch problems


I believe so , the switch doesn't have different color terminals just 2 up top and one on bottom. The only thing i can think of right now prob mess with it in the morning. The way the diagram shows the travelers kind of confusing on the ground situation, are they suppose to be grounded with everything? Such as where the -3 branches into -2 on both ends i have them all tied together on the ground part on either end.

on the common part, i have the switch with the power source neutral and ground heading to the first light, and the hot and ground coming from the last light to the 2nd switch.

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Old 05-04-2009, 11:03 PM   #4
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3 way switch problems


Common is power and switch leg terminal. diagram will work but I dont think its correct. Normally the 3 wire runs from one switch to the other with the blacks and reds connected to the traveler terminals and power to one common which should be black and the switch leg going to the lights on the other switch goes on the common and is also black. If you have really do have a 2 wire traveler you would have a black and white wire on the travelers and you wouldn't need a 3 wire to your lights. If thid is the case don't use red wire. Sounds like you need to verify where these wires are coming from and going to. All grounds connect together and all neutrals connect together unless you do have a 2 wire traveler.
Hope this helps.

Last edited by RenoDon; 05-04-2009 at 11:08 PM.
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Old 05-05-2009, 06:15 AM   #5
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3 way switch problems


Maybe this will help...

Pay attention to all wiring connections. Re-identify the white wire with black whenever it is not being used as a neutral.

The white (neutral) from the source goes directly to the load.
The black (hot) from the source goes to the common terminal of one of the switches.
The black of the load goes to the common terminal of the other switch.
The travelers get hooked up to the traveler terminals.

3 way switches will have 2 of their terminal screws 'a like color' (the same color) and the common terminal screw will be an 'odd' color (a different color than the other 2), and/or the switch will be stamped 'common' next to the common terminal.
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:04 AM   #6
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3 way switch problems


i believe thats how i have it,

I have first switch where the hot is from the incoming power to the common, and the nuetral is going strait to the first light. The travelers are connected from one switch to the other. The black wire coming from the last light goes to the common on the 2nd switch.

I have power at the last light on the black wire. But using a cheap voltage tester g/f got me only lights up doesn't say how much voltage. I can only get the light to turn on if i have the other test lead to the ground. If i put the other test lead to the nuetral nothing happens.
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:40 AM   #7
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3 way switch problems


YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY i fixed it

i was pulling my hair out for a long time to have it be something stupid

the neutral wire from the halo can wasn't even stripped (from halo) and the hot wire on the first can the quick connect was cracked....

and to think i dug in lowes for a while trying to find a can that didn't seem messed up
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Old 05-05-2009, 11:31 AM   #8
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3 way switch problems


I have first switch where the hot is from the incoming power to the common, and the nuetral is going strait to the first light. The travelers are connected from one switch to the other. The black wire coming from the last light goes to the common on the 2nd switch.


How the heck did you accomplish this? You ran switch legs to both switches??? Condit from SW1,L,L,L,SW2?

I am glad it is "fixed" but something seems wrong here.

Typically the neutral in the first switch box would tie to the white in the 3 wire and attach to the neutral which is in the switch leg in the second switch box.
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Old 05-05-2009, 11:42 AM   #9
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3 way switch problems


Congrats, you did well.
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Old 05-05-2009, 12:15 PM   #10
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3 way switch problems


Quote:
Originally Posted by 220/221 View Post
I have first switch where the hot is from the incoming power to the common, and the nuetral is going strait to the first light. The travelers are connected from one switch to the other. The black wire coming from the last light goes to the common on the 2nd switch.


How the heck did you accomplish this? You ran switch legs to both switches??? Condit from SW1,L,L,L,SW2?

I am glad it is "fixed" but something seems wrong here.

Typically the neutral in the first switch box would tie to the white in the 3 wire and attach to the neutral which is in the switch leg in the second switch box.
im not exactly sure what your meaning im sure i messed up in my explanation

But this is how it is ran

14-2 Power goes to switch one - black goes to the common on sw1
-Nuetral is tied to the 14-3 off sw1
14-3 goes to (2) 14-2 wires
-Neutral from power source goes to the first light
-Ground goes to the ground on the light/switch
then the red and black from sw1 goes to the black and white on the second 14-2 which goes to the 14-3 coming off sw2 red/black
-Nuetral stops at the last light
-Black off the last light goes to the common on sw2
-red/black from the other 14-2 goes to the the travelers


is this right? i want to make sure and have no problems later down the road


Last edited by ford2fast9; 05-05-2009 at 12:24 PM.
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