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Old 02-12-2013, 08:53 AM   #1
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Need held fixing a 3 way switch wiring mess.


In box #1 I have a one pole switch and a three way switch. In this box i have 3 cables :

14/2 that connect into the one pole switch.
12/3 that goes to box #2 where the second 3 way switch is located
12/3 that goes to my light fixture

The power that feed the 3 way setup comes from tapping into the 14/2 black wire that connect into the single pole switch in box #1.

In the box of the light fixture I got the 12/3 cable from box #1 and a 14/2 cable that must exit with power since it goes feeding a series of wall outlet that are NOT controlled by the 3 way switch.

I will spare to you the details on the actual wiring of the two 3 way switches that are now functioning but only if the two switches are on the ON position. They are not doing what they should do.

The original job has been done by the electrician who originally wired the house when it was build in 1989.

PS sorry if I made some spelling errors English is my second language.

Thanks.

Read more: http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...#ixzz2KgyELtbG


Last edited by sebrous; 02-12-2013 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:01 AM   #2
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Need held fixing a 3 way switch wiring mess.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sebrous View Post
The original (3 way switching) job has been done by the electrician who originally wired the house when it was build in 1989.
And it all worked just fine up until when?
What has changed or been changed since then?

Quote:
14/2 that connect into the one pole switch.
12/3 that goes to box #2 where the second 3 way switch is located
12/3 that goes to my light fixture
hmmm...

120V power, from whatever source, finds it's way to the first 3way switch.
From there a 3wire cable runs to the second 3way switch.
From there the power finds it's way to the lights.


Last edited by TarheelTerp; 02-12-2013 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:08 AM   #3
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Need held fixing a 3 way switch wiring mess.


It is not really working how a 3 way switch should work.

If I flip the first 3 way, the light opens. If I flip the second 3 way the light closes.

The problem is that if I try to flip back switch 1 nothing happen I have to go back to flip switch 2.

It goes against the definition of a three way switch. I mean don't do it if it has to be that annoying.
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:13 AM   #4
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Need held fixing a 3 way switch wiring mess.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TarheelTerp View Post
And it all worked just fine up until when?
What has changed or been changed since then?

hmmm...

120V power, from whatever source, finds it's way to the first 3way switch.
From there a 3wire cable runs to the second 3way switch.
From there the power finds it's way to the lights.
The first 3 way finds its power by tapping to the single pole switch. The power goes to the light from one of the two 3 wire cable in box #1 the second one (3 wire), goes to 3 way switch #2.
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:54 AM   #5
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Need held fixing a 3 way switch wiring mess.


Here's a quick hand drawn diagram

http://img825.imageshack.us/img825/2909/imagekyv.jpg
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:08 AM   #6
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Need held fixing a 3 way switch wiring mess.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sebrous View Post
It is not really working how a 3 way switch should work.
We'll get to that.

Lets start with figuring out what WAS installed...
and what worked since 1987.

HOW did the switching work?
What has changed or been changed since you got involved?

How many switches mount into Box #1?
Are any other lights controlled from that box?

Last edited by TarheelTerp; 02-12-2013 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:12 AM   #7
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Need held fixing a 3 way switch wiring mess.


Nothing changed this is the original install. I don't know why but this how they originally installed it.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:15 AM   #8
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Need held fixing a 3 way switch wiring mess.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TarheelTerp View Post

How many switches mount into Box #1?
Are any other lights controlled from that box?
One regular switch. The power is tapped from that switch.
One 3 way switch that control one light fixture.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:34 AM   #9
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Need held fixing a 3 way switch wiring mess.


1. what is attached to terminals of the single pole switch
2.what is the function of the red conductor at box #1 and the light fixture??
3. what does the single switch control

Also when you say the power is tapped to the 3-way switch from the single switch, do you mean the 3-way switch in the same box as the single switch is getting the power to its common terminal?


Or like in the diagram below, the 3-way switch by itself is getting the power and the 3-way with the single switch is taking the switched power to the light?
Attached Thumbnails
Need held fixing a 3 way switch wiring mess.-1-r.jpg  

Last edited by hammerlane; 02-12-2013 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:44 AM   #10
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Need held fixing a 3 way switch wiring mess.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hammerlane View Post
1. what is attached to terminals of the single pole switch
The white wire from the 14/2 cable.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:50 AM   #11
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Need held fixing a 3 way switch wiring mess.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sebrous View Post
The white wire from the 14/2 cable.

Is there a neutral wire anywhere in box #1? If so What cable does it come from?

What is the function of the red conductor at box #1 and the light fixture??

What does the single switch control

Also when you say the power is tapped to the 3-way switch from the single switch, do you mean the 3-way switch in the same box as the single switch is getting the power to its common terminal?
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:53 AM   #12
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Need held fixing a 3 way switch wiring mess.


If it help you to understand I will show you the rest of the wiring very shortly.
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:03 AM   #13
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Need held fixing a 3 way switch wiring mess.


It may. Depends on how detailed you are with identifying hot wires and neutral wires
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:19 AM   #14
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Need held fixing a 3 way switch wiring mess.


Easiest way for you to remedy this is to know how a 3-way switch circuit function. Below are 4-basic diagrams. They differ by where the power enters the circuit and the positioning of the switches.

diagram 1 is power into a switch then load-switch
diagram 2 is power into a switch then switch-load
diagram 3 is power into the load where the switches are after the load
diagram 4 is power into the load where the switches are between the load

someone from the code police may yell that some of the diagrams do not have a neutral at each switch location
Attached Thumbnails
Need held fixing a 3 way switch wiring mess.-1-sw-lo-sw.jpg   Need held fixing a 3 way switch wiring mess.-2-switch-switch-load.jpg   Need held fixing a 3 way switch wiring mess.-3-lo-sw-sw.jpg   Need held fixing a 3 way switch wiring mess.-4-load-sw-sw.jpg  
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:31 AM   #15
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Need held fixing a 3 way switch wiring mess.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hammerlane View Post
It may. Depends on how detailed you are with identifying hot wires and neutral wires
Here's the new diagram.

http://img189.imageshack.us/img189/1975/imagedar.jpg

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