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.
The source in this circuit is at the first switch and the light fixture is located between SW1 and SW2. Three-wire cable runs between each switch and the light fixture. The hot source wire is connected to the common terminal on SW1. The common terminal on SW2 is connected to the hot terminal on the light. The traveler wires are spliced at the fixture box to run between the traveler terminals on the switches.
A rheostat, or dimmer, makes it possible to vary the current flowing to a light fixture thereby varying the intensity of the light. The dimmer switch will have stranded wires that must be sliced to the solid cable wiring with a pigtail. A device like this should only be used with an incandescent light fixture and not with a ceiling fan or other motor. See wiring a speed controller for wiring a rheostat to control fan speed.
In this arrangement the source for the circuit is at the light fixture. 3-wire cable runs from the switches on each side, to the light. The hot source is spliced to the common terminal on SW2 and the hot terminal on the light fixture connects to the common terminal on SW1. The traveler wires are spliced at the fixture box and run to the traveler terminals on both switches.
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