Household wiring

Old 12-30-03, 03:28 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Household wiring

I have a three way switch in my kitchen. One switch controls my kitchen light. one switch controls the porch light. The last switch controls my outdoor flood light. In my garage (detached) there is a two way switch. One switch controls my garage lights. The other switch controls my flood lights (I can turn the flood lights on or off from my house or garage).

Here's the problem. I overloaded an electrical outlet in the garage, so now my garage switches don't work at all. all the outlets in the gagrage still work, but, I can't turn on the flood lights. I have access to all the wires (switches, lights and outlets), but I don't know the correct way to wire them. The house is very old and all the wires were deteriorating so I might as well replace them.

I need to know how to wire the switch from my house, to the floodlights and then to the garage.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!
Old 12-30-03, 06:07 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 17,733
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
I believe you mean a 3-gang switch box, rather than a 3-way switch. The use of the term 3-way switch will send many people down the wrong though process. And I believe you mean that you have a 2-gang switch box in your garage. Just to make matters more confusing, one switch in each box is indeed a 3-way switch.

I would buy two new 3-way switches. Start by shutting off the circuit breaker. Very, very carefully record exactly how the old switches are wired before you disconnect anything. Tag which of the wires is attached to the dark screw. Attach this same wire to the dark screw of the new switch (it may not be in the same position on the switch). Do not use the backstab holes (the little holes in the back). Rather use the screws. The use of the backstabs is very likely the cause of your present problems. Those backstabs fail under high current.

Done this way, you don't need to know anything. All you are doing is replacing the devices exactly as they were before.

P.S. If you have already disconnected wires without recording the connection information, then you have a real mess on your hands. We can still sort it out, but it will be longer and harder. If this is the case, tell us as much as you can about the wires and connections in each switch box.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: