DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Electrical and Wiring > 3 way switches weirdness!




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Old 08-30-2012, 09:58 AM  
Gib
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Nice Solution. The 2" deep box was not a good idea when it was first installed.

The small magnets won't bother the electrical system. They could affect your remote switch electronics but it's worth trying anyway. If they do affect the remote switch, there's no harm to anything else.
Gib



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Old 08-30-2012, 06:06 PM  
nealtw
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If the wire are a concern, cap them in the other box so the are not live behind you remote.



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Old 09-18-2012, 07:25 PM  
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The 3way switch weirdness continues where I am trying to determine what to do with a 3 way switch setup with a ceiling fan..

When I moved in here, there was a standard 2 wire ceiling light fixture in the hallway. If I recall (it was in the beginning and I haven't used the light often), there was 2 switches controlling the light, one switch from one end of the hallway, the other at the other end. Standard 3 way setup.

Now I have replaced the ceiling light by a Monte Carlo ceiling fan with integrated light. The fan came with a remote controller. Being "stuck" with the wall switches, I decided to leave them as is, and I thought that they would allow to turn the ceiling fan ON or OFF, without bothering with the remote controller... My problem is that they seem not to do anything. In other words, they are totally useless, to the point thinking they control something else all together...

II turn the fan ON (true for both motor and light) with the remote, flipping the switches ON/OFF will not do anything at all... I even disconnected the switches and the fan was still operational.

Back when it was a normal light fixture, the red wire was capped with a wire nut. The wireless module that came with the fan did not allow me to use the red wire as it had only 2 wires (black & white) so I kept the red wire capped with a wire nut.

Plain simple a picture's worth a thousand words so I have prepared a diagram to explain what I had and what I now have...

Any clues as to why the switches seems not to be doing anything and is it unsafe/dangerous????? What should I do next? Cap the switches and their wires off???

Thanks to all!!!

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Old 09-18-2012, 08:55 PM  
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In a 3way switch the red wire goes to one switch from the other. The unused red at the light box was probably put the for a fan to be installed at a later date. I suspect you have an extra red in one of the switch boxes for the fan and you have wired up the wrong one. Just a guess

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Old 09-18-2012, 09:04 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by condoowner View Post
Whats going on with the dimmer at 0% and lights still on?
You need higher wattage bulbs for them to go completely off?
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:00 AM  
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Hey Neal, I'm very confident that I did not wire the wrong red wire.. the switches were replaced on the fly, that is I took the old one out and immediately put the new one with the wires exactly at the same terminals...

That's weird.

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Old 09-19-2012, 07:26 AM  
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If you google 3way switches you will find some diff ways these are wired, you are going to have to sort what you have, what wires go where. Then you could have a bad switch or wire.

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Old 09-19-2012, 07:50 PM  
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ok some research was required but I have progressed quite a bit in understanding the system. Folks used in electrical wiring might be able to explain to me how it really works. I quick survey with a multimeter and finding the source from the panel and a nice sketch helped quite a bit.

Basically, this is EXACTLY what I have. Now I understand why the fan always is powered on, even if the switches are off... the power routes from the main panel to the switch 1 (SW 1) then to the wire nut in the middle, then to the fan... Not sure of the purpose of such config.

Also, through deduction and logic, the switches must be wired as shown on the sketch.

It would almost look like a normal 3 way setup only if it had not the strange middle cable ... what that cable is doing???

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Old 09-19-2012, 08:13 PM  
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I think I just understood... This is a 3 way setup ONLY for the light. THe motor (fan) is always powered on hence the hot wire going to the SW 1 then to the fan, but the light would require a wire nut at the ceiling fan location to tie to the neutral. Doing so, the switches would act as a 3 way switch setup for the light only. make sense?

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Old 09-19-2012, 08:29 PM  
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The lumps in your spaghetti will make it hard to chew.
You have power coming into box "A" and you have a 3 wire running to box "B" with a 3 wire running to the fan/light. Either the red or the black should be hooked to power and to the fan with out a switch as the older fans had power and were controled with pull chains for on/off, speed,and direction. Once you have that figured out you are back to wiring the switches properly for the light. Another box and switch could be added to control the fan.



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