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I'm replacing a 3 way switch this time except the switch has…

Hey Sam, So I'm replacing a...
Hey Sam,
So I'm replacing a 3 way switch this time except the switch has more wires than expected.
It has 3 black wires and 1 red wire. I have already wired it up but does not work. The light will only work with one of the two switches.The smart switch on the right is the one that is not working correctly.
From each TP link smart switch, there are 2 wires coming out of it.One green ground
One white neutralThe smart switch has 3 screws (2 gold and 1 black). It is expecting 2 travellers under the gold screw and 1 common under the black screw.Pictured on the right of the right switch, there is a continuous wire (not 2 separate wires) currently connected to the black screw. This came from the black screw of the original switch. It is one long continuous screw that was also attached to the black screw of the left side's original switch. I have wired it into the left side smart switch's black screw. I am assuming it is the common/live wire.The red wire is a traveler.
This leaves 2 remaining black wires.I am sure I only have 2 switches that control this light and not 3. I do not understand why I have the extra wire.- I've tried using both these black wires as traveler.
- I've tried using 1 as the traveler and one as another live wire on the black screw
- I've tried this setup again, except swapping these 2 blacksMaybe the original live common wire is wrong?
I cannot understand why this doesn't work.
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Answered in 5 hours by:
1/18/2018
Sam I
Sam I, Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 482
Experience: Maintenance Electrician, Electrical Contractor, Locomotive Electrician
Verified
Hello, I just saw this. I will look it over and reply as soon as possible.
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Did the old switch have 4 separate terminals that these 4 wires attached to?
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
The wires go into the stab type terminals. The continuous wire was looped around the black screw label at location #1 in the attached picture. It was also connected to the adjacent old switch's black screw originally as well. That left switch controls a different light. The red wire if I remember correctly was plugged into location #3 and the other two locations had black wires in them.

Ok, #1 and 2 are the same terminal, just different attachment points. I assume one of those wires is a power tap (power out to another part of the circuit). Put the red and black that come from the same cable on the two brass terminals of the TP link switch. The power loop and the leftover black should then go together on the black terminal. You will probably need to cut the loop in the middle, put it all together along with a pigtail to the TP link switch.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Ok let me give it a try when I get home tonight

ok, let me know

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Yes connect those wires together on the same black screw. As long as the black and red going to the brass screws are coming from the same romex cable.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I connected the loop and the black wire to the black screw. The switch is powered but does not function to turn the light on or off. The 2nd switch (downstairs, not shown) does work though."As long as the black and red going to the brass screws are coming from the same romex cable."
Sorry whats the romex cable?

romex cable is the plastic/pvc jacketed cable that contains either a black, white, bare ground wire, called a 12/2 romex, or a 12/3 romex contains a black, red, white, and bare copper ground

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The technical name for it is NM (for Non-Metallic) cable

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Ah yes, the red and black travellers are from the same romex cable.
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
yeah after it is connected, the switch is powered but it doesn't turn the light on or off.

do you have another TP Link switch installed at that location?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Yeah I was just going to say, probably time to pull that one out
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Give me a few minutes and I'll pull it out and take a picture.

ok?

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sorry didn't mean to put that question mark. LOL

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
haha yeah I was scratching my head on why you had a question mark. Ok so I think I found the problem. If the red and black travellers have to come from the same romex cable, then I currently have it backwards. I will reverse it now and let you know

ok. That could definitely cause a problem

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Yup that was it. Then the old switch previously had the traveller attached to the black screw on the old switch..... because on this one, I basically did a one to one... black screw to black screw. and the other red and black were supposedly travellers. That piece of information about the romex cable was key.

Well as long as we got it working. Glad to help!

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I did notice what looks like a pinch or nick in that red wire in one of your pics. You should inspect that and possibly cut it back past that if the copper is nicked. If it's just insulation then tape with electrical tape 3 or 4 wraps.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Ohhh thats just plastic wrap. It's not even part of the insulation but yeah from the picture it looks like it is nicked.I have a few more switches in the house to change up but I think I got it from here lol. but dont' be surprised if you hear from me again.Once again, thank you very much, 5*!

You're welcome! Good night.

Sam I
Sam I, Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 482
Experience: Maintenance Electrician, Electrical Contractor, Locomotive Electrician
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Satisfied Customers: 482
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