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Maxi-Pier Tech
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570 Posts
Sure is nice when a fellow tradesman thinks "he is the man". As a G.C. I am not required to specialize as an electricain. That is the reason I am researching this issue prior to doing the work. It just seemed like a simple fix to me. I am happy for you that you have a wealth of information, but it saddens me to see your lack of ability to offer help to others. After all...I thought that is what this site was all about! Have fun bashing!
maybe if you were more respectful. on one hand you want to be a fellow tradesman then in the same sentence you retorically take a personal stab. you never did answer your questions. :rolleyes:
 

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slave driver
Joined
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82 Posts
3-way switch problem

Not to bash you, just want to suggest as others to call an electrician.
I posted a while back about an electrical problem concerning what I thought might be an unsafe/dangerous wiring condition, did I sound a little worried or maybe scared in my post? sure! this was out of my comfort zone, my family's life is way more important than my ego. ELECTRICITY is that marvelous, invisible force that makes our life so much easier.
Long story short, the professional electrician I hired put my mind at ease, and was able to locate and correct other hidden flaws in the home.
I am a pro at my trade of glass and glazing, through apprenticeship training,
all the way to journeyman. Can I do some plumbing, electrical, carpentry?
Maybe/maybe not, that's why I ask a question and listen to the responses
The sparky's on this site are not going to compromise their professionalism
and tell you what might be the quick fix, their reputation as pros and their true caring for protection of life and property come first.
sorry for the long response, take their advise and hire one.:thumbsup:
 

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Mickey
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105 Posts
Something for all of you electricians to think about when you insist that only an electrician should handle this job. I don't know of an electrician who would take the time to fix this problem for a homeowner in my area. Too small of a job, so the homeowner tries to fix it himself or learns to live without a 3 way switch. I agree that most homeowners shouldn't be doing this kind of work, but there are some out there who can figure it out and do it safely.
 

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I own stock in FotoMat!
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12,667 Posts
Something for all of you electricians to think about when you insist that only an electrician should handle this job. I don't know of an electrician who would take the time to fix this problem for a homeowner in my area. Too small of a job, so the homeowner tries to fix it himself or learns to live without a 3 way switch. I agree that most homeowners shouldn't be doing this kind of work, but there are some out there who can figure it out and do it safely.
Then right there is a niche market that is completely untapped.

Now, back to the OPs problem: Again, how is your 3-way system wired? Which opening is fed with power first?... Switch A, Switch B, or the fixture itself?
 

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Registered
Joined
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967 Posts
None of you electricians were born knowing how to wire a 3 way, give the guy a break, he is trying to learn.
It is beneficial to know some basics so you are able to identify any potential problems you may come across.
And then call in the electrician.
 

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I own stock in FotoMat!
Joined
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12,667 Posts
None of you electricians were born knowing how to wire a 3 way, give the guy a break, he is trying to learn.
It is beneficial to know some basics so you are able to identify any potential problems you may come across....
That's what I'm trying to do. I just need to know how it was wired to begin with. Is power coming into one of the switches first, or does it go to the fixture instead?
 

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Super Moderator
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24,659 Posts
I believe the underlying issue in this thread is the OP lackadaisical approach and the manner he posted the question. He's a GC supposed to have some working knowledge of the trade. Pull the cover & look if it is the proper switch, you don't need to ask that here. And then the statement of gonna mess around with a tester. You going to tell a client that? This is not a professional approach to the problem. Maybe he's just trying to look cool on this site and the way the question was posed blew that. Maybe a lesson learned?
Remember in dealing with people it's their perception of you that counts.
 

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I own stock in FotoMat!
Joined
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12,667 Posts
I believe the underlying issue in this thread is the OP lackadaisical approach and the manner he posted the question. He's a GC supposed to have some working knowledge of the trade. Pull the cover & look if it is the proper switch, you don't need to ask that here. And then the statement of gonna mess around with a tester. You going to tell a client that? This is not a professional approach to the problem. Maybe he's just trying to look cool on this site and the way the question was posed blew that. Maybe a lesson learned?
Remember in dealing with people it's their perception of you that counts.

If it's a toggle switch, you don't even need to pull the cover. If it has "ON" and "OFF" stamped on it, it's a single pole.

Now, a seasoned professional can identify 3-ways and even 4-way decoras without pulling the cover, but that's not what this thread is about.




Now, again, where in the circuit is power fed to the switches and light?
 
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Super Moderator
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24,659 Posts
480sparky, My mistake didn't think about the on off labeling.:party::cry:
Exactly why I defer to the experts.:thumbsup:
 

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Superior Firepower
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5,089 Posts
I have seen 3 ways wired with 12-2 rope.
Switching those wires around until you
come up with a winner is dangerous
to himself, the HO, his family and the
Electrician called out to repair shoddy work.
 

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Registered
Joined
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323 Posts
ATTN Prima Donna contractors: Unless this guy has a heart condition and firmly grabs the ground in one hand and the lead in the other, I doubt the guy's going to kill himself with 120.:rolleyes: We get it, you're professionals and you hate hack-of-all-trades. At LEAST he's asking about it.

ATTN OP: If you don't know how to do something, sub it out to a professional and watch them do it while asking questions. Unless they're a complete jerk, they'll be happy to explain what they're doing. Then next time, you can fix it yourself.:thumbsup: Ask yourself, would you hire a plumber who didn't know how to change a faucet? That's how basic a 3-way switch is to an electrician.
 

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Handle It!
Joined
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9,588 Posts
This sorta post, both sides of the debate/bickering is really hurting this place.

Delivery of a statement is the most important factor in the reception of said statement.

As for the asking for advice or technical assistance, I do believe that if the question were about anything other than electron flow, there would be no nay-sayers.

How is one to learn?

I could understand if the OP were asking about a service change out.........
 

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Registered
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238 Posts
Contractor Talk is good for many things, for instance, getting info of your trade from others in your trade, and getting good feedback on tools and whatnot. What is going on in this thread makes me wonder how much difference there would be if homeowners were allowed to ask questions. Where is the line drawn? If we help this person, how is it different?
 

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I own stock in FotoMat!
Joined
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12,667 Posts
ATTN Prima Donna contractors: Unless this guy has a heart condition and firmly grabs the ground in one hand and the lead in the other, I doubt the guy's going to kill himself with 120.:rolleyes: We get it, you're professionals and you hate hack-of-all-trades. At LEAST he's asking about it.

ATTN OP: If you don't know how to do something, sub it out to a professional and watch them do it while asking questions. Unless they're a complete jerk, they'll be happy to explain what they're doing. Then next time, you can fix it yourself.:thumbsup: Ask yourself, would you hire a plumber who didn't know how to change a faucet? That's how basic a 3-way switch is to an electrician.

ATTN BUILDERSII: How many people can a noob plumber kill with a leaky faucet?;)

What seems to be a prevelant attitude here is since the OP is in one of the building trades, a 3-way switch is magically 'safer' than other forms of electicity. No matter how 'basic' is it, it is still the same electricity that kills people and burns buildings down. This is a fact of life. This is the truth. This is the way it is, whether you like it or not.

Now, I'm more than willing to walk the OP through the troubleshooting process, but it appears he's not willing to participate.
 
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