Need help wiring Light Fixture (Or outlet bulb thing)

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  #1  
Old 01-26-13, 08:43 PM
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Need help wiring Light Fixture (Or outlet bulb thing)

Hey guys, been a DIY'er on my car for a few years, I just have so many tools now I figure I'd start doing some DIY at home. I've always hated electrical, so someone please help me out on this one, I've provided several pictures to help along the way.

So the situation is we have a stairway chandelier, and a front door lobby light that used to run off a 3 way switch, along with a separate light for the porch. 1 switch upstairs, and a 2 gang downstairs, the left being the 3 way and the right being the porch light.

Basically we had some water overflow or something a few years ago from the bathroom, I wasn't living here at the time so who knows what the damage was, but after it was all repaired, the 3 way light switch did not work. So now I have a wireless Lutron switch. I basically went to 3 way upstairs, and played with the wires until the lights were working. The extra wire I just taped up and pushed it into the receptace.

Now I'm back downstairs, and I wire the Lutron switch:



I had such a hard time since NONE of the wiring is color coded and it barely sticks out of the wall. I didn't know what was hot or not so I just touched it with my hands until I felt the current. (It's low draw, I would have turned off the breaker if it was anything bigger).

Anyway, this is the porch light:



The problem is that the hall way light works with the lutron switch, so I've pretty much closed the upstairs switch. But the porch light does not -_-. If you look at the picture, it's actually a bulb socket thing and it has a plugin for christmas lights or what have you. I'm not sure if these things come with different wiring or not, I'm totally new to this.

So here's where I am: EVERYTHING works except the Porch Light. IF you look at the first picture, you see a 4th lone wire I wrapped with tape. If I take that wire and touch the middle (silver) screw on the lutron, the inside and porch lights BLINK, they do not flicker, but they blink on and off as if on a 1 second timer.

I don't know how to get power to the porch light outside, and I'm really not even sure what that 4th wire is that's still there...

I know it's complicated, but if anyone made it this far please help! I have a multimeter but I think it's kind of useless in this situation, unless someone knows how to use a multimeter to identify wires.

Ideally I would like to have the porch light to run concurrently with the inside light so the lutron switch would just be a one stop shop for all 3 lights. BEFORE I messed with anything, the Lutron was a 3 way switch that was like daisy chained to the porch light switch, so confusing.

I'm not the best with explanations so if anyone DOESN'T understand me, do you atleast have a link or something that explains what all the different screws and terminology mean when it comes to being an indoor electrician? It was rather challenging fixing this...
 
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  #2  
Old 01-26-13, 09:02 PM
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One thing to always remember is that there is an odd or dark colored screw on a three way switch. This is the common switching terminal of the switch.

It looks like that lone wire coming out goes to the porch light. With your meter....you should check the wires on that switch, find the one that becomes live with the hall lights and connect the lone wire to that terminal.

That light on the front porch is just an old style ceramic socket with a screw in "insta-outlet" adapter. Remove that adapter as your lutron switch will not handle an excessive load plugged into that fixture.
 
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Old 01-26-13, 09:54 PM
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If I understand you correctly, you're telling me I should just attach the lone wire to 1 of the 3 screws? On my switch I have a blue screw on the left side, and in order from top to bottom, 3 screws on the right: Brass, Silver, and Black.

Brass to Silver and Black to Silver both give me ~125V. If I touch that lone wire to any of the 4 screws on the switch, nothing happens at all.

I just went to mess with it a little more, I discovered some more wires bundled back there, here's a picture:



It looks like there's 3 metal tubes with wires as you can see in the back. There's 3 of them, and 2 wires are coming from the far left, 4 wires are coming from the middle, and 2 from the one on the far right.

Any way to test the wires to see which wire does what? I'm going to assume the far right is for the porch (because the wire comes from the porch side) and the wires on the left side will control the interior lights...why does one bundle have 4 wires and the other 2?
 
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Old 01-26-13, 11:05 PM
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Be extremely careful of the wires in that box. Try to move them as little as possible. You run the risk of cracking off the insulation at the metal connectors.

In thinking about your wiring.....you may not be able to tie that porch light in there to the three way circuit. The location you are at appears to be the source side of the three way circuit.

One of those wires is always live regardless of the switch position. That wire and the single wire to the porch light will need to go back on a single pole switch.
 
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Old 01-27-13, 07:16 AM
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You have older cables commonly called BX. These are the gray tubes you are describing.

Your switch looks like it might be two switches on one strap. I suspect a single pole and a three way. Can you get a model number from it?
 
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Old 01-27-13, 03:39 PM
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Ok guys sorry, but scratch everthing so far except for this picture:



I attached a 2nd SINGLE POLE switch to the silver and black screw on the same lutron switch (the bottom 2), and the porch light magically works. Weird, but if the porch light is on, the inside lights are off. Basically the two switches can't be on at the same time) they can't run at the same time. That lone 4th wire has nothing to do with the porch light as I traced it somewhat so let's just forget about that.

With THIS new information, can you guys figure out what I would need to do so I can run them independant or atleast turn on and off together? These old wires are starting to break with my needlenose pliers so I'm just going stop messing with it..Again, thanks in advance, I can usually read a guide and pick up on these things but the wiring makes no sense to me with the lack of colors -_-

and as for model numbers, I have this switch:

Lutron MRF2-6ANS-WH Maestro Wireless 6 Amp Multi-location Switch, White - Amazon.com
 
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