I need some help working out if the wiring in my recently-purchased house is dangerous. Quite a lot of stuff around the house, from the drywall to the flooring, was evidently done by the previous owner himself (he built the house) or by other non-professional friends of his, and it's possible this amateurism extends to the wiring also.
The two living room 3-way switches were working fine until I put new rocker switches in, after which I found that one of the switches must be on for the other one to work. Okay, so I must have mixed two wires up.
I did some reading on the interwebs, but everything I read failed to describe the situation I was facing. With both switches disconnected (everything but the grounds), they both showed a hot wire (according to my non-contact tester). Everything I'd read said that there should only be one hot wire out of six wires. Through trial and error, I was able to discover the combination that works; at the hall switch, the hot goes to common; and in the living room, the hot goes to one of the other terminals.
So, everything works fine now. What's worrying me though is that, in my reading about this issue, I learned that there are certain ways of wiring 3-ways ("California"/"coast"?) that are not safe. The fact that I couldn't find anything about having hot wires at both switches has left me concerned as to whether my wiring is okay or not.
What do you think? Is this enough information?