Single Pole Installation - GE SunSmart Digital Timer

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Old 06-25-12, 06:25 AM
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Question Single Pole Installation - GE SunSmart Digital Timer

Hi,

I am trying to install a GE SunSmart Digital Timer for our main entrance light fixture outside the house. I was able to complete 1, 2, 3a, 3c and 3d. I am confused on 3b and where do I connect or find the hot/live wire of load?
What is the difference between the load/line?
There are currently 3 light switches on the box.
1. Garage outdoor lights (3-way switch and other switch is in the garage)
2. Main entrance light that I am trying to install the GE SunSmart Digital Timer (Single Pole)
3. Hallway light inside the house (Single Pole)
The main entrance light outside switch has a ground, white and black wires.
Below are the instructions I tried to follow but finding the hot/live wire is a little confusing for me. I would appreciate any feedback and comments.
Thanks in advance!

Installation Instruction (Single Pole)
1. Turn OFF the main power at the circuit breaker or fuse box. (Done)
2. Remove the existing switch. (Done)
3. Connect the wires of the timer to the wall box as shown in Figure 1 and Figure 2 using the wire nuts provided.
a) Connect the hot/live wire of line to the black wire from Timer. (Done)
b) Connect the hot/live wire of load to the blue wire from Timer. (????)
c) Connect the ground wire to the green wire from Timer. (Done)
d) Connect the neutral wire to the white wire from the timer. Often the neutral (white) wire can be found in the back of the wire box connected with a wire nut. There may be several neutral wires bound together. Add the neutral to all neutral wires bound together making sure wire nut is tight. (Done)
e) For single pole installation attach wire nut to red (traveler) wire from the back of the timer. This wire is not needed in the single pole installation.Note: Be sure that all wire nuts are secure.
4. Tuck the wires into the wall box leaving room for the timer. Using the screws provided, mount the timer to the wall box being careful not to crush any wires.
5. Turn main power ON at the circuit breaker

http://www.jascoproducts.com/support...de-eng-spa.pdf
 
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Old 06-25-12, 07:36 AM
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What is the difference between the load/line?
Line is power in, your hot. Load is power out, power to the device being powered by the hot.
 
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Old 06-25-12, 08:43 AM
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The main entrance light outside switch has a ground, white and black wires.
It sounds like your main entrance light outside switch is wired with a switch loop. If that's the case, then the power from the panel goes to the fixture first, and is brought to the switch on one wire in a 2-conductor cable and sent back on the other.

In standard practice, the white wire in the switch loop is connected to the line feed befpre the fixture and the black wire is connected to the fixture's hot feed. The white wire should also be marked with black tape or permanent marker at each end to show that it has been re-purposed as a conductor for ungrounded power.

Regardless, one of the two wires originally connected to the switch is the line wire (from the panel, the wire to be connected in step 3a) and the other wire originally connected to the switch is the load wire (to the fixture, the wire to be connected in step 3b). If the white wire is marked as I described above, then it is the line wire and should be connected to the black wire from the timer. If the white wire is still all-white, you can determine which wire is performing each function by using a multimeter to test for voltage from each of the two switch wires to known neutral and/or to ground. Only one of the wires will register 120V, and that is the line wire.

Alternatively, you can lower the fixture and look to see how the wires are connected there.
 
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Old 06-25-12, 10:07 AM
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Thanks for the feedback.
I have attached a picture of the wiring.
The switch that I am currently working on is the one in the middle with the black electric tape.

As you can see from the picture, it has the ground on the left side.
The "black" wire with electrical tape, is that the "line" or "load" wire?
The second "black" on the right comes from the next switch that operates the hallway switch and piggy's into the "white" wires.

Where would we connect the "blue" as indicated in step 3b?

Thanks again!
 
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Old 06-25-12, 10:13 AM
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The wire with the black tape is the one going to the fixture. The bottom black is the constant hot.
 
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Old 06-25-12, 10:22 AM
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Where would we connect the "blue" as indicated in step 3b?
To the wire marked with the electrical tape.
 
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Old 06-25-12, 10:51 AM
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On the new Digital Timer switch, it has a black, white, blue, green and red.

So you are saying that the blue will go to the black with the electrical tape?
The green goes to the ground.
The red is not used
Will the white one go to the other black wire on the right?
Where will the other black wire on the timer go to?

Thanks again!
 
