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Author Topic: 3 way dimmers  (Read 15953 times)

gdrnec

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3 way dimmers
« on: April 11, 2006, 07:58:21 AM »

Hi all,
Are there any three way dimmer switches that don't require a master and slave setup? So many of my houses lights are on three way circuits and I would rather not have to change all the enclosures to fit a second switch.
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steven r

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Re: 3 way dimmers
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2006, 11:21:34 AM »

I'm a bit confused. Are you saying you want to use X10 for this project and just change out one of the pair of switches for your lights?
Do you just want to put in a non X10 dimmer where one of the switches is? I don't think a single X10 switch could work as some current must flow through the switch at all times to allow the X10 signal. The other switch would effectively become a master off switch.

A conventional 3-way light is wired like this. The hot line goes to one switch and two wires connect the two switches.

                             ___________________             light
     Hot_________/  ___________________  \_______?____
AC                                                                                 |
     Neutral________________________________________|


When both swiches are up current can flow through the upper line. When both switches are down current can flow through the lower line. If one is up and one is down, there can be no flow of current. This is why both switches must be changed.

Just be glad your house isn't wired with 4-way switches.  Anyone else out there ever seen a 4-way switch?
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dave w

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Re: 3 way dimmers
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2006, 11:55:40 AM »

gdrnec,

What do you mean by "change all the enclosures to 'fit' a second switch." ? Normally both 3-way switches in a 3-way circuit are replaced with the X10 "master" and "slave" switches. If the original 3-way switch fit in the enclosure (wall box) the X10 switch will also. (?)

sorry I'm confused also.

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gdrnec

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Re: 3 way dimmers
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2006, 07:07:51 PM »

I think I see both your points and believe that I now understand. I take your point about the current flow. I was thinking that both sides of the three way would need to have both a slave and master. It should actualy be that one side is the master and the other a slave. Right?
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roger1818

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Re: 3 way dimmers
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2006, 12:46:58 PM »

It should actualy be that one side is the master and the other a slave. Right?

Correct.  You only need one master switch per light.  All other switches can be slave switches.  In X10 the master switch will turn the light on and off and the slave switches will tell the master switch to turn the light on or off.
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Whirled

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Re: 3 way dimmers
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2006, 02:25:43 PM »

I just tried installing a WS12A in place of an existing 2-way toggle. The WS12A acted properly, but the other (existing) toggle just acted as an enable/disable switch for the WS12A - in other words IT DIDN"T WORK properly. I assume the WS14A Companion switch does something more than what the Existing toggle does - like trickle some current to the WS12A in each position. 

I am not ready to change out the existing toggle (because of a ganged switchplate issue). Is there a simple work around like adding a couple of resistors to the existing switch to add the "trickle factor"?
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Brian H

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Re: 3 way dimmers
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2006, 04:37:09 PM »

WS14 sends a trigger voltage into the WS12s traveler wire.
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Whirled

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Re: 3 way dimmers
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2006, 05:15:16 PM »

When you install a WS12 and a companion WS14 - can the lights be dimmed from both locations?
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