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Old 08-09-2011, 11:03 PM   #1
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Making sense of wiring


Any help on this would be greatly appreciated - the previous owner's replacement of switches was, let's say, random. Here is my puzzle:

It is a three way switch. The light fixture has been removed as well. I've currently got:

Switch 1 - a dimmer (three-way)
Box has one cable coming in with red, white, black

Switch 2 - non-dimmer three-way
Box has three cables entering:
Cable 1: red, white, black
Cable 2: red, white, black
Cable 3: white, black
All the blacks are connected together with a wire nut
Two of the whites are connected with a wire nut.
The other white is from the same cable as one of the reds

Ceiling box for the light
Three cables:
Cable 1: red, white, black
Cable 2: white, black
Cable 3: white, black
all whites connected together with a wire nut
all blacks connected together with a wire nut

My question is, how can I decipher what goes where!

Mainly, my problem is that however I think of it there is one cable too many at the light - is it just being used as a junction box to tee off to other points? If that is the case, then I should be able to:
Switch 1: black common, red/white travellers
Switch 2: red common, red/white travellers (pair from the same cable)
Box: red goes to the hot side of the lamp, other side goes in with the whites in the wire nut.

And, last thing, if I am right then the previous owner was wrong -does that mean the three-way dimmer is toast? I've heard they are damaged if wired incorrectly.

Thanks so much for any help!

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Old 08-09-2011, 11:15 PM   #2
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Making sense of wiring


Quote:
Originally Posted by camelot View Post
Any help on this would be greatly appreciated - the previous owner's replacement of switches was, let's say, random. Here is my puzzle:

It is a three way switch. The light fixture has been removed as well. I've currently got:

Switch 1 - a dimmer (three-way)
Box has one cable coming in with red, white, black

Switch 2 - non-dimmer three-way
Box has three cables entering:
Cable 1: red, white, black
Cable 2: red, white, black
Cable 3: white, black
All the blacks are connected together with a wire nut
Two of the whites are connected with a wire nut.
The other white is from the same cable as one of the reds

Ceiling box for the light
Three cables:
Cable 1: red, white, black
Cable 2: white, black
Cable 3: white, black
all whites connected together with a wire nut
all blacks connected together with a wire nut

My question is, how can I decipher what goes where!

Mainly, my problem is that however I think of it there is one cable too many at the light - is it just being used as a junction box to tee off to other points? If that is the case, then I should be able to:
Switch 1: black common, red/white travellers
Switch 2: red common, red/white travellers (pair from the same cable)
Box: red goes to the hot side of the lamp, other side goes in with the whites in the wire nut.

And, last thing, if I am right then the previous owner was wrong -does that mean the three-way dimmer is toast? I've heard they are damaged if wired incorrectly.

Thanks so much for any help!
Your dimmer is toast. The two 14/2's at the light are a feed in and a feed out. THe black of the 14/3 carries the feed down to the 3way switch and feeds to the other 3way switch via the black of the other 14/3. The red is the switch leg back. Replace the dimmer. Cable #3 at SW2 is a feed out.

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Last edited by electures; 08-09-2011 at 11:19 PM.
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