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Old 12-12-2009, 11:22 AM   #1
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3-way switch wiring problem


there is a three way switch set up in the hallway of a house i just bought. the problem is this...when you turn the light on from one location, it can only be turned off from that same location. when you attempt to turn it off from the other location, it remains on. once off, you can turn it on at either location, but then it must be turned off only at the same switch used to turn it on. i cant figure out a mis-wiring that would produce this, unless there was more than one hot wire. when i pulled the switches out of the boxes, the wire colors make no sense either. one switch has a red, a black, and a white. the other has a white and two blacks. it would make sense that the red is hot, one black and the white are the common wires, and second black would go to the light. but the black wire coming into the light is always hot even the switches have been disconnected. also when i disconnected the switches and separted the wires, i turned the power back and checked the wires with a voltage dectector. the first switch all wires are showing as hot (red, white and black) the other switch, the white and one black are hot, and the other black is not beeping as hot. could this be?

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Old 12-12-2009, 11:51 AM   #2
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3-way switch wiring problem


http://www.dropshots.com/stubbie4#al...11-23/19:34:58

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Old 12-12-2009, 12:43 PM   #3
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3-way switch wiring problem


Tell us all the wire connections in both switches and the fixture. Maybe we can figure this out.
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Old 12-12-2009, 12:56 PM   #4
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3-way switch wiring problem


This might also help
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Old 12-12-2009, 04:23 PM   #5
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3-way switch wiring problem


i actually forgot the way it was originally wired since i took it apart to try and redo it. but one box has a red, a white, and a black, the other box has, one white and two blacks, and the light box has a white and black wire coming into it.
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Old 12-12-2009, 04:38 PM   #6
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3-way switch wiring problem


i watched the vid. i know how to wire them. its just this situation is unusual. ive wired one from scratch before in a house i remodeled. but this one, there is not a 3-12 wire running between the switches. maybe there is a junction somewhere in the wall. but in the box with the two black wires, there is 2 2-12 wired tapped together. the red wire only appears once in the other box. but in thinking about all the ways to wire it wrong, i cant come up with a scenerario that would produce the result i was describing above.
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Old 12-12-2009, 04:45 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by drewhart View Post
i watched the vid. i know how to wire them. its just this situation is unusual. ive wired one from scratch before in a house i remodeled. but this one, there is not a 3-12 wire running between the switches. maybe there is a junction somewhere in the wall. but in the box with the two black wires, there is 2 2-12 wired tapped together. the red wire only appears once in the other box. but in thinking about all the ways to wire it wrong, i cant come up with a scenerario that would produce the result i was describing above.
Without testing everything i have no clue. Maybe someone else will have an idea.In the light box you only have 1 white 1 black and 1 ground ? something dosn't sound right sorry cant help.
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Old 12-12-2009, 07:08 PM   #8
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3-way switch wiring problem


I will give you a method to rewire without reference to wire color. You will need a voltage tester.

Turn the power of and remove both switches and clear the wire ends. Turn the power on and test the 3 leads in each box. One (and only one) will be hot (110VAC). Turn the power off and connect the hot lead to the common of the 3 way switch (usually marked black). Connect the other 2 leads to the traveler terminals on that switch. Turn the power on, go to the other box and test for power, the hot lead will be a traveler. Flip the switch and test for power in the other box, the hot lead will be the other traveler. The third lead will be the common for that switch. Turn the power back off and install the switch with the leads you have identified.
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Old 12-12-2009, 10:59 PM   #9
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3-way switch wiring problem


Somethings missing from your wire count. You have a red in one switch box but no red in the fixture or other switch. There has to be a red in one of those boxes or there is another junction box somewhre that you need to find and tell us the wires.
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Old 12-13-2009, 06:15 AM   #10
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3-way switch wiring problem


Since there is a red in one switch and none in the other or at the fixture, there must be an intermediate junction box some where
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Old 12-13-2009, 11:14 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by drewhart View Post
i actually forgot the way it was originally wired since i took it apart to try and redo it. but one box has a red, a white, and a black, the other box has, one white and two blacks, and the light box has a white and black wire coming into it.
Thats it! He decided to change a switch for some reason and did not mark the wires.
Call an electrician. Maybe a couple hundred dollars might help you to remember to mark any wires you take loose.
I was wondering why all of a sudden a three way switch loop quit working. Now I know why.
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Old 12-14-2009, 10:04 AM   #12
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3-way switch wiring problem


No other wires tucked in the back of the boxes??
In each box can you tell us how many cables there are?
By chance is there more than one hall light?

The big thing that has me miffed is the missing other end of the Red wire, we kinda need to fins it.

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Old 12-14-2009, 10:08 AM   #13
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No other wires tucked in the back of the boxes??
The big thing that has me miffed is the missing other end of the Red wire, we kinda need to find it.

R
Edit,,,,

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