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Old 06-08-2019, 04:09 PM   #1
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3 way switch blues


So I’m in the middle of painting walls and I take my hallway lights down. Two lights are connected to 2 switched, both have a ground, neutral, and power. Well I finish painting and go to reconnect the lights and nothing. Both lights show 120v to them, but won’t turn on. I temporarily jumped the neutral wire from another room to one light and it came on. Everything is connected and snug in the light switch boxes
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Old 06-08-2019, 04:14 PM   #2
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Re: 3 way switch blues


How many cables did you have at the light boxes and what colour were the wires?
Did you mess with the switch wiring too?
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Old 06-08-2019, 04:20 PM   #3
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No I didn’t mess with the switch wires. It has a hot, 2 traveler wires, a ground, and a neutral. The neutrals from both switches are connected and tucked in the back of the switch boxes. I pulled them out and made sure that they were tight trying to troubleshoot but that’s all
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Old 06-08-2019, 04:47 PM   #4
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Re: 3 way switch blues


There are five ways a set of 3-way switches can be wired.
The question was "How many cables did you have at the light boxes and what colour were the wires?"
A wire is a wire, a cable is two or more wires in an outer covering.
The white wire is often used as a hot conductor in 3-way switch wiring.


If you truly did not make any changes at the switches you most likely mistook a white wire used in wiring the switches for the true neutral.
Please answer the question as ask. You said you have two light fixtures. Answer the question for each fixture.
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Old 06-08-2019, 04:48 PM   #5
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Black- hot
Bare- Ground
Brown/Tan- Neutral
Black & Red- both travelers
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:09 PM   #6
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2 cables coming into both switch boxes. One cable has ground, tan, black, and red. Other cable ground, tan, and black. As far as the light fixtures one has 2 cables and the other has one. The ones with two cables has tan, black and ground on both cables. The other lighting fixture has one set of cables with only a black wire, ground, and tan
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:23 PM   #7
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Re: 3 way switch blues


Are they tan or discolored whites? Likely scenario black and red to fixture black at location one. Black to fixture black at location two.
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:29 PM   #8
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Re: 3 way switch blues


Two possibilities there may be more.


Notice the black marks on the white used for power, the black marks or tape may not be there even if it should be.
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3 way switch blues-50.jpg   3 way switch blues-51.jpg  
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Last edited by Nealtw; 06-08-2019 at 05:31 PM.
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:33 PM   #9
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How do I upload images?
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:36 PM   #10
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Here are pictures of the two switches
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3 way switch blues-3f669193-a81f-49c7-a900-ba763b3a3744_1560029721754.jpg   3 way switch blues-16c318ee-dfa6-4b7e-885a-4028afae0a1f_1560029738922.jpg  
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:55 PM   #11
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Re: 3 way switch blues


What colour is the third wire?
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:56 PM   #12
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Re: 3 way switch blues


Often there is just a 2 wire between the lights?
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Old 06-08-2019, 06:02 PM   #13
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Re: 3 way switch blues


I think you have this, notice that the whites are hard to see because they have black stripes on them.
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Old 06-08-2019, 06:07 PM   #14
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The third wire on the other side of the switch? It’s also black.
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Old 06-08-2019, 06:09 PM   #15
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Re: 3 way switch blues


Quote:
Originally Posted by DRuben91 View Post
The third wire on the other side of the switch? Its also black.
How many cables come into that box, is one of those blacks a pigtail joined to a white.
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