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Old 11-27-2012, 02:44 AM   #1
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Light switch question


I dont know much about electrical but this might be an easy one for you guys.

Im trying to do this by memory so bare with me...

Lets imagine a hallway light that is connected to 2 switche. One at point A of the hallway and one at point B of the hallway.

When switch A is down and B is up the light is OFF and switch B wont function (wont turn light on/off)
When switch A is up and B is up the light is ON and either switch will turn the light off
But, When switch B is down and switch A is up the light is OFF and switch A wont function

Hopefully you can understand what im trying to say here.

This doesnt seem right to me. obviously the wiring for these 2 switches are connected to the same light.

Is a wrong switch installed or is this common?

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Old 11-27-2012, 05:34 AM   #2
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Light switch question


It is not common.
To control the light from 2 locations you need 3 way switches that generally have 3 wires connect to the switch.(black,red&white.).

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Old 11-27-2012, 05:39 AM   #3
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Light switch question


Do you think 3 ways can be added? I'm not sure what it looks like behind the switch
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:45 AM   #4
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Light switch question


Do the switches have "ON" and "OFF" on them or are they blank? Sounds like you have a 3-way setup that was wired wrong when someone changed switches
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:56 AM   #5
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Light switch question


Has it ever worked correctly? If was working and stopped working (and no one has changed anything), then 1 of the switches is bad.
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:44 PM   #6
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Light switch question


It sounds like you have single pole switches installed instead of three ways. You need three way switches to make this work. Turn off the power and pull the switches out but co not disconnect any wires. Tell us what you see or take some pictures and post them.
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:46 PM   #7
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Light switch question


There are plenty of 3-way switch articles and diagrams on this forum. Look at this post:

3-way switch

Last edited by hammerlane; 11-27-2012 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:16 PM   #8
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Light switch question


Looking at both the switches they look the same.. Top left has a red wire, bottom left is a bare copper wire, top right is a black wire and bottom right is a black wire.. I did not pull the switch out of the box, but heres some pics...

Any ideas?
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:38 PM   #9
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Light switch question


Those are cooper 3ways that look recently installed.
You seem to be avoiding the subject in spite of questions like "did they ever work"

We can't tell which black is which from your pics. You need to pull the switches out (leaving wires connected) and take the pics again so we can see the cables and wires in the box.
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:39 PM   #10
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Light switch question


Is the black in the cable with the red on the brass or black screw? If it is on the black, move it to the brass. Restore power and test.
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:47 PM   #11
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Light switch question


Quote:
Originally Posted by Oso954 View Post
Those are cooper 3ways that look recently installed.
You seem to be avoiding the subject in spite of questions like "did they ever work"

We can't tell which black is which from your pics. You need to pull the switches out (leaving wires connected) and take the pics again so we can see the cables and wires in the box.
This is a new construction home. It's been like this since day 1.

I'll take the switch out of the wall and take a picture of it. I'll have it up in a couple hours.
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:37 PM   #12
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Light switch question


You most likely have one of 4 situations for your 3-way switch/light configuration:
1. power into switch location----light----other switch location

2. power into switch location----other switch location----then light

3. power into light location-----traveler cable to switch----- traveler cable to other switch

4. a variation of #3 but here the traveler cables for the switches are run to/from the light location


Do not get to hung up on the color of the wire insulation in as much as the function of the wire. I do not show any ground wires just for ease of drawing.
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