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Old 12-04-2019, 05:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
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3 way switches are bitches

Even more when you're using a regular 3 way switch and a dimming 3 way switch that uses a different color differentiation and doesn't use standard nomenclature for identification purposes

took 25 minutes to wire in 4 switches

That is all my bitching for the day

On a positive note, I now have dimmable LED recessed lights installed in my basement and they're the (.)(.)
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Old 12-04-2019, 05:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Try a single pile and a 5 position in a 2 gang box PITA
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Old 12-04-2019, 05:46 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Meh, done three way stuff for years, no big deal.
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Old 12-04-2019, 06:03 AM   #4 (permalink)
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That's pretty damn good time all things considered for 4 switches. Usually if I get into a box I'm replacing wire nuts, switches and shimming shit to fix because who ever remodeled my house forgot about drywall when installing boxes. I'll easily spend 10 minutes a box... and up to an hour if I find random wires.

Pretty sure that I'll spend a couple of days diagnosing the one room with 4 entrances that "should" have 4 switches for the single overhead light.
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Old 12-04-2019, 08:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
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3 way switches must be hard. Of the 3 sets that were installed in my house none of them worked. 2 of them the wires were wrong. Another I haven't fixed, but its a 3 way setup with 2 regular single pole switches. I'm not sure I want to know how they wired that one.

They also wired the patio light and the end of the driveway light to the same switch. Since when you walk on the back patio you need to see at the mailbox. And there isnt a photocell on the driveway light. More stupid to fix
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Old 12-04-2019, 08:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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All 3 way switches hook up the same way regardless of the configuration.......one common on the switch is fed hot, the other common goes to the light, then hook up your travelers. Easy peazy.
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Old 12-04-2019, 08:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Running down an open neutral or sheetrock nail tip that has gradually penetrated Romex are fun. Or wire nut junctions under Sheetrock that no one knew about.
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Old 12-04-2019, 08:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Easier to just Philips Hue bulbs; no wiring required.
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Old 12-04-2019, 08:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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My house has 4 and 5 ways. I am not sympathetic.
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Old 12-04-2019, 09:02 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kf4zht View Post
3 way switches must be hard. Of the 3 sets that were installed in my house none of them worked. 2 of them the wires were wrong. Another I haven't fixed, but its a 3 way setup with 2 regular single pole switches. I'm not sure I want to know how they wired that one.

They also wired the patio light and the end of the driveway light to the same switch. Since when you walk on the back patio you need to see at the mailbox. And there isnt a photocell on the driveway light. More stupid to fix
I have to sort out one of my nieces new used house three way to their dinning room. I didn’t have a tester with me and we were short on time but in the time I was there I found no power to either switch, but the light has power. In fact, they have to unscrew the lightbulb to turn it off. Someone did something fawked up in the ceiling box.

I don’t understand how it passed inspection through the purchase.
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Old 12-04-2019, 09:09 AM   #11 (permalink)
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My house has 4 and 5 ways. I am not sympathetic.
My multi-meter got run over by a car so its hard to sort shit without it
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Old 12-04-2019, 09:12 AM   #12 (permalink)
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The Lutron Caseta stuff has made it super easy if you have a wifi network. You can add as many remote switches as you want and they just stick on the wall or with the adapter the switch will fit into an existing box. They also offer dimming and programability as well as smart home control. They look a bit expensive at first but when you buy a couple of 3-way or 4-way switches the cost is close to the same. I will never put another 3 or 4 way switch in again.

Last edited by thedirtman; 12-04-2019 at 09:40 AM.
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Old 12-04-2019, 09:21 AM   #13 (permalink)
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My multi-meter got run over by a car so its hard to sort shit without it
I bet.

Get this.... I had power going from 60amps to 110amp going up then down every 3 seconds.. on my meter... On the Neutral wire on a 5 way switch.

After 10 hours I found a metal receptacle box on an exterior wall was full of corrosion from a leaking window... so full of corrosion that it connected the ground, hot, and neutral wires via rusty build up That receptacle was pulling power off the 5 way switch. sending a rhythmic power surge back through everything.

I was going insane from about hour 3 to hour 10 running connectivity tests, drawing maps, rewiring,...
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Old 12-04-2019, 09:36 AM   #14 (permalink)
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OP should try trouble shooting a long hallway in a commercial building with switches at each door (Weird save energy Government idea) where the guys who wired it and the guys who had to trim it were not the same.
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Old 12-04-2019, 09:40 AM   #15 (permalink)
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So you had TWO 3-way switch circuits to two light sets? If you tried to put in FOUR 3-way switches it won't work the way you want.

You can ONLY have two three way switches in a circuit. If you need FOUR switches, you need a 3-way, 4-way, 4-way, 3-way. In the order.
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Old 12-04-2019, 10:11 AM   #16 (permalink)
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So you had TWO 3-way switch circuits to two light sets? If you tried to put in FOUR 3-way switches it won't work the way you want.

You can ONLY have two three way switches in a circuit. If you need FOUR switches, you need a 3-way, 4-way, 4-way, 3-way. In the order.
Installed 4 switches in total.

2-zones

2 switches per zone
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Old 12-04-2019, 10:29 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Installed 4 switches in total.

2-zones

2 switches per zone
Good. Keeping the travelers separate from the switched power is key.
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Old 12-04-2019, 10:32 AM   #18 (permalink)
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...In fact, they have to unscrew the lightbulb to turn it off. Someone did something fawked up in the ceiling box.

I don’t understand how it passed inspection through the purchase.
Given the trend with inspectors being more mechanically inclined and most are in a hurry to do the "$350 inspection" as fast as possible and move to the next, no surprize that a light was missed.

BUT Id bet they caught the plumbing, sump pump, insulation and mold glitches most find...
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Old 12-04-2019, 10:38 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Given the trend with inspectors being more mechanically inclined and most are in a hurry to do the "$350 inspection" as fast as possible and move to the next, no surprize that a light was missed.



BUT Id bet they caught the plumbing, sump pump, insulation and mold glitches most find...


This^^^

My moms house that she is building the contractor, before they were fired, had their electrician forget to run wires to 3 boxes. 2 boxes are in one room and the only outlets for the room. 1 bathroom actually had no lights. Yet it passed rough in just fine. They were about to drywall and cover it all up before I finally got mom to stop the madness. Also plumbing passed rough in when the washing machine plumbing box was 23” off the ground...

Inspectors are amazing.


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Old 12-04-2019, 10:53 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I roughed in a job. Guy that followed me on trim calls “hey I can’t get three ways and four ways to work. Why is one wire wrapped around the other?”

Me “tell me you didn’t Untwist them?”

5 hours later ringing stuff out they worked!
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Old 12-04-2019, 01:02 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I hate three way switches

Should be in the fail thread (me)

Couldn't figure out why my welder was only working in stitch mode. Couldn't get a bead longer than a half inch. Older snap on welder has a three way switch spot/continuous/stitch. I had bumped it down to stitch and didn't notice until I was freaked out that my welder was dying. I only needed a three inch weld, and it took waaaay too long to stitch it.

On a plus note, stitch works extremely well on that welder.
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Old 12-04-2019, 01:33 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Some of yall should step away from electrical, with the terms thrown out and such.

I'd hate to see you get into a box with a 4 way switch, being fed (ie powered) and switched (ie switch loop) going to it. Or a switch powered at the light(somewhat common in older homes), or switched outlets...or electrical

#doneSDCJing
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Old 12-04-2019, 01:38 PM   #23 (permalink)
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thats why i use the lutron maestro master and companion devices. makes shit easy peasy.
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Old 12-04-2019, 09:42 PM   #24 (permalink)
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3 way switches are bitches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pokeman View Post
My house has 4 and 5 ways. I am not sympathetic.


What the hell is a 5 way switch?

Last edited by chevydan3; 12-04-2019 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 12-04-2019, 09:52 PM   #25 (permalink)
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My wife and I bought the house we live in, the handyman changed all of the light switches and 'fixed' a lot of little things the lights don't work correctly. I've been avoiding the three way switches. So how do you figure out which one is the traveler wire?
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