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Driveway lights controlled from two switches - can I convert to only one switch?

Driveway lights controlled from two switches - can I convert to only one switch?

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  #1  
Old 04-13-12, 04:59 PM
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Question Driveway lights controlled from two switches - can I convert to only one switch?

I am installing Honeywell RPLS7408 to control my porch light.

I would also like to install the same timer to control my driveway lights, but those lights are wired to two switches. One in garage and one next to the porch light switch.

Is there any way to convert the wiring to single pole circuit so that only the front door location controls the lights so I can use this timer?

This is a great forum and any help is greatly appreciated.
 
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Old 04-13-12, 06:53 PM
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Welcome to the forums! First, at your switch location at the front porch is there a bundle of white wires (neutrals) bundled up and poke back in the box? You must have a neutral in the switch box in order to use this timer. Since you have three way switching, can you tell us the colors of the wires to the switches. It will help us to tell you which wires to cap and which ones to connect together to make only the porch location work.
 
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Old 04-13-12, 06:54 PM
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Tell us about the connection of the travelers and commons at each switch.
 
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Old 04-13-12, 07:15 PM
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Thanks for the quick reply.

I do have the Neutral bundle and I ran a pigtail to the porch light timer. That is working as it should.

The two way switch has Red, 2 Black and Ground wires. I want the driveway lights to be independent from the porch light, but only be single pole and get rid of the garage located switch. I am including picture.

 

Last edited by haloguy628; 04-13-12 at 07:31 PM.
  #5  
Old 04-13-12, 08:24 PM
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And what wires are connected at the other switch of the 3-way. Is there a black wire from a 2-conductor cable hooked to the common of the switch switch or only the 3-conductor cable.
 
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Old 04-14-12, 04:34 AM
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An aside to Ray. Looks like line is on this switch from what I can trace. The wirenut just over the hallway switch appears to power it all. Hopefully only load is on the other one. Is that what you were getting at?
 
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Old 04-14-12, 07:14 AM
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Why do you need to abandon the other switch?
 
  #8  
Old 04-14-12, 03:20 PM
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Sorry for the late reply. I was fixing the sprinklers and changing to rotator nozzles today.

Ray I am a newbie when it comes to electrical wiring so I am lost at which is common (is it line?) and which is a traveler (is it load?).

Boss I need to abandon the garage located switch because the timer is only single pole connection. There is no way to wire it with companion switch. Or is it?

Here is another picture that shows little bit more detail. If you need me to untangle the wires inside let me know and I will do that.

I do appreciate your help.

 
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Old 04-14-12, 04:28 PM
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Here is another picture that shows little bit more detail. If you need me to untangle the wires inside let me know and I will do that.
Thank you. Scraping some paint off the wire insulation might help too.

Here's what I think. I'm agreeing with chandler's argument that the wire on the point terminal on this 3-way is the line feed. I'll add to his argument that it appears, from what I can trace, that the 3-wire cable connecting this switch to the one in the garage enters the bottom of the box between the first and second switch locations, and that the white wire from that cable is tied into the neutral splice.

If we're right about that, then here's the question: Do you want to have the driveway lights controlled only by a timer in this box, or only by a timer in the garage, or do you want to have the timer in one of those locations and a "kill" switch in the other?

I think it's the first option, both from what you said and the fact that the timer wouldn't turn the lights on unless the "kill" switch was also on. But I thought I'd ask to be sure.
 
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Old 04-14-12, 07:48 PM
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Here's my take on what I think you want. Remove the red wire on both switches and cap them. On the garage switch, take the two remaining blacks and tie them together, removing the switch entirely. Connect your timer with a neutral to the neutral bundle and to the remaining two black wires (one line and one load). If the timer requires you to dedicate one of it's wires to the hot wire in the switch, use the one from the wire nutted black ones in your triple gang box, as it feeds everything. the other black will go through to the light directly. Use a plain cover plate on the switch in the garage.
 
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Old 04-15-12, 08:43 PM
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Thumbs up

Chandler, it worked just like you suggested.

I removed the switch in garage, capped the red wire and twist tied the two black wires together. Then I capped the red wire by the front door and connected the black pig tail from the line to the line wire on the switch and hooked the white neutrals together from both switches and ran pigtail to the neutral bundle. Finally I connected the black wire going to the light with the blue load wire on the timer.

Works like a charm. Now I can turn on both the porch and the driveway lights 30 minutes after sunset and can turn the driveway off at 23:00 and the porch light 30 minutes before sunrise. No more porch light in the middle of the day when dark clouds come (had photo sensor on each light bulb).

Thank you all who replied with their input to this electrical/wiring newbie (although my son & daugter stand in awe and speechless ).

I hope that I can reciprocate alas probably in the automotive forum.

Here is pic of the finished product.

 
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Old 04-16-12, 04:04 AM
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Neat job. Glad you got it working the way you wanted. Kids can see through your shirt to reveal the "S" on your chest!
 
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