In this diagram the source for the circuit is at the light fixture and the two switches come after. Two-wire cable runs from the light, to SW1 and 3-wire cable runs between SW1 and SW2. The hot source is spliced to the white cable-wire, which is wrapped with black tape to mark it as hot and run through to SW1 where it is spliced to the black wire running to the common terminal on SW2. The hot terminal on the light fixture is connected to the common terminal on SW1. The red wire and marked white wire travelers connect the traveler terminals between the two switches.
The common wire is usually black and the travelers red, in any case, the traveler wires will usually be the same color to distinguish them from the common. The stranded wires on the dimmer are spliced to the cable wires from the circuit.
If your switches stop working they may be worn out or the screws may have come loose. If you’ve wired a new switch correctly and the circuit still doesn’t work, the switch may be defective. Check that all connections are tight. Check the switch, remove it from the circuit and test for failure with a continuity tester or multimeter set on the Ohms setting.
If the switch is good and things still don’t work, check the wiring to be sure the hot source is connected to a common terminal and the light fixture hot is connected to a common terminal. Likewise, be sure the traveler terminals are connected between switches only and not to any hot wires or the load.
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