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Old 11-20-2009, 02:11 AM   #1
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HELP please with replacing 3 way switch...


So here is my situation i have 3 recessed lights working on one power supply which has two switches at each end of my kitchen I am pretty sure they are both 3 way switches!!! I am replacing one of them with a new dimming switch http://www.homesettings.com/products...ucts/ha14.aspx


now i tried to basically just open up the switch box and replace wire for wire and nothing!!! not the newly replaced switch or the other switch on the other side of the room works! I also tried it on the other side of the room same way doesn't work! I even flip flopped the two black wires. any ideas?

thanks so much in advanced
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Old 11-20-2009, 06:06 AM   #2
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hotskate: Just pretty sure they're 3-way switches? Did they work as such before? Have the lamps been lighting before? Have you ensured that there is power entering the box? One wire into the box should be hot. This wire switches to one or the other of the switch legs (travelers). It's as simple as that.

Last edited by oilseal; 11-20-2009 at 06:09 AM.
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Old 11-20-2009, 06:33 AM   #3
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Reinstall the original switch to make sure everything still works. If you tried to install the dimmer with the power on you may have fried the dimmer. You could also just have a wire transposed.
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Old 11-20-2009, 07:44 AM   #4
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A three way switch needs to be repalce with a three way dimmer.
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Old 11-20-2009, 08:32 AM   #5
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Hotskate - in order to solve it, you should try and figure out how it was wired. I would follow Jim's advice and hook the old switch up and make sure both switches still work. See the diagram below of a basic 3-way switch setup. Yours is not necessarily set up this way.You might want to invest in a non-contact voltage tester and a continuity tester so you can figure out which wire is hot and which are the travelers.

Make sure you shut the power off at the breaker before doing any wiring changes.



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Old 11-20-2009, 09:35 AM   #6
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the old switches are back in! and they are working like normal. so now i nee to figure this all out again.
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Old 11-20-2009, 11:37 AM   #7
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That's good, how is the current wiring set up in each box?
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Old 11-20-2009, 12:04 PM   #8
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Now that it works as it should you need to identify the COMMON terminal or wire on the dimmer. Connect the wire from the dark or odd colored terminal to the COMMON on the dimmer. Connect the other 2 wires to the remaining wires or terminals.
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Old 11-20-2009, 02:22 PM   #9
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I am sorry you completely lost me.


So basiclly if i go to one of the switches and swap it out with the new dimmer switch and I pretty much conntect ground to ground, block to black, and blue to black, and red to red none of the two switches work! I tried swaping the blacks and blues and still nothing.

This is my first issue I am having. I am having another issue with my light out side that is controlled by 3 different switches inside. but we can get to that one after this. THANKS SO MUCH for everyones help.
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Old 11-20-2009, 05:50 PM   #10
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I couldn't pull up the wiring diagram but this may be an electronic dimmer which requires compatable component devices in the other locations.

You need a standard 3 way dimmer. They generally have two blacks and a red wire. Before you remove your existing 3W switch, mark the wire that goes to the common terminal. That's all you really need to know.
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Old 11-20-2009, 06:07 PM   #11
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The diagram finally loaded and it's a funky setup.

Get a normal dimmer and save yourself some grief.
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Old 11-20-2009, 06:48 PM   #12
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What do you mean get a normal dimmer? Are you talking about the new one i am putting in? THe new one I am putting in has the z-wave technology so i can link it up withe everything else.
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Old 11-20-2009, 06:54 PM   #13
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The black on your dimmer is the COMMON. The RED and BLUE are the travellers.

Reinstall the old switch. Make sure it works properly from all locations. When you find the correct wiring, move the wire from the odd colored screw and connect it to the black wire on the dimmer. Connect the other 2 wires.
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Old 11-20-2009, 06:57 PM   #14
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The old switch is installed and everything is working perfectly. SO i will now take the old switch off again. I am so sorry i am not trying to act dumber then dumb but do i not connect the red wire from the wall/box to the red wire on the dimmer switch?
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Old 11-20-2009, 07:51 PM   #15
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OKKKK so i looked online SO DO NOT connect red to red! red on the dimmer is the common wire. so that probably needs to be connected to the black wire on the ODD screw
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