3-way switch

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I replaced the 3-way light switches in my house with newer ones. I was careful to put the wires in the corresponding connector on the new switches but it is not working correctly. The two switches operate one light.
With the old switches, I could turn on and off the light from either wall plate which would give me 4 different combinations. On/Off from each wall plate. Now with the new switches, one works On/Off but the second won't work unless the first one is in a certain position. If it is then the second switch will work On/Off.
It seems like one is trumping the power over the other one depending on the On/Off position but it should work the same as before.
There is a Common wire which I plugged into the Common connector on both switches. There is a Red wire which I plugged into the top of both switches. There is a Black wire which I plugged into the bottom of both switches.
Does this sound right?
Thanks!
Paul
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dexteroc wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

The common comes in the 1st and out the 2nd. The other pair (like NO/ NC) feed back-and-forth. The common that is always hot is the feed-the 2nd switch common goes to the light.
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Clearly you mistook either the common terminal location on the new switches, or the old ones. Check them carefully again. You can't determine which is common by it's physical position, comparing one switch to another. The common terminal should be marked as such, or have a different color screw than the other two. Some types of switches, like Leviton "Decora", it's very misleading as to which is the common terminal

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No. You should have examined the old switches and removed the wires from them and put the wires on the corresponding terminals on the new switches. Now you need to identify the function of each of the wires. I explained how this is done in this newsgroup several months ago as did others. Do a Google search and you should get enough info to proceed.
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you got the common in the wrong spot on one of them.
--
Steve Barker







"dexteroc" < snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com> wrote in message
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wrote:

fixing it? At this point I'm not sure which wire goes where. There is no ground wire. there are two black wires and one red one. If I start trying different combinations, will I start a fire? I guess I will start with the switch that only works part of the time. the other switch always works...
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wrote:

The easiest way is to turn the power off and take loose both switches. Only one wire of the 6 will be hot when you turn the power back on. (This is the switch leg feed)
Turn the power back off, and tie this wire to the screw terminal of the switch that is marked black. Connect the other two wires to the remaining two screws.
Turn the power back on and check the 3 wires at the other switch box. Two of these wires will be hot depending on the position of the other switch. When you find these two, the wire that never energized when you flipped the switch is the "return"
Turn the power back off and tie the "return" to the black colored screw of the switch. Then connect the other two wires to the other two terminals on the switch.
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I like the 1st part, but I would assume the color of the hot wire that was common on the 1st switch will be the same on the 2nd that feeds the fixture.
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Why assume anything. Terry's instructions are perfectly adequate to get it right

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Not necessarily a correct assumption. Terry's procedure is simple, straightforward, and guaranteed to work as long as there's a ground available in each box.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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On Jul 26, 6:55 pm, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Guaranteed to work! By whom...? Logic only works when you think the same. Some people get stuck with words...or going a wrong way. I was offering a thought to maybe make it simpler.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I'll be happy to guarantee it. Correctly followed and applied, that procedure will identify the correct wires every time, without fail.

Logic works all the time, and it works the same way every time. But it's just like any other tool: if you don't know how to use it, you can't make it work, but that doesn't mean the tool is broken. :-)

Trouble is, that's really only a little better than guessing. There simply isn't any guarantee at all that the colors of the wires are the same at the two switches. Or that the colors will be distinct -- ever seen a three-way switch wired with two 14/2 cables instead of one 14/3? Which of the two black wires (or the two white wires) is which?
Testing with a voltmeter, as Terry described, is quick, easy, and sure.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Example: "Turn the power back on and check the 3 wires at the other switch box. Two of these wires will be hot depending on the position of the other switch. When you find these two, the wire that never energized when you flipped the switch is the "return" "
At face value this statement is not true. One wire at-a-time will be hot...depending on the 1st switch position.(It sounds like 2 wires at the same time) It does depend on whether you have the same mind-set as the poster. I understand what Terry is saying...and it IS logical to me.
Terry, I mean no disrespect.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

If that wasn't already clear from examining the many drawings of three-way switch wiring available in books and online, it should become immediately clear as soon as one begins the testing.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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So, if you can't understand the words, or the logic, your solution is to guess at wire colors?
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Are you asking? Don't you understand? Oh, maybe you wanted to use an exclamation instead of a question mark!
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Your method is probably how the OP got in trouble in the first place. Stop helping!!!
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You call his crap help? :-)
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Actually, my post was for someone like you...who gets on a tangent and won't think any other way! "He's guessing at a color! A color, he's guessing! Guessing! Can you imagine guessing! How can he offer guessing! Guessing is not logical! Why is he guessing?! I'm glad I'm not guessing!"
I made my point...try sticking yours...!
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