Thursday, July 7, 2011

Why don't my 3way dimmers work

Three way dimmers not working


Illustration of light switch cascadeImage via Wikipedia




Question: I wired the room to a junction box with two dimmer switches with 3 way wiring. lighting and power source also to junction box. check for power to junction box with meeter all is good. something not working to switches and lights checked with meter no voltage. everything is a home run to junction box. need both switches to turn on and off lights.

Answer:

Hi Chris,


Do you have a 3 conductor wire running between the 3way switches? 3way switches need to have travelers or common wires between them to turn the light on and off. They work like a logic statement. Both switch have to be connected to the same wire for the light to go on. You have a wire "A" and a wire "B".
A schematic of a three-way light switch.Image via Wikipedia

Start:
SW1 "A" and SW2 "A" the light is on.

Flip SW1 and you have:
SW1 "B" and SW2 "A" the light is off.


Flip SW2 and you have:
SW1 "B" and SW2 "B" the light is on.



 I would try this and power it up without the dimmers to see if you can get the three-way circuit working.The dimmers add another level of complexity that you don't need when figuring out if the circuit works.  After the circuit work you will need to check the dimmers. Some dimmers can work in two locations. Others need to have one location to operate with a normal swtich
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