Changing 3-way switch to single-pole switch

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  #1  
Old 09-18-05, 06:19 AM
sr23187
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Changing 3-way switch to single-pole switch

I am going to remove a wall between the living and dining room. I want to eliminate the two 3-way switches and the outline that are now on that wall. One switch is at the end of a circuit and controls an outlet in the living room. The other switch is in the middle of a circuit and controls the overhead hallway light. What is required to change the other 2 3-way switches on opposite walls to single-pole switches so they still control the light and receptacle?
 
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Old 09-18-05, 06:50 AM
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Location: Central New York State
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Electrically eliminating a three way switch is easy. At the switch you want to remove, you simply remove the switch and connect the common wire to one of the traveler wires with a wire nut. The other traveler wire gets capped off.

Physically removing a three way switch is another story. Removing a wall that contains electric can be tricky. If there are wires that come from below and other wires that come from above, you may need to make some electrical changes.

Before you begin, investigate and determine where the wires come from. You cannot eliminate a junction box if there are live wires in it. All you can do is to move it. You may not easily be able to move it because of your structural changes.
 
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Old 09-18-05, 01:22 PM
sr23187
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3-way to single pole

Thanks for your reply.

Yes, I know I have to relocate the "live" cable. I am going to do that by adding a junction box in the crawl space and one in the attic to continue the circuit in the wall next to where the new opened space will be. I'm hoping I can do that by only cuttting an opening (maybe 12"X12") in the wall to fish the cable through (crawl space to attic). Would that be the best way to go about it?
 
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Old 09-20-05, 04:45 AM
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You may not need to cut a hole in the wall at all. It may be possible to fish the new cable through the wall via holes that you drill from the attic and from the crawl space into the wall cavity. It is certainly easier to cut a piece of the wall out, and for a newbie fishing wires it may be the best plan.

You will be able to terminate the unused wires inside either of the junction boxes you install, so you should be able to eliminate one of the three way switches.

I also suggest that you consider replacing the one three way switch that remains with a a regular toggle switch. While it is not necessary to do so, I find I prefer that my two way switches have "ON" and "OFF" written on them.
 
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