Uncommon 3-way Switch Connection? - Electrical - Page 2 - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:57 PM   #16
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I replaced the 3-way upstairs, GFI still trips. But after reading joeds post, it didn't matter.

Last edited by 8roty; 03-01-2010 at 07:59 PM.
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:02 PM   #17
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Joed, the neutral white from the power feed is connected to white wire to light...bypasses everything. The white wire on the switch is from the upstairs 3-way.
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:05 PM   #18
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any chance anything else branches off past that light fixture
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:08 PM   #19
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The downstairs switch box is a 2-gang box. I connected all the grounds from another 3-way circuit to the ground wire on the 3-way switch with the problem. This shouldn't be my problem but just mentioning it just in case.
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:10 PM   #20
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Light is a simple single bulb fixture with white and black wire, no ground connection....bare wire lose in box from incoming 14-2.
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:14 PM   #21
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The outlet before the switch I have incoming wires connected to bottom 2 screws and outgoing to top 2 screws. In the outlet before that I may have them going top to bottom. Did I inadvertently reverse the hot wire and neutral wire doing this? Black wires were always on the right side.

Last edited by 8roty; 03-01-2010 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:53 PM   #22
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I'm replying to myself here. I appreciate everyone's help. I'm starting to feel chest pains thinking I'm going to have to rip out painted/textured drywall to get to wiring that may be wrong.

I tried a single pole switch. Guess what, GFI still trips.
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:59 PM   #23
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think your going to have to start tearing apart the circuit one by one. Without seeing what has been done i doubt ur going to be able to get much help. Pick any point in the system to do a disconnect and test the components up to that point. If it works or not will at least show you which direction the problem is in.
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:29 PM   #24
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I already showed that the last working point is the outlet before the switch. After I hook up the switch after that outlet, the GFI trips.
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:48 PM   #25
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Is it the GFCI tripping or the breaker? If it is the GFCI, look for a connection between the neutral and the ground.
I missed the GFCI tripping. I have been thinking the breaker was tripping.

How are the connection made at the GFCI receptacle?

Last edited by joed; 03-01-2010 at 09:50 PM.
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:14 PM   #26
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GFI outlet is tripping, here's the connection again: GFI outlet which I then branched off the load to outlet >single-pole switch >3 mini recessed lights above fireplace. The other branch continues to outlet> outlet> 3-way switch.

I do not see any obvious connection between a ground and neutral. Maybe a drywall screw went too far.
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:54 PM   #27
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So I removed the switch completely and connected power straight to the light. GFI tripped.

My first electrical post from July '09 was extending the wire from the downstairs switch to extend around and up a half-wall and hiding the splice inside of another box used for a smoke detector. I had checked the wiring there and everything looks fine. White to white and black to black with all the grounds in that box connected together. So now I'm really confused. I'll disconnect the ground from the smokes circuit and check again. I'm not very optimistic I'm going to find something.

Is there anything I can do with a voltage tester or line tester?

Last edited by 8roty; 03-02-2010 at 09:02 AM.
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:32 AM   #28
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Another reason for GFCI tripping is crossed neutrals from different circuits or even from the same branch circuit if a GFCI was located in one subbranch. You need to be careful when feeds from different circuits come together in the same switch box or junction box. All grounds are tied together but neutrals are connected only to continuations of their respective circuits.

There may be only one neutral path from any location back to the panel and the neutral must follow the corresponding hot wire.

Also the load side neutral from a GFCI is not connected to any neutral connected to the line side; that subbranch (hot and neutral) originates at the GFCI, not at the panel.
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:52 AM   #29
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With the power off and the ground or white disconnected at the GFCI you should have no continuity between bare and white past the GFCI.
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Old 03-02-2010, 11:19 AM   #30
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Would it be worth replacing the GFI outlet with a standard outlet and then replace the switch with another outlet with tester plugged in and check what LEDs are lit up?
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