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ubonline 06-06-2010 06:46 PM

help with 3 way wiring
1 Attachment(s)
Hi, I'm replacing a set of 4 switches and I did something wrong and now the lighting is all messed up. See attached for a diagram. The 2 switches on the left are 3 way (and the matching 2 switches on top are fine, I did those first and it all worked until I replaced the set of 4). The 2 switches on the right are simple 2 way. No matter what I try, at least one of the 4 doesn't work properly, and now I'm so far from the original wiring I don't know how to get back. Any help is appreciated.

Also, the 4 white wires are tied off together in the back.

JoeD 06-08-2010 06:38 AM

We need more info. Tell all the wire conenctions in all the boxes or make a diagram of the wiring.

ubonline 06-08-2010 10:33 AM

So the diagram I attached isn't clear enough? It shows all the switches and where each colored wire is attached.

rdmayers 06-08-2010 02:55 PM

You are showing all 4 switches as 3 way switches , are all these switches controlling the same lights? If so there has to be 2 4 way switches involved . You can not use 3 way switches in all the locations. A 4 way switch will have 4 connection on it. You are showing all switches having only three connections. 4 way switches switch the travelers between 2 3 way switches

kok328 06-08-2010 03:08 PM

google for a 3-way switch wiring diagram and you should be able to figure it out yourself.

JoeD 06-08-2010 05:52 PM

Well you said the right two switches were only single pole switches yet you have three wires going them. I see a single line coming from the light but have no idea how it is connected to anything.

You need to recheck the set up and tell us every wire in the box. Grounds can be left out. Which wires are in a cable together with which other wires or is this all done with conduit.
What's that wire connecting all the switches? Is it only connected to the switches and nothing else? That's not right.

Which screw is the common screw on the three ways?

ubonline 06-14-2010 01:27 PM

1 Attachment(s)
OK, sorry for the delay, let me try to be clear.

In the new image attached it shows the room set up, box of 3 on top, box of 4 on bottom. All were pre-existing and worked fine, I just replaced the 7 switches (they were old & nasty & wrong color for room). I tried duplicating exactly what was already there but obviously did something wrong when wiring the switches.

After replacing the box of 3 on top first, all worked fine, so those must be wired properly.

For the box of 4 on the bottom, the 2 on the left are 3-way, the 2 on the right are 2-way (I used all 3-way switches because that is what was there).

To the best that I can tell, each switch has its own group of 3 wires (red, black, white) coming from the back of the box, with all white wires tied together and covered with a plastic cap. I didn't create the setup, and its worked for the 8 years we've lived in the house, so it must work if wired properly.

So, the questions:

1-Must I replace the two 2-way switches on the bottom right with 2-way switches, or can it be wired using 3-way and just leave one post unused?
2-How do I wire the 4 black and 4 red wires coming from the bottom?
3-How do I connect the 4 switches in sequence?

Thanks for all your help.

JoeD 06-16-2010 03:27 PM

I still don't understand why you are calling the two on the right 2 way switches when you show three wire connected to three different terminals.

Where does the light wires connect? Show the wire connections instead of just that one line to nowhere.

triple D 06-20-2010 11:23 PM

try this....
turn off power and disconnect all wires on the two single pole switches on right.(i know your using three ways for these, and thats fine, well get to that in a minute) Turn power on and test the blk and red wires. Wich one is hot? mark this in your head. turn power off again. Tie the two like wires together that are the color of the hot one. This is now your hots and should be wire nutted together with four pieces of blk wire about 8-12 inches long. Hook these up to the blk screw of all four switches. Now take the remaining two wires, (probably red i'm guessin) and hook these to one of the two remaining terminals of the switches to be used as single poles. Turn on power again and try it out, you will now find out wich way is right side up for the two switches on right. Then turn off one more time to install switches. Good luck, let us know if this worked fer ya!

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