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3 way circuit troubleshooting

Posted By: Ben
Sunday, 29 August 1999, at 6:53 p.m.

I am about to go crazy!!

I am converting a old single pole switched light to a three way switch circuit. I have taken out the old switch and put in a 3 way, and installed another 3 way down the stairs. I have connected everything according to the circuit diagrams in my electrical book for a circuit with two 3 way switches down stream from a light fixture.

But either switch only works when the other switch is in the down position only. They do not work independantly of each other like they should.

I have tried reversing the black and white wires at the fixture (old house-- no guarantee the black is hot); tried reversing the white and black wires at the first 3 way. Tried reversing the white common and one of the travelers at the second 3 way switch. No luck.

Can someone please enlighten me? What I am doing wrong?

Check my math--> since the light is at the beginning of the circuit, the hot/black wire gets theorectically spliced to the light fixture, then comes down and into the common screw of the first 3 way switch. The white of the 2 wire goes to the white of the 3 wire. Red and black travelers connect the two 3 way switches on their repsective screws and the white wire of the 3 wire goes to the second 3 way switch at the common screw. THIS SHOULD WORK! Why not?

Do I have a faulty switch?


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