How do I wire this?

Hello, we are trying to fix replace a 3-way switch and the wires we have available are 2 red, 1 black, and 1 white wire. The house was built in 1977, so we can't find much about this set-up online. Not sure what we're doing wrong but can't get the light switch to work.. not sure why. Any help?

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3 Answers

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  • 1 month ago

    The red wires are the 'travelers' and connect to the other 3 way switch in the switch leg. The black is the 'switch leg' wire and is either always hot, or hot to the fixture when the switches or both switched to the same traveler.

    The white usually isn't used for a 3 way switch.

    Spock is SERIOUSLY confused, or believes the original switch was installed by a MORON.

  • 1 month ago

    get a multimeter and test the wires.  the one that is always hot, even after the other switch is flipped, is the hot supply [probably one of the red ones] and the other two colored ones are the outgoing to the other switch.  the white should be a ground or neutral and connects to the ground on the switch or box.  -- grampa

  • 1 month ago

    black is usually ground, red would be power such as on and off, and white should be neutral

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