Problems with a switch!

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  #1  
Old 10-10-05, 09:56 PM
flicka
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Problems with a switch!

We had a 3 ways switch to turn on the lights of the basement, but we were only using on of the switches, so a while back when a electrician came to do some other work we asked him to take out the unused switch and make this a simple switch. He did so but left the old 3 way switch to use as a simple switch. We've been having major trouble turning the lights on lately so we want to replace this old switch by a newer simple one, hoping we won't have problems turning the lights on anymore.
My question is that when I look at the old switch there are two cables one with 3 wires and on with wires that hook into this switch.
The cable with 3 wires has the red wire on the top right screw and the black wire on the bottom right screw. The white wire is on the left srew with the black wire of the other cable and the white wire of the 2-wire cable is lose. How should I connect the wires to a new simple switch to make this work.
We tried to put the switch on by following the "same diagram" and leaving the two wires from the left screw together in a not and put the red and black wire on the 2 srews of the new switch but it didn't work.
Does anyone have an idea on how to wired this switch to get to work.
Thanks.
 
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  #2  
Old 10-10-05, 10:28 PM
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Your simplest remedy would be to use another three way switch. Connect the same wire tothe dark screw of the switch as was connected to the dark screw of the previos switch, Connect the other two wires from the old switch to the other two screws of the new switch, leave any splices in the box alone. It will work the same way as the previous switch did.

Bon Chance
 
  #3  
Old 10-11-05, 05:44 AM
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You cannot use terms like top right, bottom left, etc. Not all 3-way switches are arranged the same and the terms mean nothing. All that is important when discussing three way switches are travelers and common. The common is the odd colored screw.

You should not replace this switch with a regular toggle switch. You should install a second three way switch. Even though you don't use the other switch, you should leave it in place. If you want it left in a certain position then then put tape over it, or buy one of those plastic devices designed to keep the toggle in one position. Removing it MAY create a code violation.

Three way switches are almost always installed because code requires it. For example, at the top and bottom of stairways that lead from level to level, and at multiple entrances to a room. Your removing a three way switch will either confuse you or someone else when it's time to put it back the way it was, or it may cause issues when you sell the house because some home inspector points out that it;s missing or doesn't work and the buyer insists that you fix it.
 
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Old 10-11-05, 06:22 AM
flicka
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Okay well I guess we'll go got a 3 way switch to replace this one.
Racraft It's interesting to hear about code issues. Concerning this issue, I'm now wondering about the following. This switch was a 3 way switch for the basement staircase. The second switch was not at the bottom of the staircase but at the complete opposit of the room witch made no sense at all. In regards to the code issue you have mentioned should we have a second switch reinstalled at the bottom of the stair case to make more logical, since it's been taken out??
 
  #5  
Old 10-11-05, 06:34 AM
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Three way switches are not required for basement stairs unless the basement is finished. If your basement is finished then a switch is required. It doesn't sound like the switch at the other end of the basement would meet code.
 
  #6  
Old 10-11-05, 06:46 AM
flicka
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Half of our basement is finished and half is unfinished. There was a switch at the top of the stairs and the second switch was on the wall of the unfinished side of the basement completely at the other end of the room.
Should a second switch be installed at the bottom of the staircase to reinstall the 3 way?
 
  #7  
Old 10-11-05, 07:02 AM
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Yes, to meet code you need a second switch at the bottom of the stairs.
 
  #8  
Old 10-11-05, 09:14 PM
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Was the second three way switch located at a basement exterior door?
 
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