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Thread: Troubleshooting two 3-way switch setups

  1. #16
    DIY Junior Member Donwe's Avatar
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    Default

    --- s === s === s --- o

  2. #17
    Homeowner Thatguy's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Donwe View Post
    --- s === s === s --- o
    Your schematic leaves something to be desired, but I think a traveler for sw 3 is missing
    or the 4-way is wired incorrectly or is bad.

    BTW, 'on' is not defined for 3-ways and 4-ways; that's why they are not labelled like other switches.

  3. #18
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default wires

    All it takes is for the common and a traveler to be interchanged and the circuitry will not operate properly. Mixing "line 1/A and 2/B" on the four way can also cause weird operation.

  4. #19
    DIY Junior Member Donwe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    All it takes is for the common and a traveler to be interchanged and the circuitry will not operate properly. Mixing "line 1/A and 2/B" on the four way can also cause weird operation.
    Thats what it was, once I isolated the traveler pairs and re-connected everything works just fine, Thank you!

  5. #20
    DIY Junior Member alth's Avatar
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    Default Trouble with 3way Switch!

    Hi there hope you can help:

    Will a 3 way switch with the following configuration work for my stairs to basement, and if it will how can I fix it:

    Live Feed
    l
    l
    Switch #1 ---- Switch #2------ Light # 2
    l
    l
    l
    Light #1

    When Switch #1 is on and Switch #2 is off Light #1 works but Light #2 does not

    When Switch #1 is on and Switch #2 is switched Light #1 turns off and Light #2 turns on

    When Switch #1 is off and Switch #2 is switched nothing happens

    Thanks for the help!

  6. #21
    Homeowner Thatguy's Avatar
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    Default

    Are both lights supposed to go on and off together?

  7. #22

    Default

    Yes, that's called a California or coast 3 way...



    This an illegal and very dangerous wiring method and should never be undertaken.
    Last edited by jwelectric; 08-23-2011 at 08:55 AM. Reason: safety

  8. #23
    DIY Junior Member alth's Avatar
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    Default Trouble with 3way Switch!

    Yep, Both lights should go on and off together.

    and Ill give that a shot Billy Bob. another problem is that I cant change the wiring to Light #1 as the wall was completely finished by the previous owner, will this make a difference?
    Last edited by alth; 12-21-2009 at 09:18 PM.

  9. #24

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alth View Post
    Yep, Both lights should go on and off together.

    and Ill give that a shot Billy Bob. another problem is that I cant change the wiring to Light #1 as the wall was completely finished by the previous owner, will this make a difference?
    You would just need access to the wire going to that light.

    And of course be able to wire everything else like in the diagram above. This is an illegal and very dangerous wiring method and should never be undertaken
    Or wire it in the traditional manner. Many ways to do this...
    Last edited by jwelectric; 08-23-2011 at 08:57 AM. Reason: safety

  10. #25
    Homeowner Thatguy's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy_Bob View Post
    Yes, that's called a California or coast 3 way...

    Do you then say you have 3 travelers instead of 2?

  11. #26
    DIY Junior Member alth's Avatar
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    Default 3-Way

    Off the top of my head I think I do have 3 travellers... Will update when I get home

  12. #27
    DIY Junior Member alth's Avatar
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    Default Issue Resolved

    Thanks for your help everybody... the california circuit was the way to go

    should something go wrong your little a$$ will be in a very tight situation.

    This is an illegal and very dangerous wiring method and should never be undertaken
    Last edited by jwelectric; 08-23-2011 at 09:03 AM. Reason: what you have is illegal

  13. #28
    DIY Junior Member timmer62's Avatar
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    Default 3-way switch troubleshooting

    S1 down, s2 down, light off
    S1 up, s2 down, light off
    S1 down, s2 up, light off
    S1 up, s2 up, light on

    any ideas how to resolve?

    thanks

  14. #29
    DIY Junior Member mgabbard's Avatar
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    Default Another 3-way case for you

    Quote Originally Posted by Thatguy View Post
    This assumes two travelers between the switches.

    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. . .

    Hi there,

    I have a relatively new home (10 years old) and am replacing the standard rocker switches / receptacles in my house with decorator models room by room. Everything has been easy so far (3-ways, 4-ways, 2-ways, etc) , but am having trouble figuring out what's up with one 3-way in one of my rooms. The old switches I marked the common and the travellers, and on the new decorator switches I connected the commons to the common pole and the 2 travellers to the traveller poles. But the switches are behaving strange.

    #1 down, #2 down - lights are on
    #1 up, #2 down - lights are on
    #1 down, #2 up - lights are off
    #1 up, #2 up - lights are on

    So when #1 is up - no matter what #2 is (up or down) it still completes the circuit. And when #2 is down, no matter what #1 is (up or down) it still completes the circuit as well. Very strange. It's like they are wired in parallel.

    These are brand new switches and I have jiggled the wiring to make sure there are no shorts in the wires.

    Any guidance you can give you be most helpful. I've been looking at this one too long and need a fresh set of eyes.

    Thanks!

    ...M
    Last edited by mgabbard; 11-23-2010 at 12:54 PM.

  15. #30
    Electrical Contractor Jim Port's Avatar
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    Default

    Regardless of UP or DOWN a 3 way will reverse the current condition of OFF or ON. Your setup is working properly.

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