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We have a duplex outlet totally controlled with two 3 way…

Customer Question
We have a duplex...

We have a duplex outlet totally controlled with two 3 way switches. While replacing both (redecorating) I cannot get them to function as 3 ways. Switch 1 has white, black and red wires while switch 2 has (2) white wires and a red.

Contractor's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. How long have you been dealing with this?

One day

Contractor's Assistant: Do you plan on doing the work yourself?

Yes

Submitted: 26 days ago.Category: Electrical
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
3/30/2018
Electrician: Sam I, Electrician replied 26 days ago
Sam I
Sam I, Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 573
Experience: Maintenance Electrician, Electrical Contractor, Locomotive Electrician
Verified

Hello, do these switches have other switches in the box with them?

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Customer reply replied 26 days ago
switch 2 in in a box with another 3 way for a different circuit
Electrician: Sam I, Electrician replied 26 days ago

ok, could you pull out both switches in that box and take a picture so I can see all the wiring in the box? Also a pic of the single switch and its box too. You can upload them here

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Customer reply replied 25 days ago
I don't see an upload link. Do I use the + add files link?
Electrician: Sam I, Electrician replied 25 days ago

it's usually a paperclip icon near the text input

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Electrician: Sam I, Electrician replied 25 days ago

could be the add files link

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Customer reply replied 25 days ago
OK. Won't be today though.
Electrician: Sam I, Electrician replied 25 days ago

ok, maybe we can try it another way. I'm thinking you got some wires crossed when you changed the switches. Can you described all the wires in switch box 2? Even the ones not connected to the switch

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Electrician: Sam I, Electrician replied 25 days ago

How many, what colors and what's connected together, what's in the same cable?

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Customer reply replied 25 days ago
Attached are some pics and descriptions (pdf file)
Electrician: Sam I, Electrician replied 25 days ago

ok, I'm looking at this now

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Electrician: Sam I, Electrician replied 25 days ago

you said switch B1 is on another circuit breaker? Also, if you could pull the wire bundles out straight so I can see what is going where better and upload a pic.

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Electrician: Sam I, Electrician replied 25 days ago

Also, I believe you are calling the bare copper/aluminum neutrals when they are ground wires

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Electrician: Sam I, Electrician replied 25 days ago

Actually, first I want you to try switching positions of the black and white wire of switch A1 (black wire will now be on black terminal screw) and check function of switches. If it doesn't work put the red on the black terminal screw and try that. Let me know how it goes

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Customer reply replied 25 days ago
Switched back and white --no change. Is your second suggestion to leave white in its new position and swap red for black?
Electrician: Sam I, Electrician replied 24 days ago

No, put it back the way it was before and then swap white and red

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Customer reply replied 24 days ago
OK--meanwhile some more pics of A2/B1 box attached
Electrician: Sam I, Electrician replied 24 days ago

got it

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Electrician: Sam I, Electrician replied 24 days ago

any luck?

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Customer reply replied 24 days ago
Red white swap gives 100% no power at any toggle positions. I have doen a voltage check on each switch with toggles at varying settings. Sometimes I get 117 volts between a pair of terminals and sometimes 0.When I check say A1 with toggle up (no power) then go to A2 and switch its toggle position to what should be power on, I'll get a reading of 70 volts at A1 on a terminal pair.
Electrician: Sam I, Electrician replied 24 days ago

Ok, could you pull the light fixture so we can see what wires are in the ceiling box?

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Customer reply replied 24 days ago
No need the issue has been solved using info from other sources.
Electrician: Sam I, Electrician replied 23 days ago

ok good. What was the problem?

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Customer reply replied 23 days ago
The info I got was to disconnect both switches, probe each wire to ground (for voltage) in each box until the load wire was ID'ed, then connect that wire to the common: the other two are travelers. The rest of the info at the site I used was somewhat misleading, but I reasoned that the wires at the second switch now could be probed to ground to ID which wires there were the travelers (toggling the first switch will change the traveler), the other wire then had to be the common wire at that switch. Connected both accordingly and all is well.
Electrician: Sam I, Electrician replied 23 days ago
Alright. Glad you got it
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