Existing three-ways/wiring with new overheads.


Old 03-20-07, 08:06 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Alexandria, VA
Posts: 4
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Existing three-ways/wiring with new overheads.

I’m having a hard time figuring out what is going on with my two overhead lights and two three-way switches (one of which is a dimmer). I disconnected the old lights prior to finishing off my basement and am not able to reconnect the new lights correctly.

Here is what I’m dealing with in the order that I think the current flows (but I certainly could be wrong):

Three way dimmer:

Pretty normal looking first light receptacle:


Second light receptacle. Little funnier looking. Notice the three wires. Could this be right?
Second three-way:

Any suggestions for how to get these hooked up correctly? The lights themselves have the standard simple wiring. I’m sure there is an excellent possibility that more info may be needed. Suggestions?

Thanks a lot.
Sponsored Links
Old 03-20-07, 08:28 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,970
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
You should have made notes of the existing wiring to the old lights.

Tell us the wiring at each switch (ALL the wiring), and at the lights (ALL the wiring) and we can sort it out.

We need to know all the wiring. Do not disconnect anything that was previously connected and working. Tell us what cables exist and what wires are in the cables and how those wires are hooked up.

Your pictures of the switches are almost useless. Your pictures of the lights connections are okay, but we need to know what existed before you did anything.
Old 04-19-07, 09:17 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Alexandria, VA
Posts: 4
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Okay, it's been a while since I first posted but the problem persists.

I didn't really mess around with the existing wiring prior to sheetrocking. Now I'm trying to hook up my new lights with not much luck. I haven't touched the wiring at the switches but the actual lights themselves is where the problem is.

I know the power runs into the ceiling and to the lights first then out to the switches.

The most confusing part of this is the light all the way to the left in the diagram. Notice the odd white wire? I'm would like to think I didn't lose any wires behind the sheetrock but at this point I'm so frustrated I'm questioning every aspect.

Let's assume I didn't lose any wires--is what you see below possible? How do you brainiacs think these lights should be wired?

Thanks very much for any help.

Please check out my diagram.
Old 04-19-07, 09:28 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
It doesn't look like "the power runs into the ceiling and to the lights first then out to the switches." It looks like the power is coming from that receptacle to the first switch and then to the second switch and then to the ceiling.

There is clearly at least one junction box somewhere that contains the answer. Can't you find it/them?

The extra white wire doesn't make any sense and is downright spooky. You should have investigated that when the ceiling was open.

You haven't said what you've tried, nor what went wrong when you tried it. That information would provide valuable clues. Have you tried the simplest solution of all, connecting all wires by color? How about all wires by color except ignoring that extra white (i.e., capping it off)?

Tell us what you have tried and what happened in each case.

Is there a second cable in that receptacle box? And what exactly is that extra box you drew between the two switches?
Old 04-19-07, 03:32 PM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: welland ontario
Posts: 7,567
Received 251 Votes on 221 Posts
According to your drawing all you need to do is connect all the blacks, all the whites and all the grounds at the fixtures. You have an extra white at the second fixture. Is that a misprint?
You said you haven't changed the switches but make sure the black wire connected to the switches is connected to the common terminal.
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
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: