Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-07-2009, 08:58 AM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NW of D.C.
Posts: 5,990
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

FWIW, troubleshooting a setup with two 3-way switches


Assign each switch a number.
With switch #1 & switch #2 down, light is on or off?
With #1 up & #2 down, light is on or off?
With #1 down and #2 up, light is on or off?
With #1 & #2 up, light is on or off?

In principle, with the answers filled in, the problem(s) can be pinpointed.
Test cases welcome. . .

Yoyizit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2009, 12:12 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Columbia Heights/NE Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 86
Rewards Points: 75
Default

FWIW, troubleshooting a setup with two 3-way switches


If the light isn't OFF with both switches down (or both up), I flip one of them over, or trade the two wires on the output screws. Problem solved. Because I like consistency like that. :D

thegonagle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2009, 01:59 PM   #3
Newbie Bill
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,056
Rewards Points: 500
Default

FWIW, troubleshooting a setup with two 3-way switches


Quote:
Originally Posted by thegonagle View Post
If the light isn't OFF with both switches down (or both up), I flip one of them over, or trade the two wires on the output screws. Problem solved. Because I like consistency like that. :D
Is it as easy as that? Cause I have a couple of 3 ways like that.
drtbk4ever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2009, 02:06 PM   #4
My License Ain't 4 Sale..
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Atlanta, Ga/Hamilton, Al
Posts: 1,813
Rewards Points: 1,000
Default

FWIW, troubleshooting a setup with two 3-way switches


I like the lights to be off no matter what state the switches are in. So I just don't even hook the wires up to the switch.
InPhase277 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2009, 02:13 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NW of D.C.
Posts: 5,990
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

FWIW, troubleshooting a setup with two 3-way switches


Quote:
Originally Posted by InPhase277 View Post
I like the lights to be off no matter what state the switches are in. So I just don't even hook the wires up to the switch.
And for that they pay you the big bucks?
I'm in the wrong business!
Well. . .it is pretty safe that way. . .
Yoyizit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2009, 03:09 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Columbia Heights/NE Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 86
Rewards Points: 75
Default

FWIW, troubleshooting a setup with two 3-way switches


Quote:
Originally Posted by drtbk4ever View Post
Is it as easy as that? Cause I have a couple of 3 ways like that.
Well, yes. If there's enough slack in the wires and room in the box, why not just physically flip it over? And if there's not enough slack to do that comfortably, trade the two wires that are NOT the common connection (trade the two same-colored screws; leave the odd-colored one alone).

I like the lights to be off if they're both down because there's less confusion as to whether the socket is live when changing a light bulb. And there's less to think about if walking around to turn out all the lights; all the lights are off if every switch is down. But that's me. I don't think there's a rule, and I doubt most people care one little bit.
thegonagle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2009, 03:25 PM   #7
My License Ain't 4 Sale..
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Atlanta, Ga/Hamilton, Al
Posts: 1,813
Rewards Points: 1,000
Default

FWIW, troubleshooting a setup with two 3-way switches


Quote:
Originally Posted by thegonagle View Post
Well, yes. If there's enough slack in the wires and room in the box, why not just physically flip it over? And if there's not enough slack to do that comfortably, trade the two wires that are NOT the common connection (trade the two same-colored screws; leave the odd-colored one alone).

I like the lights to be off if they're both down because there's less confusion as to whether the socket is live when changing a light bulb. And there's less to think about if walking around to turn out all the lights; all the lights are off if every switch is down. But that's me. I don't think there's a rule, and I doubt most people care one little bit.
But... umm... The lights will be off when both switches are up as well. Trying to arrange 3-ways by up/down position is pretty pointless.
InPhase277 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2009, 03:27 PM   #8
My License Ain't 4 Sale..
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Atlanta, Ga/Hamilton, Al
Posts: 1,813
Rewards Points: 1,000
Default

FWIW, troubleshooting a setup with two 3-way switches


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
And for that they pay you the big bucks?
I'm in the wrong business!
Well. . .it is pretty safe that way. . .
I'm also running a special on receptacles. I'll install a non-working receptacle anywhere for $299.95, plus parts. $176.88 each if you want 10 or more.
InPhase277 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2009, 03:39 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Columbia Heights/NE Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 86
Rewards Points: 75
Default

FWIW, troubleshooting a setup with two 3-way switches


Quote:
Originally Posted by InPhase277 View Post
But... umm... The lights will be off when both switches are up as well. Trying to arrange 3-ways by up/down position is pretty pointless.
True. (And if one's up and the other's down, it will be on.) You say it's pointless, but I already admitted that I doubt most people care. I'll count you as one among "most."

I'm not an electrician, but if I was and was on a job, I probably wouldn't worry much about it. But in my home (and at my dad's, where I've spent hours upon hours working to modernize his 1960 electrical system), I like it the way I like it. But I am a perfectionist.
thegonagle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2009, 03:42 PM   #10
Newbie Bill
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,056
Rewards Points: 500
Default

FWIW, troubleshooting a setup with two 3-way switches


I care. You mean most people don't.

I have two 3way circuits where the lights are off when one switch is up and the other is down. That drives me NUTS.

I must be a little obsessive compulsive as I always ensure that both switches are in the DOWN position when the lights are off on the two 3way circuits that are installed correctly.

I was actually embarrassed to ask how to fix them.. Now I know.

Thanks guys.
drtbk4ever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2009, 04:45 PM   #11
My License Ain't 4 Sale..
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Atlanta, Ga/Hamilton, Al
Posts: 1,813
Rewards Points: 1,000
Default

FWIW, troubleshooting a setup with two 3-way switches


Quote:
Originally Posted by thegonagle View Post
True. (And if one's up and the other's down, it will be on.) You say it's pointless, but I already admitted that I doubt most people care. I'll count you as one among "most."

I'm not an electrician, but if I was and was on a job, I probably wouldn't worry much about it. But in my home (and at my dad's, where I've spent hours upon hours working to modernize his 1960 electrical system), I like it the way I like it. But I am a perfectionist.
I'm not sure how perfectionism comes into play. I mean, if you have a wiring preference, then it is moot. I mean, I always put my travelers on every switch in the same order, the red traveler on the left terminal if you are facing the switch. This way, all switches in the same box will be in the same state, when they are up or down. But saying that the lights are off when the switches are down, is meaningless, because they are off when both switches are up as well.

If you are at a switch, and to turn the light off you have to push the switch up, do instead run to the other switch and push it down, so they'll both be down? Kinda defeats the purpose of having a 3-way.
InPhase277 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2009, 07:46 PM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NW of D.C.
Posts: 5,990
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

FWIW, troubleshooting a setup with two 3-way switches


Quote:
Originally Posted by thegonagle View Post
But I am a perfectionist.
That's harder to fix than a 3-way
http://counseling4christians.com/Inc...fectionist.htm
Yoyizit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2009, 07:52 PM   #13
Newbie Bill
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,056
Rewards Points: 500
Default

FWIW, troubleshooting a setup with two 3-way switches


Quote:
Originally Posted by InPhase277 View Post
If you are at a switch, and to turn the light off you have to push the switch up, do instead run to the other switch and push it down, so they'll both be down?
umm yeah, but only when I am leaving the house. Isn't it bad luck to have the lights off with the switches in the up position?
drtbk4ever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2009, 08:02 PM   #14
electrician
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 326
Rewards Points: 250
Default

FWIW, troubleshooting a setup with two 3-way switches


Quote:
Originally Posted by thegonagle View Post
I like it the way I like it. But I am a perfectionist.

I have found that most "perfectionists" are just bored people with way to much time on their hands. I tend to look at things the way my old building trades teacher taught me, he always said "We aint building a piano here boys".

There are much more important, much more interesting or much more fun things to do with your time than worry about 3 ways being up or down.
Silk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2009, 08:18 PM   #15
Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Brooklyn, New York (NYC)
Posts: 1,124
Rewards Points: 500
Default

FWIW, troubleshooting a setup with two 3-way switches


Try and tell THAT to a customer....

spark plug is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
4 way switch troubleshooting DOITRIGHTTHEFIRSTTIME Electrical 25 05-07-2009 10:36 AM
Switches - Just Checking fuzzmartin Electrical 7 10-06-2008 01:48 PM
50+ year old home-all light switches one-way? mudpaw Electrical 13 06-22-2008 01:57 PM
light switches wired in series -- why? magnolia Electrical 2 05-11-2008 11:16 AM
Need help replacing switches in four-way circuit magnolia Electrical 3 05-09-2008 09:40 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.