bathroom switch controls hallway 3-way...


Old 11-17-04, 02:31 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 34
bathroom switch controls hallway 3-way...

hey all,

I am absoluely perplexed trying to figure out the wiring layout in my house.

I have traced the wires and still can't figure out what is going on.

I't's hard to describe, so I'll just cut to the confusing part...

I've got a 3-way switch upstairs.
It controls the hallway lights.
but the way everything is wired right now, the switch only operates if a switch in the bathroom is on!
In that box, 5 wires come in...
all 5 white wires are wired tgether, 3 of the black wires are wired together too, with two pigtails so there can be two switches in the for the lights, one for the fan.
But if the blacks and whites are all wired together anyway, what good is the switch doing?
There is always power to the light whether the switch is on or off.
yet for some reason that switch is cutting power off to the 3-way in the hallway???

This probably isn't enough info, but can someone at least help me begin to understand what is going on?
thanks a bunch.
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Old 11-17-04, 03:01 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Whoever replaced the switches in the bathroom did not pay attention to way they were wired. and did not wire them properly.

The black wires are not wired properly. The wrong wires are connected with the wire nut. You need to determine which black wires go to the fan and the light, and which go to the other locations. The two that go to the fan and the light need to be connected to the switched side of the switches and the other black wires need to be connected together and wired to the hot side of the switches.
Old 11-17-04, 03:14 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 34
thanks for getting back so quick...

I feel a little sily, (since it was me who wired up the switches).
I had no idea there was a hot side and a switched side to single pole switches.
I mean, it makes sense, but I assumed that both terminals were gold, both wires were black, what's the difference.....
so, if you don't mind my asking, which is which?
(and do I need to double check all the switches in my house now, or if they are functioning properly are they ok?)
Old 11-17-04, 03:20 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
No, there is no hot side and switched side to the switches, both sides are identical. You make one side hot by supplying it with an always hot wire, and the other side becomes switched.

My point is that you have the wrong wires attached to the switches.
Old 11-17-04, 03:28 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 34

so I can blame it on the electricians then.
They had wired all the blacks together except the two I wired up to the switches...they even set up the pigtails and twisted the wires together.

I'll investigate tonight.
Thanks for your help.

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