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Old 06-25-12, 11:58 AM
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So you are saying that the blue will go to the black with the electrical tape?
The green goes to the ground.
The red is not used
Yes

Will the white one go to the other black wire on the right?
d) Connect the neutral wire to the white wire from the timer. Often the neutral (white) wire can be found in the back of the wire box connected with a wire nut. There may be several neutral wires bound together. Add the neutral to all neutral wires bound together making sure wire nut is tight. (Done)
Where will the other black wire on the timer go to?
What "other" black wire?
it has a black...
a) Connect the hot/live wire of line to the black wire from Timer. (Done)
PCBoss:
The bottom black is the constant hot.
Ray2047:
Line is power in, your hot.
 
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Old 06-25-12, 12:25 PM
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Ok, getting the idea now. Appreciate it very much...
I've attached a picture of the digital timer.

So, from the digital timer:
Blue will go to the black wire with black electric tape
Green will go to ground
White will to the other neutral wiring
Red is unused
Where will the other black from the digital timer go?

Thanks again!
 
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Old 06-25-12, 12:44 PM
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Where will the other black from the digital timer go?
Isn't there only one black wire on the timer?

Splice it to the other wire from the old switch -- the black wire on the lower terminal in your picture, that is coming from the switch on the right.
 
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Old 06-25-12, 12:50 PM
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Ok, thank you very much...

I will try the following:

Blue wire on timer will go to the black with electrical tape
White will go to the neutral collection with a wire nut
Green will go to the ground
Red is unused
Black wire on timer will go to the other picture on the right

I will give it a try when I get home tonight.

Appreciate it and will keep you posted.

After this one, I'll do the 3-way pictured on the left.
How can you tell the following on a 3-way switch?
This switch is for the garage lights.
This switch pictured on the left and the other switch is on the garage.
What is the difference between "existing 3-way installation LINE side" and "existing 3-way installation LOAD side"?

Which one would I use in this instance?
Would I have to touch anything on the switch that is located in the garage?

Thanks again!
 
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Old 06-25-12, 01:17 PM
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Black wire on timer will go to the other picture on the right
The black wire on the timer should be spliced to the black wire that is connected to the lower terminal on the old switch.

After this one, I'll do the 3-way pictured on the left.
What is the difference between "existing 3-way installation LINE side" and "existing 3-way installation LOAD side"?

Which one would I use in this instance?
Can't tell without seeing the 3-way installation instructions.

Based on what we can see now, it appears that the black wire on the left is connected to the point, or common, screw on the existing 3-way switch and that the red wire and the second black wire are the two traveler wires.
 
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Old 06-25-12, 01:28 PM
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Thanks again...
I'll try it tonight on the single-pole switch.
The 3-way has 2 black wires both coming out from 2 separate wiring conduit and 1 red.
Would I have to work on the other switch that is located in the garage?

Thanks again!
 
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Old 06-25-12, 01:45 PM
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The 3-way has 2 black wires both coming out from 2 separate wiring conduit and 1 red.
The black and red wires that are in the same cable or conduit are the two traveler wires.

Would I have to work on the other switch that is located in the garage?
Can't tell without seeing the 3-way installation instructions.
 
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Old 06-25-12, 06:56 PM
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Thank you very much... The Single Pole Installation worked...

Now, I have to work on the more complicated 3 way switch.
One switch is next to this single pole in the entry way.
The other switch is located int the garage.

The entry way 3-way switch has a ground, black that comes in separately and another black and red that are on the same cable strand.

The garage 3-way switch has a ground, black, white (common) and red that are all on the same cable strand.

I have included a diagram that I have drawn up.

Is this switch a "load-side" or "line-side" switch?

How would this one connect?

Thanks again!
 
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Old 06-25-12, 07:19 PM
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Just a note. A 3-way is a single pole switch also. Instead of single pole you can call a single location switch a SPST.

The entry way 3-way switch has a ground, black that comes in separately and another black and red that are on the same cable strand.
Using a meter or test light check voltage from the separate black to the bundle of neutrals in the back of the box. If you get 120v it is probably the line hot. Do you know what wires you have at the light?
 

Last edited by ray2047; 06-25-12 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 06-25-12, 07:28 PM
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One of the wires on the 3w will be connected to a different colored screw, normally dark. This is the Common. The other wires are called Travelers.
 
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Old 06-25-12, 10:06 PM
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The garage 3-way switch has a ground, black, white (common) and red that are all on the same cable strand.
There is no "common" in AC wiring. A wire with white insulation is used either as a grounded conductor (a neutral wire) or, if properly marked, as an ungrounded conductor (a hot wire), either before or after a switch.

