help with moving two switches


Old 07-23-06, 09:42 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 17
help with moving two switches


OK folks, I need some help. I have posted here before, and I have always received excellent solutions. I also read often and learn a lot as well. Now I need more help. All I wanted to do was to move two light switches a few feet. I removed two studs from a basement wall (currently finishing off the basement) and I put it a decorative wood column to open the room up a bit more. I had to move the two light switches up the steps about 4 feet. So I document the current set up, disassembled the switches and re-assembled them. When I switch the breaker on, it immediately trips. So I have obviously made a large mistake somewhere----and I am assuming that it is in my original drawing. Here is what I documented:

Wall box has three cables in, two are 14/3 (cables 1 and 3) and one is 14/2 (cable 2).
Cable 1 (14/3) runs between two 3-way switches and on the end I took apart it is:
Black = traveler screw
White = traveler screw
Red = tied via wire nut to Black from cable 3
(I haven’t yet looked at the other 3-way switch to match up the wires)

Cable 2 (14/2) runs between the switch (3-way) and the light. There is also a light daisy-chained off of this light with a 14/2 wire.
Black = on the common screw on the 3-way switch
White = tied via a wire nut to white on cable 3

Cable 3 (14/3) runs between a single pole switch and 6 lights in the basement
Black = tied via wire nut to Red from cable 1 and then has a pig-tail to screw terminal on single-pole switch
Red = screw terminal on single pole switch
White = tied via wire nut to white from cable 2

Both sets of lights (2 lights on the 3-way switch and the 6 for the rest of the basement) are on the same circuit.
I believe that the source of power is cable 3—can’t see how the other could possibly obtain power. So I am thinking that either the black or red wire needs to come in contact with the common screw on the 3-way. But I am not sure since this looks to be a bit unusual of a wire diagram for a simple single family home.
So I need real help……
Oh, two more things:
All 5 grounds are properly tied together in the box—so I left that out on each wire above
I did have to extend each of the 14/3 wires. So I added a junction box on each wire and used 14/3 wire to extend the reach. I connected red – red, black – black and white to white (and the grounds in metal junction boxes). If I actually did diagram the original correctly, could my fault be somewhere along the new wires? I did a very careful visual analysis and I didn’t see and exposed or damaged wires.

Thanks a lot guys…..
Sponsored Links
Old 07-24-06, 05:38 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 6,303
Breaker trips

Check your work again to make sure a ground is not making contact with a hot when you placed the switches into the boxes.
Old 07-24-06, 08:05 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 17
OK, checked that---no problem. How does the wiring diagram look? Did I diagram it correctly?
Old 07-24-06, 08:15 PM
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: North of Boston, MA.
Posts: 2,113
Double check the 2-3 wire cables. You stated one has the white to the traveler. Perhaps you mixed the 2-3 wires up.
When and if this is it, Identify (tape) the white that has power.
Old 07-30-06, 06:21 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 17
Got it

Thanks for the help. I got it fixed.
The problem was in one of the junction boxes I added I clamped down on the 14/3 wire too much and exposed the wire to the metal clamp. Hidden to plain view, but after the two responses here I thought I had better check every inch of my wire----
Thanks again.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes