DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum (https://www.diychatroom.com/)
-   Electrical (https://www.diychatroom.com/f18/)
-   -   Another 3-way switch problem. (https://www.diychatroom.com/f18/another-3-way-switch-problem-61936/)

speedster1 01-15-2010 02:35 PM

Another 3-way switch problem.
 
1 Attachment(s)
I'm in the process of gradually replacing my old brown colored switched with modern white switches. I have a standard 3-way switch setup that controlls an overhead light. The switches are old "NO-KLIK" style switches and none of the screws are labeled. There however is one darker screw on each swithc I assumed was the common.

When replacing these with modern Leviton switches I hooked them up the same way they came off and now they don't work. I labeled every wire that came off and did not mix anything up. On "switch 1" I had a black, white, and red wire. The black was on the common and the red was also on the same side as the common. White wired was on opposite side by itself. In switch 2 there are 2 black wires and one white. (Obviously theres a junction somewhere). On switch 2 the white wire was on the common and the two blacks where travellers. Before taking the blacks off the old switch I labeled one fo them with silver tape in order to keep them organized.

After hooking them up there way I thought they should be they didn't work. I took all wires off the switches, turned the power back on and tested each wire with a voltage sensor. On switch 1 a black and white wire showed live voltage. WTF? On switch 2 all three wires showed live voltage! So I'm wondering if my voltage sensor is falsly picking up voltage on all the wires because they are bundled together or what the heck is going on? Maybe I'll try a multimeter to read actual voltage.

I've included a diagram of the old switches. I would think directly replacing them with the Levitron switches would've made things work fine.

joed 01-15-2010 03:00 PM

The common is the important screw. You must put the same wire on the common screw as was on the old switch. You can not move the wires by postition.

speedster1 01-15-2010 03:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joed (Post 383385)
The common is the important screw. You must put the same wire on the common screw as was on the old switch. You can not move the wires by postition.

I swear that is what I did. I even had them labeled. Now when switch 1 is in the down position the other switch doesn't work. When switch 1 is in the up position, switch 2 works as expected. :(

joed 01-15-2010 06:53 PM

Then it would work properly unless you got a defective switch.

rjniles 01-15-2010 08:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by speedster1 (Post 383376)

After hooking them up there way I thought they should be they didn't work. I took all wires off the switches, turned the power back on and tested each wire with a voltage sensor. On switch 1 a black and white wire showed live voltage. WTF? On switch 2 all three wires showed live voltage! So I'm wondering if my voltage sensor is falsly picking up voltage on all the wires because they are bundled together or what the heck is going on? Maybe I'll try a multimeter to read actual voltage.

You must be using a non-contact tester. Get a multimeter and test to a known ground. Only one wire in one of the boxes will be hot. Connect that wire to the switch common. Connect the other 2 wires to the traveler terminals of that switch. (Turn of the power while making connections). Test the second box (with power on). One wire will be hot, that is a traveler. Flip the switch you installed in the first box, find the hot lead in the second box- that is the second traveler. The third wire in the second box is the common.

zircon 01-15-2010 08:24 PM

This sounds familiar
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by speedster1 (Post 383393)
I swear that is what I did. I even had them labeled. Now when switch 1 is in the down position the other switch doesn't work. When switch 1 is in the up position, switch 2 works as expected. :(

Yesterday I was doing some volunteer work at a local church. Same scenario. Switch two only worked if switch one was in the on position. Opened switch one. White was common, and the travelers were red and black. Opened switch two. Red was common and the travelers were black and white. In switch two I swapped the red and the white wire and it solved the problem.

In your case try switching the red and the white in switch two.

speedster1 01-16-2010 08:01 AM

Thanks- I took a multimeter and found that the red was the common. Once I switched it the setup worked. I'm still puzzeled as to why it was setup like that. Thanks again for all your help


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:34 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.