In the box in your entry hall, is the white wire that is in the same cable as the two travelers for this circuit also the white wire that appears to be spliced to a black wire (the splice just above and to the left of the neutrals splice in your pic)?

We need the results of the test Ray requested and the instructions for the 3-way installation.
 
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Old 06-25-12, 11:10 PM
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@ Nash,
I believe when they mentioned the white as common, they where looking at a white conductor terminated to the electrical devices common terminal (Black screw)<<<<In this case a dead end three way.
 
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Old 06-26-12, 05:45 AM
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Sorry, I forgot to mention that in the cable strand in the switch in the garage, it was a "white" cable with "black" electrical" tape on it.

For this instance, it would be a "line side" wiring box since there is no "mechanical ballast" used?

After installing the timer in the entry way, do I have to touch the switch in the garage and use a "jumper"?

Thanks again!
 
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Old 06-26-12, 06:06 AM
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I have attached a couple of pictures from the 3-way garage switch and from the 3-way entry way switch.

The 3-way garage switch has the red, black and white (covered with electrical black tape) and all come from the same cable strand and a ground.

The 3-way entry way switch has the red and black coming from the same cable strand on the bottom of the switch. Another black that comes from a different strand and also a ground.

What does the dark screw and lighter screw color mean?

Appreciate it. Thanks again!
 
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Old 06-27-12, 07:31 AM
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Or is there a way to "bypass" or "disable" the switch in the garage?
Just to make it one switch by using this Digital timer?

Thanks!
 
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Old 06-27-12, 09:38 AM
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The dark or odd colored screw in a 3w setup signifies the Common terminal.
 
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Old 06-27-12, 10:25 AM
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Or is there a way to "bypass" or "disable" the switch in the garage?
Just to make it one switch by using this Digital timer?
Yes, you can do that if you'd prefer. If your pair of switches is wired the way it appears to be (as a dead-end 3-way), you may be able to leave the garage switch active OR bypass it by only doing work in the hallway box.

Thank you for the additional picture.

As of now, it appears that we still need three pieces of information to help us effectively answer your questions:
  1. In the box in your entry hall, is the white wire that is in the same cable as the two travelers for this circuit also the white wire that appears to be spliced to a black wire (the splice just above and to the left of the neutrals splice in your pic)?
  2. Using a meter or test light check voltage from the separate black to the bundle of neutrals in the back of the box. If you get 120v it is probably the line hot. Do you know what wires you have at the light?
  3. What are the installation instructions for the 3-way application?
 
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Old 06-28-12, 08:00 AM
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Thank you for the suggestions and feedback.

1. I will double check - it is pretty tight with all the wiring.

2. Don't know which wires goes to the lights outside the garage. I have a multi-meter and which setting to I need the meter to be? Does the circuit breaker has to be ON while testing? which wires would I test with the meter to determine if which wire is hot.
Sorry, I'm still learning from this "electrical" topic. Is there a good site that you would recommend on learning "electrical" subjects? I've watched several videos on Youtube about 3-way switches and all were different.

3. I've pasted the instructions and followed it step by step. I even called the company and they said that this can happen? I said, REALLY? for a $35 switch, it should work and it is less than 100ft.

Thank you again!



Timer on Line Side
1. Remove power from the circuit by turning off the circuit breaker or removing fuse.
2. Remove the line side 3-way switch and remove wires, label the wire removed from the common terminal.
3. Connect the common wire (1) to the black wire of the timer using the supplied wire nuts
4. Connect the white wire of the timer to the neutral wire (white). The neutral wires may be bundled together in the back of the box. There may be several neutral wires bound together. Add the neutral to all neutral wires bound together making sure wire nut is tight.
5. Connect the two remaining wires left to the red wire (5) and blue wires (4) of the timer. If the wires are colored or marked you can tell them apart and record their markings for use later.
6. Connect the green wire (3) to the ground wire (green or bare wire in box).
7. Carefully tuck the wires into the switch box leaving room for the timer.
8. Use the screws provided to install the timer in the box being careful not to crush any wires.
Switch on Load Side
1. Remove the Load side 3-way switch and remove and label the common wire (4).
2. Connect the jumper wire from the switch to both the load wire and wire (4). You should have three wires connected with one wire nut.
3. Connect the jumper back to the common input of the 3-way switch.
4. The other wire (5) should stay connected to one of the other connections of the 3-way switch.
5. Carefully tuck the wires into the switch box leaving room for the timer.
6. Using the screws provided install the timer being careful not to crush or pinch any wires.
7. Restore power at the circuit breaker or fuse box.
8. Verify that the load turns ON and OFF when you manually turn the timer ON and OFF. Perform this test with the remote switch in both positions.
9. If the load does not operate properly you need to swap wire (4) and wire (5). This can be done at the timer or remote switch, after removing power from the circuit at the circuit breaker or fuse box.
10. Verify that the load turns ON and OFF when you manually turn the timer ON and OFF. Perform this test with the remote switch in both positions. You should hear the timer relay click ON/OFF. If you hear the relay click but the load does not turn ON/OFF properly, check your wiring.
 
