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Old 07-24-2010, 01:55 PM   #1
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3 way switch replacement


Hello. I'm replacing a 3 way wall switch and need some help figuring out how to wire it. Unfortunately, I don't have the original switch but I got a replacement that I think should work. It has 2 terminals on one side (one marked common,) and one terminal on the other side.

Out of the wall, there are 3 black wires and one whilte wire. I know the hot wire goes to common but I'm not sure what to do with the other 3 wires. I checked the other switch that controls the light and it only has 2 black wires and 1 white wire!? So, I can't copy what was done on it because the switch I'm working on has an additional black wire.

Can someone help with this?

Thanks!

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Old 07-24-2010, 02:08 PM   #2
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Do you happen to have the ability to take and post a picture of this box?

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Old 07-24-2010, 02:20 PM   #3
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3 way switch replacement


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Do you happen to have the ability to take and post a picture of this box?
Here are two pics. The one of the switch is the NEW switch. I have it currenly wired as shown and I forgot one thing that might be important. It actually works the way it's wired now, but ONLY if the other switch is turned on. Otherwise, flipping the swtich does nothing.
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3 way switch replacement-127_0406.jpg   3 way switch replacement-127_0407.jpg  
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Old 07-24-2010, 11:25 PM   #4
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3 way switch replacement


Can't help you solve the problem you orginally asked, next time you should mark the wires before takeing them off the switch.

Couple things i noticed in the picture though, the way you have the white wire is not correct, that wire should be bent and put on the screw in a clockwise direction and then tighten down. It also looks like you may have backstabbed the other connections, nothing in code says you can't do it but i have heard more problems about those then good things.
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Old 07-25-2010, 12:26 PM   #5
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3 way switch replacement


What about the rest of the wires in the box. If you have two blacks you should have two whites.
Your description of the operation indicates the wrong wire is on the common.
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Old 07-25-2010, 12:35 PM   #6
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It seems as if instead of running a 3-wire they ran (2) 2-wires (which is against code in this situation). Usually they would cap one of the wires off. Open up the other switchbox and see if any wire is not being used.

I agree with darren, you really have to mark the wires (or take pictures) before taking apart older devices.
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Old 07-25-2010, 02:31 PM   #7
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Try installing the (2) black wires from the right side both on the "common" terminal; connect the remaining white and black wires on the other 2 terminals ....
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Old 07-25-2010, 06:20 PM   #8
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Try installing the (2) black wires from the right side both on the "common" terminal; connect the remaining white and black wires on the other 2 terminals ....
Does it matter which terminals the white and black go to?
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Old 07-25-2010, 06:26 PM   #9
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Does it matter which terminals the white and black go to?
Nope.
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Old 07-25-2010, 06:43 PM   #10
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That worked! Thanks very much.

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