Cabinet Lighting with 3-way switches

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Old 08-19-13, 01:32 PM
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Cabinet Lighting with 3-way switches

I need to move a switch/outlet combo over about 3 feet (keeping this box as a J box). Outlet is no problem, it's a separate circuit, so I will not describe the wires for that. So lighting configuration is below:

Box has 1 - 14/3; 2 - 14/2

14/3 - Red to SW brass; Black to SW Brass; WHT to (2) 14/2 Cables WHT

Switch marked terminal - goes to (2) 14/2 blacks

When switch is turned on, red is hot, two blacks are hot. When switch is off, red is hot. I think red is coming from source.

2 14/2 blacks must be lights.

I said I needed to move this switch/outlet combo, but actually I want to know if I can eliminate this 3-way switch and just move the outlet.
I didn't open up the other 3-way box, I'm wondering first if it can be done.

I can reconfigure the wires in this (J box) and change the other switch to a single pole if I know how to reconfigure.

Thanks
 
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Old 08-19-13, 01:44 PM
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Switch marked terminal - goes to (2) 14/2 blacks
Do you mean two blacks are connected to the common terminal?

I want to know if I can eliminate this 3-way switch and just move the outlet.
Electrically you probably can but code dictates spacing of receptacles. You may violate the code by moving the receptacle. Local code may also require the 3-ways because of multiple entrances.

If you can move the receptacle and eliminate the switch we will need to know the wiring of the second switch.
Outlet [receptacle] is no problem, it's a separate circuit
Do you mean the receptacle is on a different breaker?
 
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Old 08-19-13, 03:04 PM
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You can rewire your setup - connect the wires differently - so that you can use one of the switches to control the lights, but not both. Or you can keep the wiring as it is and continue to control the lights from both locations. Which would you prefer to do?

NOTE: One of the black wires connected to the 3-way switch is either power in from the panel or power out to the light(s). That wire is connected to the common terminal on the switch. The other black wire and the red wire are the two travelers which go to the other 3-way switch. You need to identify the non-traveler and the common terminal, and make sure that that connection is maintained or replicated for your switches to work after the relocation.
 
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Old 08-19-13, 04:53 PM
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Do you mean two blacks are connected to the common terminal?
Yes, it's pigtailed, without even testing, it looks like this has to be feeding the under cabinet lights.

Electrically you probably can but code dictates spacing of receptacles. You may violate the code by moving the receptacle. Local code may also require the 3-ways because of multiple entrances.
Spacing is OK. Three way is not needed because doorway has been eliminated.

Do you mean the receptacle is on a different breaker?
Yes, this is common in a kitchen, to have lighting on a 15A and outlet on 20A.

You can rewire your setup - connect the wires differently - so that you can use one of the switches to control the lights, but not both. Or you can keep the wiring as it is and continue to control the lights from both locations. Which would you prefer to do?

NOTE: One of the black wires connected to the 3-way switch is either power in from the panel or power out to the light(s). That wire is connected to the common terminal on the switch. The other black wire and the red wire are the two travelers which go to the other 3-way switch. You need to identify the non-traveler and the common terminal, and make sure that that connection is maintained or replicated for your switches to work after the relocation.
This is the heart of the matter. I want one. (I already know how to extend wires to next box if I want to keep two 3-ways).
The black wire connected to common terminal has to be power to lights, because it is pigtailed to two 14/2 blacks. Also the red from 14/3 is always hot, this is where I get lost. Is this red the power source or fed from other 3-way? I think it is fed from other 3 way. Like I said, when switch is off, red is hot, when switch is on, all three terminals on switch are hot. I can test it tomorrow, but I can almost guarantee you the marked terminal goes to lights.
 
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Old 08-21-13, 02:21 PM
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This is the heart of the matter. I want one. (I already know how to extend wires to next box if I want to keep two 3-ways).
OK.

I want to know if I can eliminate this 3-way switch and just move the outlet.
I didn't open up the other 3-way box, I'm wondering first if it can be done.
It can be done.

Box has 1 - 14/3; 2 - 14/2
Not counting the wiring for the receptacle, right?

14/3 - Red to SW brass; Black to SW Brass; WHT to (2) 14/2 Cables WHT

Switch marked terminal - goes to (2) 14/2 blacks

When switch is turned on, red is hot, two blacks are hot. When switch is off, red is hot. I think red is coming from source.

2 14/2 blacks must be lights.
There is no "on" or "off" on a 3-way switch. All it does is change which traveler terminal is connected to the common terminal.

The two black wires connected to the common terminal on this switch may be the light feeds since you can reduce the power to only one traveler terminal by flipping the switch.

the red from 14/3 is always hot, this is where I get lost. Is this red the power source or fed from other 3-way? I think it is fed from other 3 way. Like I said, when switch is off, red is hot, when switch is on, all three terminals on switch are hot.
The switch is neither off nor on. When you flip it, the traveler terminal with the red wire attached should remain hot, the common terminal should become hot, and the lights should come on. Is that what happens?

All three switch terminals should never be hot at the same time. What are you using to test for voltage?

I can test it tomorrow, but I can almost guarantee you the marked terminal goes to lights.
First test: Flip the other switch and see which wire on this switch is now hot.

Second test: Kill the power. Remove the black traveler wire and the black pigtail wire from the switch you'd like to eliminate. Straighten those wires and use a wire nut to temporarily splice them together. Turn the power on and see what each switch does.

Let us know what you find out.
 
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