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3 way tangle
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3 way tangle

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3 way tangle
Residential Wiring - The Right Way!

Wiring Information for the Do It Yourself Homeowner

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Thread: 3 way tangle

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    2

    Default 3 way tangle

    Guys, I'm having a problem with this wiring setup involving a 3 way switch. There's a diagram below:


    3 way tangle-diagram-png

    The black trunk 2 is hot at all times. I believe it powers trunk 1 (an exhaust fan) and trunk 4 (another set of 3-way switches in the hallway). The white and red on trunk 3 always have continuity with red and white on trunk 5, leading me to believe they're two ends of the same wire, but the black does not have continuity.

    Connecting the always hot on 2 to the black on 3 turns on the light fixture. Connecting it to 1 turns on the fan. Connecting it to 4 turns on the hall light (when the switch is one way).

    I didn't make enough note when removing the switches (I intended just to swap one out), but I recall that one switch had two black wires on the common screw -- as if the fan was piggybacked off another switch.

    I don't know if my explanation or the diagram is at all helpful, but I would really appreciate some advice here. Please feel free to ask any questions if I haven't made it clear enough.

    Thanks,
    Oxwilder

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    414

    Default

    Just give me a moment trying to draw out your description.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Welland Ontario
    Posts
    398

    Default

    Please tell us what you expect to happen in the box. Is it something like this.
    one switch controls fan.
    two switch controls light
    no switches control hall way. It has its own switch somewhere else.

    Also what are the two fixture boxes in the drawing? Neither one of those is the three way controlled light because your description of the three way wiring seems to indicate it goes to light fixture before the other switch. Fixture 1 wiring indicates you have at least two fixtures controlled by one switch. Fixture 2 wiring indicates you have at least three fixtures on the same switch.

    Most of what you said makes sense except the light on trunk 3. I don't see where the neutral for the light comes from.
    Last edited by chrisb; 01-13-2013 at 07:19 PM.
    Operation Overlord.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    414

    Default

    Can you recheck the boxes to see if there is an additional cable in one of the boxes? Trying to figure out how the fixtures are getting the feed from the switch. Your description seems to indicate trunk 4 is a completely different switch circuit and is just getting the circuit power from this location.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Indeed, I did not make a few things clear.

    So yes, the first switchbox has two switches: a two-way to control a fan and a three way that controls both light fixtures pictured. The second switch box has a s3 that also controls the two light fixtures. Trunk 4, which must have been tied into the hot on trunk 2 controls a fixture that has its own pair of s3 somewhere.

    And I'm sorry to do this to you, but the diagram only contains the leads I can see (minus grounds), not necessarily all the leads needed to make the circuit work. It just might not be enough info.

    I think with the fixtures, one is just fed by the other in parallel which explains the leads coming into and going out of the box.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    414

    Default

    There still seems to be a wire missing here somewhere, answer these questions...

    At Switch Box 2
    How many wire cables are entering this box? What is the color of the wire that is connected to the common screw of the 3 way switch at switch box 2.
    Is there only one 3 wire cable at switch box 2? and is the wire sequence
    common screw - black wire?
    white wire on one of the remaining main screws
    red wire on one of the last remaining main screw.
    please confirm?

    Is there more wires coming in at switch box 2?
    look closely as wires may be short and have a wire nut connecting them together at either box tucked away at the back of the box.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Welland Ontario
    Posts
    398

    Default

    I can't figure out where the neutral for the three way setup is coming from. Here is what you need to make the fan and the hall way work. A third black pigtail might be needed for the three way but not until we figure out where the neutral is coming from. The fan switch goes on the end of the two black leads on the left.

    3 way tangle-sw-box1-jpg
    Operation Overlord.

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