Adding An Outside Light

Old 07-14-04, 08:36 AM
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Adding An Outside Light

My house does not have an outside light at the back door so I want to install one with the switch on the inside wall by the door. There is currently a 3 way switch on the wall by the door that controls a hallway light. I'm hoping I can replace the single box with a double box, add a two way switch and tap into the 3 way switch for power. Is it simple as pigtailing into the hot, neutral and ground in the 3 way switch? Thanks for your help.
Old 07-14-04, 08:54 AM
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Tapping power from a 3-way switch is very iffy. It only works about a third of the time.

Shut off the breaker and gently pull the 3-way switch out of the box. If you see a white wire attached to the switch, then you need to find power somewhere else.

If you don't see a white wire attached to the switch, it may or may not be possible. You'll need some sort of electrical tester to figure it out. Do you have one?
Old 07-14-04, 08:55 AM
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Maybe, maybe not. You need to determine if there is a neutral in this 3-way box. There may not be.

Provide a complete inventory of the wires in this box and how they connect. How they connect to each other, to the switch, to anything.
Old 07-14-04, 09:08 AM
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Everything sounded so simple in my head - guess that's why I'm an accountant in my head. Yes I do have a tester. I will look at the 3 way switch tonight and see how it is wired.
Old 07-14-04, 06:04 PM
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If there are only 3 wires in the box you can't do it. It is a switch loop.
If there are more than 3 wire it a 50/50 chance you might be able to do it.

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