Can't figure this out this 3-way switch for the life of me. | on ElectriciansForums

# Can't figure this out this 3-way switch for the life of me.

Discuss Can't figure this out this 3-way switch for the life of me. in the UK Electrical Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

#### David916

DIY
I know this is probably very simple for a lot of you, but I just can't get it to work right right. I've been close, but no cigar. I disconnected the switches because I painted the walls and I can't remember how I had them wired. There are two 3-way switches that control two exterior lights. Any advice would be appreciated. I did have a severe head injury and had to learn to talk and walk again so if you can dumb it down, I'd really appreciate it.
-Dave

Can you remember if any of the wires were joined together on a terminal?

Do you have a multimeter? We would need to know which are the traveller wires.
(I assume 2,3,5,6. 2 and 3 would be interchangeable, as would 5 and 6)

That leaves a red (7) as the other common on second switch, to go out to the lamps…. But the red (4) is a mystery

I don’t think much of the instructions where they use DC + and - for an AC circuit.

Can you remember if any of the wires were joined together on a terminal?

Do you have a multimeter? We would need to know which are the traveller wires.
(I assume 2,3,5,6. 2 and 3 would be interchangeable, as would 5 and 6)

That leaves a red (7) as the other common on second switch, to go out to the lamps…. But the red (4) is a mystery

I don’t think much of the instructions where they use DC + and - for an AC circuit.
Yeah, I have a multimeter and yes, 2 wires had to be joined together.

So far I found out that when when wires 1 (hot) and 2 (traveler) are connected, wire 5 becomes hot.
If I connect 1 (hot) to 3 or 4, 5 or 6 do not become hot.

Not much to go off of, but maybe it's enough to start with? There are no neutral wires so technically nothing can go wrong, It just won't work, so I'm open to trying any configuration. It would be an AC circuit for home use.

If you were me, what configurations would you try for the 1, 2 and 5 wires?

Do all your other lights in the house work with those switches disconnected.
Have you tried connecting the hot to the other wires to see if the light comes on.

Do all your other lights in the house work with those switches disconnected.
Have you tried connecting the hot to the other wires to see if the light comes on.
Yea, everything else works. Those switches just control the outside lights, one on the left side of the left sliding door, and one on the right side of the right sliding door.

I did try connecting the hot to the other wires and as mentioned above, the hot only comes in on the left switch and only 1 wire travels the signal to the right switch to make it hot. It used to work perfectly fine before I removed the switch to paint the walls.

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I was mistaken. The hot wire on the left can be connected to either 3 or 4 (red) and transfer power to either 6 or 7 (red) on the right.

Only wires 2 and 5 don't do anything. Maybe they are carriers to other outdoor that I haven't yet tested?

However, there are 4 wires on the left switch, so I can understand the 1 extra wire being a carrier to something else. But there are 3 wires on the right switch and there are 3 terminals on the right switch.

Any ideas would help tremendously.

Spent another 3 hours trying every possible combination and finally figured it out. Thanks anyhow.

Reply to Can't figure this out this 3-way switch for the life of me. in the UK Electrical Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

Ah OK, that makes sense. Thank you Avo.
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thank you very much - I was able to get it to work! Have a great weekend!
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Thank you!
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Like this... And yes as per your response this doesn't show the other switches and what I've had to do to accomodate them, but this is...
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