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Discussion Starter #1
Assign each switch a number.
With switch #1 & switch #2 down, light is on or off?
With #1 up & #2 down, light is on or off?
With #1 down and #2 up, light is on or off?
With #1 & #2 up, light is on or off?

In principle, with the answers filled in, the problem(s) can be pinpointed.
Test cases welcome. . .
 

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If the light isn't OFF with both switches down (or both up), I flip one of them over, or trade the two wires on the output screws. Problem solved. Because I like consistency like that. :D
 

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Newbie Bill
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If the light isn't OFF with both switches down (or both up), I flip one of them over, or trade the two wires on the output screws. Problem solved. Because I like consistency like that. :D
Is it as easy as that? Cause I have a couple of 3 ways like that.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I like the lights to be off no matter what state the switches are in. So I just don't even hook the wires up to the switch.
And for that they pay you the big bucks? :confused1:
I'm in the wrong business! :(
Well. . .it is pretty safe that way. . .:whistling2:
 

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Is it as easy as that? Cause I have a couple of 3 ways like that.
Well, yes. If there's enough slack in the wires and room in the box, why not just physically flip it over? And if there's not enough slack to do that comfortably, trade the two wires that are NOT the common connection (trade the two same-colored screws; leave the odd-colored one alone).

I like the lights to be off if they're both down because there's less confusion as to whether the socket is live when changing a light bulb. And there's less to think about if walking around to turn out all the lights; all the lights are off if every switch is down. But that's me. I don't think there's a rule, and I doubt most people care one little bit.
 

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Well, yes. If there's enough slack in the wires and room in the box, why not just physically flip it over? And if there's not enough slack to do that comfortably, trade the two wires that are NOT the common connection (trade the two same-colored screws; leave the odd-colored one alone).

I like the lights to be off if they're both down because there's less confusion as to whether the socket is live when changing a light bulb. And there's less to think about if walking around to turn out all the lights; all the lights are off if every switch is down. But that's me. I don't think there's a rule, and I doubt most people care one little bit.
But... umm... The lights will be off when both switches are up as well. Trying to arrange 3-ways by up/down position is pretty pointless.
 

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And for that they pay you the big bucks? :confused1:
I'm in the wrong business! :(
Well. . .it is pretty safe that way. . .:whistling2:
I'm also running a special on receptacles. I'll install a non-working receptacle anywhere for $299.95, plus parts. $176.88 each if you want 10 or more.
 

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But... umm... The lights will be off when both switches are up as well. Trying to arrange 3-ways by up/down position is pretty pointless.
True. (And if one's up and the other's down, it will be on.) You say it's pointless, but I already admitted that I doubt most people care. I'll count you as one among "most." :)

I'm not an electrician, but if I was and was on a job, I probably wouldn't worry much about it. But in my home (and at my dad's, where I've spent hours upon hours working to modernize his 1960 electrical system), I like it the way I like it. But I am a perfectionist.
 

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Newbie Bill
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I care. You mean most people don't.

I have two 3way circuits where the lights are off when one switch is up and the other is down. That drives me NUTS.

I must be a little obsessive compulsive as I always ensure that both switches are in the DOWN position when the lights are off on the two 3way circuits that are installed correctly.

I was actually embarrassed to ask how to fix them.. Now I know.

Thanks guys.
 

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True. (And if one's up and the other's down, it will be on.) You say it's pointless, but I already admitted that I doubt most people care. I'll count you as one among "most." :)

I'm not an electrician, but if I was and was on a job, I probably wouldn't worry much about it. But in my home (and at my dad's, where I've spent hours upon hours working to modernize his 1960 electrical system), I like it the way I like it. But I am a perfectionist.
I'm not sure how perfectionism comes into play. I mean, if you have a wiring preference, then it is moot. I mean, I always put my travelers on every switch in the same order, the red traveler on the left terminal if you are facing the switch. This way, all switches in the same box will be in the same state, when they are up or down. But saying that the lights are off when the switches are down, is meaningless, because they are off when both switches are up as well.

If you are at a switch, and to turn the light off you have to push the switch up, do instead run to the other switch and push it down, so they'll both be down? Kinda defeats the purpose of having a 3-way.
 

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Newbie Bill
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If you are at a switch, and to turn the light off you have to push the switch up, do instead run to the other switch and push it down, so they'll both be down?
umm yeah, but only when I am leaving the house. Isn't it bad luck to have the lights off with the switches in the up position? :laughing:
 

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electrician
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I like it the way I like it. But I am a perfectionist.

I have found that most "perfectionists" are just bored people with way to much time on their hands. I tend to look at things the way my old building trades teacher taught me, he always said "We aint building a piano here boys".

There are much more important, much more interesting or much more fun things to do with your time than worry about 3 ways being up or down.
 

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electrician
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Try and tell THAT to a customer....

I have never, ever had a customer fret about a 3 way being up or down. If they ever did, I would politely ignore them and get on with business. Life is too short to worry about some things, or to work for someone who's that much of a PITA

I have also learned that there are some people that you can never please, no matter what you do for them. Those are the people I don't do business with anymore.
 

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But... umm... The lights will be off when both switches are up as well. Trying to arrange 3-ways by up/down position is pretty pointless.
I agree. There is a reason that the words 'on' and 'off' aren't cast on 3-way and 4-way switches.
 
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