Residential 3-way switch problem with leaking voltage? Answered
I noticed a slight glow in the light when it was switched off. LED bulbs in a ceiling fan/light fixture. House built in 1905, wired whenever? using all-fabric insulation type wiring but not knob and tube . Removed the load from sw 2 and tested travel wire voltages and got 95 v on one and 25 v on the other. Flip sw 1 and the voltages trade wires along with the switch position change. The switches tested OK but replaced both anyway and got duplicate readings when repeating tests. Isolated the travel wires and got no continuity (infinite resistance) using all scales of an analog meter as well as a Fluke digital multi-meter.. We checked for voltage feedback from another circuit and even used an extension cord to a different circuit in order to use a different ground wire. With the load connected, the travel wire being used shows 120 v but we still get 25 v on the other wire. I discovered this because when I bought the house only sw 2 worked the light, and one travel wire was disconnected at sw 1 and taped off.. I have not opened the ceiling box at the fixture because the problem exists when the wire to it is disconnected.The previous owner said he didn't remember what sw 1 went to because it hadn't worked for many years.
So we eliminated worn insulation or nail into the cable because either one would cause a resistance reading below infinity. All we can think of is a legacy doorbell. Neither of us remembers working one, but I know some used 120 volts and a relay. People have told me that relay contacts can cause this problem when they get worn.
Does anyone have any ideas? I'm retired on a fixed income and tearing walls open is an absolute last resort.
Thank you in advance for any advice I can get!