3 way application

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  #1  
Old 10-30-04, 07:07 AM
Light4u2
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Question 3 way application

I have a question I have been upgrading my lighting circuits with Lightolier's onset smart dimmers, and remotes for three way applications. I am compleatly understanding of wiring until I ran into this delimma. I have a light fixture that I would like to install another one of these dimmers on. However, when I took the plate off low and behold there is a three way switch inside. Now, there is NO other way or where this light fixture is controlled. My home was built in the late 50's and upgraded some electrically in 81 per the previous home owners that I bought it from. My question is that of the following. Where could this "traveler" wire be going and would this have been custom wiring proceedures of those two era's. If I disconnect this would I be "starving" something that would need power? My understanding of a three way switch is that on a three way the power feed on a three way is that from the breaker and the other two screws switch power legs with the single pole. So, what I am left to think is every time I turn that three way in one direction or another the mysterious traveler becomes sort of dead. Any clues to why I have a three way instead of the single pole since I have only one switch controling this light ? To add to this mass of confusion the 8B fixture box only has a black and white and bare ground. Yup just one romex feed. Thanks in advance.
 
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  #2  
Old 10-30-04, 08:07 AM
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A 3-way switch can always be used as a regular single-pole switch by using the common and one of the two traveler screws. If the box contains only one black wire, one white wire, and one bare wire, then that's what you have. Simply replace it with any single-pole switch.
 
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Old 10-30-04, 08:16 AM
Light4u2
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Well I do know that a three way can be converted to a single pole however what am I going to do with the extra wire. If I disconnect it do you think I will de-energize another device ?
 
  #4  
Old 10-30-04, 08:25 AM
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What "extra wire"? Didn't you say that the box had one black wire, one white wire, and one bare wire? Which wire is "extra"? Maybe you should start over and tell me what cables, what wires, and what connections are in the switch box.
 
  #5  
Old 10-31-04, 03:26 AM
Light4u2
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Sorry to confuse you John, My Switch box has a three way in it which has a black, white, and red. The black is on the feed screw of three way. The white and red is on the other two screws. At the 8B Fixture box, it has the black & white which go to the fixture. What I am not sure of is where the red on the three way is headed since there is only one switch controlling the light.
 
  #6  
Old 10-31-04, 05:21 AM
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There is another place where the wiring makes a connection.

Hopefully this is in a junction box, and not a junction box buried in a wall somewhere. Hopefully it is also a permanently accessible junction box, but at the very least let's hope it is in a junction box.

Was the house remodeled? Is it possible that there used to be another switch somewhere?

My guess is that remodeling was done and the need for a second switch was eliminated.

Attempt to find where this wire goes. If you keep looking, eventually you will find it. If the splice is not in a permanently accessible junction box, then you should install a box with a blank cover that you can always get to, or you should rewire the circuit to eliminate the need for such a wire.
 
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