Three way switch replacement question?

I'm trying to replace my old three way switches so I looked up information on how to do it online.

I understand that I need to place the "hot" wire from each panel to the "common" connector in the switch. So, I went and purchased a "no touch voltage tester" to find out which wire is the "hot wire".

I turned off the breaker, disconnected all three wires in each switch and turned the breaker back on.

In one switch, I found the "hot wire" however, in the other switch, I wasn't able to find the "hot wire".

The voltage tester I purchased will lit red when there is a live wire, but on this switch, none of the wires turned the red light on. So at this point, I got confused.

I tried connecting the wires back to its original position (with the old switch), but now only one switch is working at a time. I've done more research, and everybody is saying it's a wiring issue. But if I can't find a "hot wire", then what would be my next step?

Thanks in advance for your answer.

4 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Connect the switch like you did at the box with the hot wire.

    Then turn the breaker on and check for a hot wire in the second box.

    Flip the first switch and find a different hot.

    Connect the third wire that did not ever test as hot to the "common" colored terminal, and the two that alternated hot to the silver screws.

    Here's what you got: On the switch itself the common connects to one silver at a time, when you flip the switch it connects to the other white. So you connect the hot to the common, and the two wire alternate hot depending on switch position. We'll call these wires A & B.

    At the second switch you need to find wires A & B, as you flip the first switch back and forth first A is hot then B is hot. These two connect also to the white screws on the second switch. The remaining wire is the path for electricity to the light fixture. The second switch just selects one of the two possible power sources, wire A or wire B will be connected to the common to power the light. If both switches are set to A (or both switches connect to B) then the light comes on.

    Source(s): Local 46 Electrician
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  • 8 years ago

    A simpler way

    That hot wire you found in the first switch, tie it temporarily to the other two wires

    Now go to second switch and find the two hot wires

    The wire not hot is your common

    Now untie the wires at other switch and do your connections as you now know what wires are for the common screws.

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  • 3 years ago

    Canada and the u . s .: "there became a twine going from the corridor change, related to the porch change, and back to the domicile; i presumed this became the floor. " it somewhat is the warm twine imparting skill to the sunshine switches; not a floor twine. maximum switches have not got or require floor twine connections. you do not change a floor or a impartial or uncomplicated twine. the floor twine is a protection gadget non contemporary carrying conductor (twine) and is hooked as much as the metallic change field. the only time the floor includes any contemporary is that if there's a floor fault. floor fault is whilst a contemporary carrying twine contacts a grounded factor (floor twine, metallic field or the different grounded metallic) or a gadget's insulation breaks down and enables contemporary pass interior the process the floor twine. warning: turn off the skill to the circuit imparting the porch and corridor lights furniture earlier intending. word: whilst connecting a twine to a screw terminal be sure the twine is wrapped around the screw in a clockwise direction. it somewhat is critical so whilst the screw is tightened the loop interior the twine would not tend to open and alter into loose. you in undemanding terms use 2 screw terminals on the three-way change controlling the porch mild. One screw is colored in any different case than the different 2. "there became a twine going from the corridor change, related to the porch change, and back to the domicile" connect this twine to the colored terminal of the three-way change used to regulate the porch mild. If there became yet another twine related to that terminal initially, it may additionally be related to the colored terminal. connect the relax twine to a minimum of one in all the different terminals of the three-way change controlling the porch mild. verify your connections are reliable and tight. turn off the skill to the circuit imparting the porch and corridor lights furniture. in case you have related each little thing authentic, it may artwork The change toggle must be down whilst the porch mild is off and up whilst the porch mild is on. If this would not artwork, touch a great qualified electrician to do the job properly.

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  • 5 years ago

    complicated aspect. search using a search engine. that can assist!

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