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Paul, Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 805
Experience:  23 yrs as an electrician, self employed contractor, municipal inspector
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I have a Pass & Seymour 696 series switch that I am trying

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I have a Pass & Seymour 696 series switch that I am trying to install. A 3way on the top and a single pole on the bottom. They are one circuit with one light controlled by single pole and other light by 3way and another 3way in a different location. I cannot figure out how to wire this I tried to follow the drawing provided but blew fuses 3 times. I did have the 3way working at one point but when I would turn on sp it would blow fuse. Actually I only blow the fuse when I turn on the single pole. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks. Joe
Hi Joe, can you tell me how many wires you have in the switch box and what color they are? It would also help if you could tell me how they are grouped together (as far which wires come from the same sheath/insulation). Also, can you describe how the terminals are arranged on the switch (and what color they are)? In the mean time, I'll try to located your P&S switch online.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
switchOn the Wire coming from the circuit box there are black, white and red. Black being hot and the red was not used on the old switch. on the other wire in the box (assuming this feeds the 2 lights) is also black red and white. i'll attach a picture to this email. All the srews are a copper color except for the single screw on 3way part is black.
Ok... so just to make sure I understand correctly, you have two 12/3 or 14/3 cables in the box and that's all (that would be two whites, two blacks, and two reds, not counting grounds)?

You are just replacing an old switch? I'm assuming something was no longer working?

Are you certain the red wire was not connected? Sometimes, when the back holes are used to plug the wire into instead of using the side screws, the wire comes out when you pull the switch out leaving one to think it wasn't connected to the switch... that being said, was the red wire capped off with a wire nut or was it striped as if it could have been connected?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

ya, just 2 wires coming in (2 white wblack 2 red)

just replacing old switch (had to move to other side of wall )


and no i'm not 100% sure that the red wasn't used before. when i removed the old switch i wanted to keep some of the color on the wire so i knew what went where but it wasn't possible now i'm lost.

Do you have a voltmeter so we can check a couple of things?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
ya, i have one.
Great... can you tell me which wires have voltage from line to ground? Check from each: red to ground, black to ground, and white to ground for both cables. Twist the two grounds together to make sure you're connecting the ground going back to the panel.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
on black wire coming from circuit breaker is showing anything, 120
Now please take a look at the other 3 way switch and tell me what color the wires are that are connected to it... also note what color the wire is that is connected to the black screw on that switch.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
red white and black, the red wire is connected to the black screw.
Are all three of those wires at the other switch (red, white, and black) coming from the same cable? Please look very closely as this can drastically change how we'll need to connect the other switch.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
yes all coming from one cable at the other 3 way switch
That being the case, there seems to be something wrong. I have no doubt that this was once working with this wiring configuration, but this an extremely unorthodox wiring method. Can you double check that those 3 wires are coming from the same cable?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
well in the ceiling light there are 2 wires coming in red, black and white on each.
2 reds are twisted together, white from one twisted to the black on another and the other white and black go to the light
I'm sorry, but I'm not sure what to make of this wiring. I can't tell what may have been done without being able to see this for myself. As much as I'd like to help you, I'm not going to be able to with the way these wires are ran. Perhaps, I've just drastically misunderstood something. I'll "opt out" now so that other experts can take a look at this and offer to help if they feel they can. Sorry we've come this far but were unable to figure things out. Best of luck!



Please check to be sure the red is connected to the black screw on the second switch.


This does not seem correct with the wiring connections in the ceiling. It should be a black wire not red.


Let me know what you find



Customer: replied 7 years ago.
the black is on the black screw, i made a mistake. all the other wiring i double check and is how i said

So th ewhite of this 3 wire should connect to the other white wires in the box.


The black feed will connect ot hte common screw of the sw. The red and black of the 3 wire will go to the other two screws either silver or brass depending on the switch.


The common screw should have a jumper to the single pole side of the switch to power that side. The other black wire will connect to the last screw.


Does this make sense?



Paul, Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 805
Experience: 23 yrs as an electrician, self employed contractor, municipal inspector
Paul and other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
ya, that sounds similar to how they had the switch before thank you for your help

No Problem.


Hope you have a great New Years



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