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Old 07-16-2012, 04:40 PM   #1
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Wire to light/fan from 3 way switches always hot!


Hey everyone, we've remodeled much of our house and are wanting to install a fan in our living room. We've ran new 14-2 and 14-3 wires, everything (from what I understand) is ran correctly with switches hooked up correctly from diagrams found online....but 14-2 wire sticking out from our ceiling is always hot.

Here is the order

Hot is coming in to switch by our front door, with hot black wire connected to bottom black screw on 3 way switch (white wires nutted and ground connected to switch), 14-3 black and red wires are connected to top half of switch and ran to other 3 way switch. Black and red wires are connected to the top of this switch as well with the black from the 14-2 going to the light/fan connected to bottom screw (ground connected and whites nutted). When turn power on switches do nothing to control on/off hence wire sticking out from ceiling is always hot.

Obviously Im no master electrician but this should work shouldn't it? With all the whites nutted together causing a problem? I even replaced the switches to see but same result

Please help...before our house burns down Thanks!

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Old 07-16-2012, 05:06 PM   #2
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Wire to light/fan from 3 way switches always hot!


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Originally Posted by Guuby View Post
Hey everyone, we've remodeled much of our house and are wanting to install a fan in our living room. We've ran new 14-2 and 14-3 wires, everything (from what I understand) is ran correctly with switches hooked up correctly from diagrams found online....but 14-2 wire sticking out from our ceiling is always hot.

Here is the order

Hot is coming in to switch by our front door, with hot black wire connected to bottom black screw on 3 way switch (white wires nutted and ground connected to switch), 14-3 black and red wires are connected to top half of switch and ran to other 3 way switch. Black and red wires are connected to the top of this switch as well with the black from the 14-2 going to the light/fan connected to bottom screw (ground connected and whites nutted). When turn power on switches do nothing to control on/off hence wire sticking out from ceiling is always hot.

Obviously Im no master electrician but this should work shouldn't it? With all the whites nutted together causing a problem? I even replaced the switches to see but same result

Please help...before our house burns down Thanks!
You probably mixed up two different two wires in one of the boxes... Recheck each box, OR you ran the wire from the ceiling to someplace other than where it should have been landed... OR, just by chance, you have a bad switch... use a meter and verify your wiring though, thats why they make voltage meters...

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Old 07-16-2012, 06:20 PM   #3
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Wire to light/fan from 3 way switches always hot!


You are calling the screws top and bottom. That means nothing. The black wires you have connected to the "bottom" screws must be connected to the COMMON screw. That screw could be in any position depending on the brand of switch you have. It should be marked as COMMON or be black in colour.
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Old 07-16-2012, 06:32 PM   #4
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Wire to light/fan from 3 way switches always hot!


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You are calling the screws top and bottom. That means nothing. The black wires you have connected to the "bottom" screws must be connected to the COMMON screw. That screw could be in any position depending on the brand of switch you have. It should be marked as COMMON or be black in colour.
Even if the OP did that, the switch would still kill power to the ceiling light wire at some point.
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Old 07-22-2012, 11:32 AM   #5
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Wire to light/fan from 3 way switches always hot!


Black screw on bottom of the 3ways have always been the hot wires. I have a switch for an outside light right next to it and it works fine (coming from the same hot wire). Ive changed both 3way switches same bs happens. Crawled in attic and wires are all where they are supposed to be. It is set up just like the diagrams, there is no reason it shouldnt be working
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Old 07-22-2012, 12:50 PM   #6
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Wire to light/fan from 3 way switches always hot!


Ok, there is a common misconception about 3 ways.
How are checking vor voltage at fixture hook up?
If you are using a no contact detector it will show power no matter which position switches are in.

Your explanation appears to be correctly installed.
Hot comes to first 3 way to common screw
Then travelers from 14/3 wire goes from 1st 3 way to traveler screws on 2nd 3 way.
At 2nd 3 way black from another 14/2 wire goes from common screw to the fixture.

If this is how you ran it, try hooking a light up to test. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised

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