3 way switches and a light

Old 09-09-02, 05:29 PM
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3 way switches and a light

I'm working on a house that was pretty much trashed before I bought it. I have a hall way light operated by 2 switches. The problem is the wireing, I don't know who did it but something is just not right. Here is a description of what I have for wireing. !st switch has 1 white, 1 black, 1 red, 1 ground, The ground is not connected to the switch. 2nd switch has, 2 black 1 red hooked to switch, 2 white wire nutted in box and ground not connected. The light has 1 white hooked to light, 1 black hooked to light, 2 red wire together, and 1 white and 1 black together with a nut, the grounds are together but not hooked to the light. I know I have never seen the white and black together before. I did buy new light and 2, 3 way switches. Thank you to anyone that can help me, Doc
Old 09-09-02, 06:34 PM
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There is nothing wrong with this wiring. The first switch is a switch loop. A properly wired switch loop will always have a black wire and a white wire connected to each other at the fixture. Power comes into the second switch. The wiring you describe is very common and complies with modern code.

The only thing possibly worrisome is the unconnected grounding wires. If there are green grounding screws on the switches and/or light, the grounding wires should be connected there. If the box is metal, the grounding wires should be connected to that. If the switches contain no grounding screws and the box is not metal, then it is okay that the grounding wires are not connected.
Old 09-09-02, 06:45 PM
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Your assumtion is correct, to find a white wire connected to a black should cause flags to fly, A grounded conductor should never be hooked to a switch, but here just because it's white it is not a grounded conductor, but being used as a travler wire. There is nothing wrong with what you got, Only suggestion is to tape the white wire with black tape. Ground switches, and light, re-hook exactly the same way to new switches.

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