3 way receptacle

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  #1  
Old 11-30-05, 01:01 PM
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3 way receptacle

I have a 3way switch that use to control an outside lamp post...the lamp post is gone.....I still have power to the switch...I want to put a receptacle in its place...Is this possible?...the switch has been cut and capped...I checked for power and have power on the black....what do I need to do?
Thanks...
 
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  #2  
Old 11-30-05, 01:44 PM
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I still have power to the switch...I want to put a receptacle in its place...Is this possible?...the switch has been cut and capped...I checked for power and have power on the black....what do I need to do?
Maybe. You can replace the switch with a receptacle if and only if you have a neutral in the switch box. It would be useful if you could describe (colors) all of the wires you have in the switch box and what they currently connect to.
 
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Old 11-30-05, 02:04 PM
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You can certainly do this, assuming you have a grounded circuit.

You may, however, have to find the other switch and/or where the wires leave the house and do some rewiring. If you have to rewire, and one of the wires is white you will be able to do so. If you have to rewire and have no white wire then you would have to run wire.

You need to end up with a hot wire, a neutral wire and a ground wire in the box.
 
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Old 11-30-05, 02:42 PM
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The switch up stair's has a red/white/black....They were cut from the switch and capped.....the switch remained for looks....I believe the red is a traveler...I know the black is hot....the power probably comes in at the bottom of the stairs....and then out to the light....I will try to trace them out....if power comes in at the bottom switch the neutral should be connected straight thru the box to the light correct? ..if this is the case can I connect the neutral (from the power) at the bottom switch to the white traveler going to the top switch make this the neutral?......What is the purpose of the neutral? is it to take unused voltage back the the panel and then to ground?
 
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Old 11-30-05, 02:57 PM
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Power comes in somewhere. Power needs a hot wire and a neutral wire. The neutral wire is also called a return wire. Electricity needs two wires to complete the circuit.

Before you go any further, figure out the layout of the switches and the light. Where does power come in? Where does the feed for the light go outside. Is either or both switches wires as part of a switch loop?

Once you have all the details you can decide what you need to do.

Do you have a ground wire?
 
  #6  
Old 11-30-05, 03:00 PM
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there is a ground wire attached to the switch box upstairs...
 
  #7  
Old 11-30-05, 03:01 PM
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If you have exactly one wire of each color in the box and no more, then you can't do it without some rewiring at the other switch box.

You say that the lamp post is "gone". But what is at the location where the lamp post use to be? Are there wires there that are cut off?

We're going to need the details of the wires and connections at the other 3-way switch before going further. If it is in a box by itself, then I'm guessing you'll find three cables there: one black/red/white/bare cable, and two black/white/bare cables. Don't disconnect anything yet! And shut off the breaker before opening the box for examination.

Do you have any electrical test equipment? If so, what? If none, I suggest you invest $2 at your home center on a simple neon circuit tester. I suggest you also pick up a book on home wiring while you're there. There is a lot of technique and safety information you'll need to do the job properly.

The neutral is a current carrying conductor, just like the hot. It's purpose is to complete the circuit and to carry the electrons that came out on the hot wire back to where they came from.

Your last post indicates that you do have the correct general idea of what is required.
 
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Old 11-30-05, 06:17 PM
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thanks...I have a tick tester and an Ideal multi clamp tester....volts..resistance...continunity...I will take a look at the switch tomorrow and get back to you....
 
  #9  
Old 12-01-05, 02:10 PM
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I finally got a chance to open the downstairs box....this is what I found....

1...12-3 running from 3way to 3way...red and white cut and capped black tied to hot...(giving me hot to my upstairs switch...

2...12-3 I believe goes to the old lamppost..red is cut black to hot and white to neutral....(why would there be a 12-3 going to the lamppost?)

3...coming into the box are two sets of 12-2....1 set is the power feed ....1 set is for the patio lights (on a single pole switch...) neutral's tied together..


I believe if I splice the neutral at the bottom of the steps from the 12-3 to the rest of the neutrals....that will give me a neutral for the receptacle at the top of the stairs.....I already have power to the black....Does this sound right...is there anything I'm missing...Thanks
 
  #10  
Old 12-01-05, 02:43 PM
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1. Sounds correct. I hope the "cut" wires have long enough ends to make then usable.

2. The wire that actually goes to the lamp post needs to be some type of outdoor wire, this cable may only go to a box just before the wires leaves the house. The extra wire may be to allow an unswitched hot to the box/post.

3. Sounds correct.
 
  #11  
Old 12-01-05, 02:49 PM
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Did the lamp post have a receptacle on it?
 
  #12  
Old 12-01-05, 03:51 PM
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I'm not sure about the recp...can't remember...I'll you know how it turns out...Thanks
 
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