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Have a light operated on two 3 ways 120 at the breaker only…

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Have a hall light operated...
Have a hall light operated on two 3 ways 120 at the breaker only 20 volts at both switchs and the light.. is there a loose connection somewhere? Any ideas?
Submitted: 5 months ago.Category: Electrical
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
3/9/2018
Electrician: Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor replied 5 months ago
Kevin
Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4,474
Experience: 31 years Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, Adjunct College Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma: Digital Electronics, FCC General Class License
Verified

Hello and welcome to Just Answer. My name is ***** ***** I will be happy to assist you with your electrical question.

Please be patient as it takes time to type and provide links. Also note that the website may be sending you a telephone offer, the offer is not originating from me.

1) Yes either a loose wire termination at one of the 3-ways or a faulty wire splice or termination in another box on the same circuit.

2) Did you measure for 120 volts at the COM screw (black screw) at both 3-ways?

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Electrician: Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor replied 5 months ago

1) What are the wire colors on the COM screw at each of the 3-ways?

2) Can you confirm which 3-way is the hot circuit feed and which 3-way is the switched loop that extends to the light?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
The switches are so old only black and whites on one switch with the reds tied together and on the 2nd switch has the black white and red wires screwed to the terminals.
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Also reds twisted together inside the panel too. With no wire nuts. Just twisted together and taped.
Electrician: Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor replied 5 months ago

1) Do the switches contain 2 brass and 1 black screw? Each switch should be labeled with a COM screw?

2) Any idea as to the age of the 3-way installation? Prior to the mid 1960's?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Built in 50’s
Electrician: Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor replied 5 months ago

OK, I will opt out of the question. It is possible that the switches were either California or Carter wired and not wired to conventional modern day 3-way methods.

Perhaps another expert can better assist you. No need to reply back to me, you will be notified once your question is picked up.

Thanks.............Kevin

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Electrician: George Smith, Master Electrician replied 5 months ago
George Smith
George Smith, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 451
Experience: Superintendent at Electrical Solutions and Data
Verified

Hi this George let me see if I can help?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
120 V at the panel only 20 V at both switches and light socket. Loose connection in attic somewhere?
Electrician: George Smith, Master Electrician replied 5 months ago

Do you know which switch is your contant hot side and which is your load side?

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Electrician: George Smith, Master Electrician replied 5 months ago

I looks like you have a 3 way and a 4 way ? Are you sure there isn't another switch in the circuit?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Owner says those are the only two switches
Electrician: George Smith, Master Electrician replied 5 months ago

Has to be another?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Owner says if there is they don’t know where it is
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
I don’t see any more switches anywhere either. Owner says it has not worked in years..
Electrician: George Smith, Master Electrician replied 5 months ago

ok!

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Electrician: George Smith, Master Electrician replied 5 months ago

That switch with the four wires is a 4 way and there has to be two 3 ways in the circuit! Do you know where the wires with the red black and white go ?

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Electrician: George Smith, Master Electrician replied 5 months ago

What switch is that ?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
A switch that owner knows nothing about at the other end of hallway. I thought the white neutrals were tied together and the red Travellers were used on switches. Only one switch has a red connected to it. All other red’s are twisted together in the panel to.
Electrician: George Smith, Master Electrician replied 5 months ago

Ok! You have pic to use! Take the two three ways apart and test each wire to ground?

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Ok
Electrician: George Smith, Master Electrician replied 5 months ago

You need to get new switches! Two 3ways and one 4way!

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Nothing is grounded are no ground wires
Electrician: George Smith, Master Electrician replied 5 months ago

ok Do you have receptacle near by each switch for you to get a temp neutral to test? That is why you're not getting a good reading!

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Gonna start with new switches ? No receptacle
Electrician: George Smith, Master Electrician replied 5 months ago

You have to get a neutral to test!

Hope I was of help today!

Please give me a 5 star rating before you sign off today!

Thanks !

George

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