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Old 06-28-12, 09:51 AM
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I will double check - it is pretty tight with all the wiring.
I understand. I would suggest you turn the power off at the panel and pull the switches and splices forward enough to enable you to clearly see what is in each cable entering the box. Then answer these questions:

In the box in your entry hall, is the white wire that is in the same cable as the two travelers for this circuit also the white wire that appears to be spliced to a black wire (the splice just above and to the left of the neutrals splice in your pic)? If not, where is that white wire terminated or spliced?

Don't know which wires goes to the lights outside the garage.
That's what we're trying to determine. But Ray asked if you can determine what wires you have at the light.

I have a multi-meter and which setting to I need the meter to be? Does the circuit breaker has to be ON while testing? which wires would I test with the meter to determine if which wire is hot.
The meter will need to be set to AC Voltage at the lowest value greater than 120V. Often that is 200V. Ray has already requested that you
check voltage from the separate black to the bundle of neutrals in the back of the box.
There may be some other wires to check, depending on your answer to the wiring questions. You will need the powert on to make the test, but you will want to separate the wires, before testing, with the power off.

Thank you for posting the instructions. We will need those after we determine the functions of the wires. As SeaOn noted, this appears to be
a dead end three way.
One more question: Would you prefer to keep or eliminate the 3-way switch in the garage?

I'm still learning from this "electrical" topic. Is there a good site that you would recommend on learning "electrical" subjects? I've watched several videos on Youtube about 3-way switches and all were different.
YouTube videos are what they are. They are short films somebody decided to post. The best resource we know of for learning about residential electrical systems, and the one we most often recommend, is Wiring Simplified. You can often find it in the electrical aisle at a home improvement center.
 
  #27  
Old 06-29-12, 06:06 AM
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Sorry... got home late for the past couple of days and never had time to do the test.

I would like to completely eliminate the switch in the garage and just use the new digital timer that will be installed in the entry hallway. Would this be possible? How would I eliminate the switch in the garage.

Thanks again!
 
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Old 06-29-12, 10:03 AM
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I would like to completely eliminate the switch in the garage and just use the new digital timer that will be installed in the entry hallway.
OK, we're clear about that.

Would this be possible? How would I eliminate the switch in the garage.
Your answers to the checks and tests we've requested will help us determine that.
 
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Old 07-02-12, 09:06 AM
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Finally had a chance to check over the weekend.

1. The white cable that is on the same cable strand as the travelers, the white cable is bundled together with the other white cables in the junction box with a cap.

2. The wires on the outside lights of the garage both have white and black wires.

3. I did a multi-meter test from the black common and the other black and received a 93-110 reading

I did another multi-meter test between the 2 traveler wires and also received a reading of 93-100.

I hope we can disable or eliminate the garage switch and be able to install the switch in the entry hallway.

Thanks again!
 
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Old 07-02-12, 12:48 PM
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3. I did a multi-meter test from the black common and the other black and received a 93-110 reading
Readings need to be made with wires disconnected. Measurements need to be made from neutral to the black or red of the same cable. Normally no measurement is made between two blacks in this type of circuit.

What was your voltage reading from the separate black to the neutral bundle? The wire must be disconnected from the switch before testing.
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  #31  
Old 07-02-12, 01:50 PM
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In post #21, you say
The 3-way garage switch has the red, black and white (covered with electrical black tape) and all come from the same cable.
In post #28, you say
The white [wire] that is on the same cable as the travelers is [spliced] together with the other white [wires].
If both of those observations are accurate, then that pair of 3-way switches cannot control any lights; in fact, flipping either switch would connect a dead short and trip the circuit breaker.

The lower picture in post #21 also appears to show that the redesignated white wire is connected to the point, or common, screw on the 3-way switch. It is being used to carry ungrounded power, either from the panel or to the load. In the box in the hallway, please check the termination or splicing of the white wire that is in the same cable as the travelers to the garage 3-way switch again.

