Tommy Mac Discussions › Forums › Fix-it Forum: Home Improvement & Do It Yourself Repair Forum › 3 way switch wiring
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November 28, 1997 at 6:25 pm #10885Don DePriestGuest
I just replaced my swithes in my hall, both switches at the end of my hall turned the lights both on and off. Now 1 switch must be on for the other switch to turn the light on & off. What happened. I thought the wires were put back on the same screws.
November 29, 1997 at 6:41 am #76825Dale MGuest
Consult a wiring diagram for 3 way switches. There is a copy of this available at home improvement stores and hardware stores that sell electrical supplies. Be sure that you replaced the switches with 3 way and not 2 way switches. If the switch says ON and OFF on it, its a 2 way. Even my electrician did this on one of my circuits.
November 30, 1997 at 11:51 pm #76838Jim BusbinGuest
There are several ways to approach this but first,
I want to be sure we are talking about a lighting
circuit involving only two switches – not more
than two. Second, I need to know if you saved the
old switches and third, if you do not still have
them, do you own a multi-meter (or volt-ohm
meter)? Also, since this is a hallway, is there
more than one fixture controlled by these
The problem is with the wiring on the switches.
What will happen, at times, is you’ll replace
each wire, wire for wire, on the new switch as it
appeared on the old. The key in this is one of
the three terminals on each of the switches that
is marked “Common” or “COM”. The terminals on the
old and new switches may appear to be the same
but in actuality all manufacturers do not place
their “COM” terminals in the same location. That’s
why I need to know if you have your old switches
or if you still have a 3-way switch located
elsewhere in your house of the same vintage and
manufacturer as the ones you replaced. If you do
have another located elsewhere in the house, don’t
do anything with it yet, just let me know if there
is one. I’ll be glad to try and walk you through
this problem but I’ll need to hear from you
concerning the above assumptions and questions.
Talk to you later,
January 13, 2000 at 5:05 pm #86798Tyler KnappGuest
I want to know how to 3 way wire for a school project.
August 28, 2000 at 8:44 pm #96343gregGuest
you dont necessarily put the wires on the exact same location…..because the internal factors of the switch could be different….
September 17, 2001 at 11:20 pm #108573Clifford I. MorganGuest
I am putting a light in the attic, controlled by a switch, also I wanted to have a plug in the line, controlled by the switch.
I was going to splice into a junction box and run the wiring first to the light, then to the plug and then to the switch (end of run switch).
I cannot figure out how to wire the configuration – either the light works and the plug doesn’t, or vice versa…I need HELP..
April 20, 2004 at 10:43 am #230064patriciaGuest
I have a wall switch that controls ceiling light. It has 1 black wire and 1 white wire, plus ground. When I put a standard single pole dimmer switch in its place, I wired the 1 wall black wire to the 1 black dimmer switch wire and the 1 white wall wire to the other black dimmer switch wire. Then connected ground wires. Dimmer switch will now turn the ceiling light on and off, but it will not dim??? What is wrong?
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