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Old 05-25-2009, 02:50 PM   #1
 
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Wiring fixtures when there are three way switches involved


My electrician put 3 light fixtures on two, three way switches. I'm having a hard time trying to figure out how to wire the lights correctly so that they go on and off with the light switches.

One thing that confuses me is that on the lights that i bought there are only 3 wires coming from the light. A a black, a white and a ground. On the fixture there are 4 blacks all twisted together, 4 grounds twisted together, 4 white twisted together and two red that are twisted toghether and wraped around the whites. I recall my electrician saying that it meant something...

when i connect one of my fixtures and put black to black, white to white, and connect the ground the light goes on and stays on but it won't work with the wall switch. am i suppose to connect these reds somewhere? i'm pretty confused at this point.

thanks,

Last edited by phospher; 05-25-2009 at 02:50 PM. Reason: incorrect statement
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:36 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phospher View Post
.........and two red that are twisted toghether and wraped around the whites. I recall my electrician saying that it meant something........
He meant those go to the light fixture.
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:49 PM   #3
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Exactly. Connect the black wire from your fixture to the reds. See if that makes any difference.
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:53 PM   #4
 
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should i not connect the black wires coming from the gang box then?
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:53 PM   #5
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I hate when clowns wire 3ways thru the fixtures.

It's likely that red and white go to your fixture (black and white)
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Old 05-25-2009, 08:37 PM   #6
 
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220/221,

is that not how it should be done?

so to clarify, your saying i should connect red from the fixture box in the ceiling to black on the actual fixture, and then white to white? that will leave the blacks in the ceiling fixture not connected correct?
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Old 05-25-2009, 08:51 PM   #7
 
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i just tried connecting black on the light to red on the ceiling fixture box, then white to white and not connecting the black on the ceiling to anything. it didn't work i couldn't get any power to the light regardless of the position of the light switches.
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Old 05-26-2009, 12:14 AM   #8
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………. and not connecting the black on the ceiling to anything…...
There should be no loose wires in the Box.
The original 4 Black wires should stay connected
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:03 AM   #9
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Were there older light fixtures there that used to work correctly?

Looks to me like an improperly wired setup inside the walls. Or maybe a different switch controls that light box. Or maybe it's not a 3-way; one switch controls one light box and the other switch controls the other two light boxes.

>>> hate it when clowns

This does not look like a travelers-through-the-light-box situation. If it were, then there would be two wire nutted pairs, not just one.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 05-26-2009 at 07:08 AM.
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:44 AM   #10
 
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yeah, i'm starting to think that maybe my electrician might have messed something up. i wired it like the diagram that PaliBob posted and i'm not getting any power.

I also took the cover off the light switch to confirm that it was a three way switch. It does in deed have 3 screws on it. One of the wires, the one on the top right is a white wire that only has voltage when it switched in one direction.
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:10 AM   #11
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The only way to know for sure what is going on is to tell us all the cables and connections in all the fixtures and switches. The switch will have a terminal that is the common. It will be a different colour from the other two terminals or marked "common". We need to know which wire os on the common.

We don't care about the grounds at this point. They should be connect together and to the green screws on the switches.
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:26 PM   #12
 
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ok,

i thought it might be easier to take photos. please let me know if you need more photos etc..

in the photos are the two 3 way switches and one of the fixtures. the other two fixtures are wired the exact same way.

also, i spoke with my electrician about the problem and he said he must have spliced in the wrong wires somewhere or something.. he is going to come back to fix it but not for a week or so. if you see something obvious i would like to try and fix it myself as i'm always up for learning new things.

thanks,
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:50 PM   #13
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What 220/221 is saying. (I don't actually hear him) is, That if you connect the BLACK wire from your fixture to the BLACK wires in the JUNCTION BOX, the light/s will go on but STAY ON. Then, the RED wire (in the junction box) should be connected to the BLACK wire of your LIGHT FIXTURE and the WHITE wire of your LIGHT FIXTURE to the WHITE wires in the JUNCTION BOX!!!
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:54 PM   #14
 
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yeah, if i do it like that i get no power regardless of the position of the light switches.
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:33 PM   #15
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What I was saying is that, there is all kinds of crazy ways to run 3way switch cable but I don't run the travelers or power thru the light jboxes. Only the switch legs.


power......3way sw.......3 way sw.........light.....light.

There is nothing in my sw boxes except black and white.

Let your electrician fix it.
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