Is that, in fact, the white wire that is spliced to a black wire in the 2-wire splice that is just above and to the left of the neutrals splice in your first picture? If not, where is the white wire in that splice going to or coming from? What cable is it in, and what other wires are in the same cable with it?

A picture looking straight into each switch box, with the switches and splices pulled out and arranged so that it shows the inside of the box and everything in it, might help.

And we need the result of the test that Ray is asking for, done with the wires disconnected.

 
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Old 07-09-12, 12:22 PM
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Finally moved to new house over the weekend. I will try to measure and run the test from the neutral (bundled) with the black ones after disconnecting the power and disconnecting the cables from the switch. After removing from switch, I will turn ON the power again and run the test. What should the measurement be reading? Thanks!
 
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Old 07-09-12, 03:34 PM
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What should the measurement be reading?
Either 120V or nothing .
 
  #34  
Old 07-13-12, 03:34 PM
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The reading from the top black (disconnected) and the white bundles (neutral) was from .03 to .19.

Thanks!
 
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Old 07-15-12, 02:37 PM
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The reading from the top black (disconnected) and the white bundles (neutral) was from .03 to .19.
Thank you. Now, what is done, in the hallway box, with the white wire that is in the same cable as the two (red and black) travelers going to the 3-way switch in the garage - the one tagged with black tape in the garage? Is it spliced to a black wire?
 
  #36  
Old 07-16-12, 05:56 AM
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I'm sorry... I am unable to follow you on this one. Would you be able to clarify for me? I apologize but I'm not quite getting it. The "white" wire on the garage has been marked with "black electric tape". Is this the white cable you are referring to? I apologize for not quite able to follow.

Thanks!
 
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Old 07-16-12, 08:45 AM
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I am unable to follow you on this one. Would you be able to clarify for me?
I hope so. You said that
The reading from the top black (disconnected) and the white bundles (neutral) was from .03 to .19.
Assuming that that is the black wire that was connected to the point, or common, screw on the 3-way switch on the left in the hallway box, and that you tested with the power on, then that appears to be the load wire - the wire that
goes to the lights outside the garage.
Given that, and given that the 3-way switch on the left in the hallway and the 3-way switch in the garage are the two switches in a 3-way pair that controls the lights outside the garage, then the wire that's connected to the point, or common, screw on the 3-way switch in the garage must be the line feed. As you noted, and as your picture also shows, that is a white wire that has been marked with black electrical tape to indicate that it is conducting ungrounded current - that is, it is functioning as a "hot" wire, rather than as a neutral.

The remaining question is to determine where that white wire is connected to power.

Earlier, you said that
The garage 3-way switch has a... black, white... and red that are all [in] the same cable...
That means that the white wire marked with black tape and connected to the point screw on the 3-way switch in the garage is also the white wire that is in the cable with the black and red traveler wires connected to the 3-switch on the left in the hallway.

In the hallway box, what is that white wire connected to?
 
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Old 07-16-12, 09:05 AM
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Thanks for clarifying... The white cable in the hallway is connected together with all the other white neutral bundle...

Thanks!
 
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Old 07-16-12, 09:25 AM
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The white cable in the hallway is connected together with all the other white neutral bundle...
Two points:

1 - We are trying to determine the termination of a white wire, not a white bundle.

2 - If there is a white wire - or any other color wire - that is connected to both a terminal on a 3-way switch and neutral, and the 3-way switch pair is also connected to power
then that pair of 3-way switches cannot control any lights; in fact, flipping either switch would connect a dead short and trip the circuit breaker. (from post #31)
Please pull all of the switches in the hallway far enough out of the box to clearly see all of the wires and the cables they are in. Carefully trace the red and black travelers from the 3-way switch on the left to the cable they are in, and then trace the white wire in that cable back out until you can tell for sure, where it is spliced or otherwise terminated.

If you are still convinced that that white wire is spliced to the neutrals, please post a new picture of each box, holding the camera centered in front of the box, that shows us the wires and entering cables.

One more question: Your first picture, in post#4, shows a second splice, of two or three wires, that clearly has at least one white wire and one black wire in it. How many wires are in that splice, what is the color of each wire, and where does each of those wires come from or go to?
 
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Old 07-16-12, 12:28 PM
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Ok. Thanks, I will take a picture and find that "white" cable that goes the black and red travelers.

The pic from Post#4 has the following:
The one on the left with 2 blacks and red is the switch we are currently working on.
The switch in the middle with black tape was the original post for single pole.
The switch on the right is the main entry hallway light and we won't touch this one.

I will locate and find that white cables that goes together with the red and black travelers.

Thanks!
 
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