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#1
11-11-12, 09:15 AM
Member
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 8

Hello,

In my basement I have 4 lights and to control these lights I have 2 switches.
What I am looking to do is add more switches at the top of my stairs to control lights I don't really need to turn on all the time.

When I opened up my light switch at the top of my stairs I have the following:
2 black wires tied together
2 white wires tied together
1 black 1 white 1 red tied to my switch.

#2
11-11-12, 09:24 AM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 29,711
1 black 1 white 1 red tied to my switch
So this is a 3-way switch circuit with two switches at different locations controlling all the lights correct.

Assuming this is cable not conduit tell us how many 2-conductor cables (black, white, bare) and hoe many 3-conductor cables (black, red, white, bare) are at each switch box. Tell us the wiring at the other switch box and at each light.

#3
11-11-12, 09:41 AM
Member
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 8
Hi and thank you.
It is a 3 way sorry about that.
Each of the 4 lights have 2 black and 2 white wires
And 1 light connected ( a black and a white ) to these 2 wires
Both light switches have a black, red, and white connected.
The switch upstairs has what I explained

#4
11-11-12, 09:47 AM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 29,711
The switch upstairs has what I explained
What about the bottom switch?Where does the power comes in? Is it at switch T (top of stairs) or switch B (bottom of stairs) or one of the lights?

#5
11-11-12, 10:03 AM
Member
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 8
Power is at the top switch.
The bottom switch has a black a white and a red.. And ground

#6
11-11-12, 11:37 AM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 29,711
And 1 light connected ( a black and a white )
So power goes from the top switch to the first light, correct? So you would need to replace the 2-conductor cable from the top switch to the first light with a 3-conductor cable and the cable between at least the first two lights with 3-conductor cable.

#7
11-11-12, 12:48 PM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 7,458
When I opened up my light switch at the top of my stairs I have the following:
2 black wires tied together
2 white wires tied together
1 black 1 white 1 red tied to my switch.
It is a 3 way
Something isn't computing about this. It sounds like this box has one 2-conductor cable and one 3-conductor cable coming into it. But, if so, and thr black and white wires from each cable are spliced together, than the circuit wouldn't work.

The bottom switch has a black a white and a red..
And if the box for this switch has just one 3-conductor cable coming into it, then it would be a dead-end 3-way. For your system to work with just the wires we're seeing now, it would have to be wired with a switch loop that interrupts power that is fed from the panel to one of the loghts, and there would only be one splice in the first box.

Power is at the top switch.
How did you test that?

If you tell us the number of cables coming into each box, the number of wires in each of those cables, and the way each of those wires is connected, it will help us understand your present system better, and thereby help us to provide more helpful advice. Remember that the three terminals on a 3-way switch are one that is the common, or point, terminal. It is usually distinguished by having a black screw. The other two terminals are the traveler terminals, and they are usually distinguished by having bright brass screws. We need to know what wire from what cable is connect to the point screw and what two wires from what cable are connected to the two traveler screws on each switch.

What we are looking for is a complete circuit - both hot and neutral in a single cable - from the panel. That may be in the switch at the top of the stairs. Once we - including you - figure that out, and we determine which lights you wish to separate out and control from new switches, we can advise you on the best way to do that.