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Old February 4th 04, 02:23 AM
Dan
 
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Default Two switch stairway light wiring question

A rental property of mine has a stairway with a light controlled by a switch
at the top & a switch at the bottom. Either switch will turn the light on
or off, independent of the other switch. A few weeks back, an assistant of
mine removed one of the switches to do some drywall repair, unfortunately
not noting how the wires were attached. Each switch was 3 wires, the one at
the bottom has a red, a white & a black wire. On this switch, the red wire
goes to the common terminal (this switch was not disturbed & the setup did
work previously). The switch at the top has 2 black & one white wire. I
tried connecting the top switch so that the white wire is common, this way I
can turn on the light with the top switch regardless of the bottom switch's
position, and I can turn the light on & off with the bottom switch if the
light is left on at the top, but I cannot turn the light on with the bottom
switch if the top on is off. So I'm wondering how I can determine the
connections for the top switch. There must be a way to do this with a volt
meter. Suggestions?

TIA

Dan



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Old February 4th 04, 02:40 AM
Phisherman
 
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Default Two switch stairway light wiring question

On Tue, 3 Feb 2004 21:23:22 -0500, "Dan" wrote:

A rental property of mine has a stairway with a light controlled by a switch
at the top & a switch at the bottom. Either switch will turn the light on
or off, independent of the other switch. A few weeks back, an assistant of
mine removed one of the switches to do some drywall repair, unfortunately
not noting how the wires were attached. Each switch was 3 wires, the one at
the bottom has a red, a white & a black wire. On this switch, the red wire
goes to the common terminal (this switch was not disturbed & the setup did
work previously). The switch at the top has 2 black & one white wire. I
tried connecting the top switch so that the white wire is common, this way I
can turn on the light with the top switch regardless of the bottom switch's
position, and I can turn the light on & off with the bottom switch if the
light is left on at the top, but I cannot turn the light on with the bottom
switch if the top on is off. So I'm wondering how I can determine the
connections for the top switch. There must be a way to do this with a volt
meter. Suggestions?

TIA

Dan



sw1 sw2
__/ --------------------------\_____ red&black (hot)--lamp
--------------------------

--------------------------------------------- white (neutral)--lamp

The common screw is a darker color than the other two. The common
terminal screw is either black or copper-colored to distinguish it
from the other two silver or brass-colored screws. The green wire is
always attached to the metal switch housing screw (or metal box) for
ground.
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Old February 4th 04, 03:42 AM
Dan
 
Posts: n/a
Default Two switch stairway light wiring question

Thanks, the switches were marked as to the common terminal, that wans't the
confusion, I just wasn't sure which wire went were. Ended up switching 2 of
the wires around & it's fine.

Dan

"Phisherman" wrote in message
...
sw1 sw2
__/ --------------------------\_____ red&black (hot)--lamp
--------------------------

--------------------------------------------- white (neutral)--lamp

The common screw is a darker color than the other two. The common
terminal screw is either black or copper-colored to distinguish it
from the other two silver or brass-colored screws. The green wire is
always attached to the metal switch housing screw (or metal box) for
ground.



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Old February 4th 04, 01:28 PM
Anthony Diodati
 
Posts: n/a
Default Two switch stairway light wiring question/ Link

http://www.homewiringandmore.com/swi...3way/3way.html

Tony D.
"Dan" wrote in message
...
Thanks, the switches were marked as to the common terminal, that wans't

the
confusion, I just wasn't sure which wire went were. Ended up switching 2

of
the wires around & it's fine.

Dan

"Phisherman" wrote in message
...
sw1 sw2
__/ --------------------------\_____ red&black (hot)--lamp
--------------------------

--------------------------------------------- white (neutral)--lamp

The common screw is a darker color than the other two. The common
terminal screw is either black or copper-colored to distinguish it
from the other two silver or brass-colored screws. The green wire is
always attached to the metal switch housing screw (or metal box) for
ground.





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Old February 4th 04, 03:05 PM
SQLit
 
Posts: n/a
Default Two switch stairway light wiring question


"Dan" wrote in message
...
A rental property of mine has a stairway with a light controlled by a

switch
at the top & a switch at the bottom. Either switch will turn the light on
or off, independent of the other switch. A few weeks back, an assistant

of
mine removed one of the switches to do some drywall repair, unfortunately
not noting how the wires were attached. Each switch was 3 wires, the one

at
the bottom has a red, a white & a black wire. On this switch, the red

wire
goes to the common terminal (this switch was not disturbed & the setup did
work previously). The switch at the top has 2 black & one white wire. I
tried connecting the top switch so that the white wire is common, this way

I
can turn on the light with the top switch regardless of the bottom

switch's
position, and I can turn the light on & off with the bottom switch if the
light is left on at the top, but I cannot turn the light on with the

bottom
switch if the top on is off. So I'm wondering how I can determine the
connections for the top switch. There must be a way to do this with a

volt
meter. Suggestions?

TIA

Dan


White can be used as a switch leg or power in residential... Nice to know
huh.
It really depends on how the guy wired it. I would have used black and white
as travelers and black for the switch leg. Try looking into the box and see
which pair of wires are together. Chances are they are the travelers. The
wire alone will be the switch leg, or common, or on the dark screw.
Hope this helps.




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Old February 4th 04, 05:10 PM
Dan
 
Posts: n/a
Default Two switch stairway light wiring question/ Link

Thanks for the informative replies.

Dan


"Anthony Diodati" wrote in message
...
http://www.homewiringandmore.com/swi...3way/3way.html

Tony D.
"Dan" wrote in message
...
Thanks, the switches were marked as to the common terminal, that wans't

the
confusion, I just wasn't sure which wire went were. Ended up switching

2
of
the wires around & it's fine.

Dan

"Phisherman" wrote in message
...
sw1 sw2
__/ --------------------------\_____ red&black (hot)--lamp
--------------------------

--------------------------------------------- white (neutral)--lamp

The common screw is a darker color than the other two. The common
terminal screw is either black or copper-colored to distinguish it
from the other two silver or brass-colored screws. The green wire is
always attached to the metal switch housing screw (or metal box) for
ground.







  #7   Report Post  
Old February 7th 04, 04:19 PM
matthews
 
Posts: n/a
Default Two switch stairway light wiring question/ Link

You might also find something useful at

http://www.wfu.edu/~matthews/courses/p230/switches.html

including especially

http://www.wfu.edu/~matthews/misc/sw...fused3way.html

Rick

Anthony Diodati wrote:

http://www.homewiringandmore.com/swi...3way/3way.html

Tony D.
"Dan" wrote in message
...

Thanks, the switches were marked as to the common terminal, that wans't


the

confusion, I just wasn't sure which wire went were. Ended up switching 2


of

the wires around & it's fine.

Dan

"Phisherman" wrote in message
. ..

sw1 sw2
__/ --------------------------\_____ red&black (hot)--lamp
--------------------------

--------------------------------------------- white (neutral)--lamp

The common screw is a darker color than the other two. The common
terminal screw is either black or copper-colored to distinguish it
from the other two silver or brass-colored screws. The green wire is
always attached to the metal switch housing screw (or metal box) for
ground.






--
Rick Matthews
Department of Physics
http://www.wfu.edu/~matthews
Wake Forest University 336-758-5340 (Voice)
Winston-Salem, NC 27109-7507 336-758-6142 (FAX)
USA


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