3 way


  #1  
Old 02-14-03, 10:16 AM
Jerry Colotti
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Question 3 way

I have a 3 way switch, that I have no idea what it controls. (we just moved into this house, 1904). There is a wall switch that controls a ceiling fan, but this 3 way switch, (it has a red, black and white wire) controls nothing in the room. Can I convert this switch to a wall outlet somehow?
 
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Old 02-14-03, 10:31 AM
G
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The answer to that is if there is incoming power going to the box or if all the wiring in the box are for switching only. Post back with exactly what wires are in the box and their colors.
 
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Old 02-14-03, 10:40 AM
MTgets
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Are you sure it doesnt switch 1 half of the outlets in that room? Mabye nothing is plugged in to them so you didnt see anything going on/off
 
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Old 02-14-03, 11:49 AM
Jerry Colotti
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There is power coming into the box. When I put a tester on the wires, and turn the switch in, I get a 120 reading, nothing with the switch off. There is one outlet in the room, and it doesn't control that. There is a red black and white wire, the red is on one side, and the black and white on the other.
 
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Old 02-14-03, 12:04 PM
G
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When you put the tester on the wires which wires are you connecting to? the odds are these wires are entirely part of the switch loop. you would have to determine where they are coming from. That is the reason I asked about all the wires in the box and how they are interconnected.
 
  #6  
Old 02-14-03, 12:15 PM
Jerry Colotti
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I connect to either red and black, or red and white. I have no idea where the wires go, or where they come from. The cable is romex, while most of the old part of the house is BX. The wall the switch is on has been renovated. There was an addition put on the outside wall, and the window above the switch had to be replaced, and the wall was modified for the new window. There is no light outside the window either.
 
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Old 02-14-03, 12:21 PM
G
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Ok let me see if I understand this correctly you have two switches in the box, five wires one set of black and white to one switch and one set with black, red and white to the other. There are no other wires in the box. Where in the house is this switch located example is it in a bedroom? or hallway? close to the basement or stairway? At one time it did control something what we have to do is find out what. If there are more wires in the box let me know
 
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Old 02-14-03, 12:26 PM
lestrician
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First, I would make sure that you do as MT suggests and see if it controls receptacle(s) in that area. Second, if it does not, it does concern me that you say that has been renovated. I have run into the case where someone no longer needs a lighting outlet so they simply cap off the wires, and sheetrock over it. If it does not control anything (and I'd check the entire house) there is a good possibility that this is the case. Can you follow the wires in an attic to see where they go? To be safe, I would make sure that switch is in the off position until you figure it out.
 
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Old 02-14-03, 12:29 PM
Jerry Colotti
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here is what I have, a switch that controls nothing in the rom it is in. It is in a bedroom. There is one other wall switch in the room, that runs the ceiling fan. There is one wall outlet, that neither switch operates. In the 3 ways swithc in question, there are 3 wires, the red black and blue. When I turn the switch on, I get a 120 reading by touching the red and black wires, or the red and white. I get no readings when the switch is in the off position.
 
  #10  
Old 02-14-03, 12:31 PM
Jerry Colotti
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the only other strange thing about the switch, it is about 12 inches off the floor. I can not follow the wires. I know it is on the same circuit as the renovated part of the house.
 
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Old 02-14-03, 02:26 PM
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Ummm, could that switch be for one or more outside receptacles to control Christmas lights? Being that the switch was specifically installed only 12" above the floor (and in a newly renovated wall) tells me it is for something "special"...like Christmas lights.

Kooter


Originally posted by Jerry Colotti
the only other strange thing about the switch, it is about 12 inches off the floor. I can not follow the wires. I know it is on the same circuit as the renovated part of the house.
 
  #12  
Old 02-14-03, 04:40 PM
J
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This might help. Monitor the voltage on the switch and have someone flop the breakers to find which breaker controls it. Then you will at least be able to find what else is on the same circuit. That might give some clue what it controls.
12" off the floor seems very odd for any sort of switch.
 
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Old 02-16-03, 09:39 AM
Jerry Colotti
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I'd like to thank everyone for their replies. I did figure out hwat it controls. It controls an outside lite on another part of the home. I would like to get back to the question in my original post. Can I convert this to a wall outlet, switched or unswitched?
 
  #14  
Old 02-16-03, 11:55 AM
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If this is a 3way, where is the other switch? If you can find the other end of the cable coming into this box you probably can convert it to a recetacle. You will need to rewire the other end so that you have a neutral. Just because you have a white wire doesn't mean you have a neutral in the box.
 
  #15  
Old 02-17-03, 06:41 AM
RickJ6956
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Laff Break

Apparently the "phantom switch" is common.

This is from comedian Steven Wright: "I have a switch in my hallway. I don't know what it does. I switched it on and off a bunch of times. The phone rang. It was a lady in Madagasgar. She told me to stop it!"
 
 

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