3-way switch for single pole operation?

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  #1  
Old 07-26-14, 06:02 AM
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3-way switch for single pole operation?

In my kitchen we have a series of 3 switches. I wanted to replace them with decora style switches.

The one on the right has me confused.

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Its a 3-way switch but the thing is it controls the ceiling fan solely from that one location. It is not like the switch on the left which has to be 3-way as it controls a light from this location and another across the kitchen.

Questions:

Should I replace the switch on the right with another 3-way switch?

Why is it a 3-way switch if its only controlled from that one location?

Here are more images if it helps. It looks like they are looped together.

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  #2  
Old 07-26-14, 06:12 AM
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Somewhere in your world, there is another switch that controls that light. Do you have a switch that seems to do nothing from another location?
 
  #3  
Old 07-26-14, 06:14 AM
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The picture of the right side of the 3 way switch isn't clear. Are there wires on all 3 terminals of the 3 way switch?
 
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Old 07-26-14, 07:19 AM
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Do you have a switch that doesn't do anything? The reason I ask is that switch was not installed properly because I can see the wires are not wrapped around the screws the correct way. I suspect it is miswired and there is another switch that doesn't work.
 
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Old 07-26-14, 08:00 AM
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chandler & Tolyn Ironhand, there is such a switch that does nothing. It is behind my microwave. I really dont care if that switch works or not since it is not accessible.


CasualJoe, there are wires on both sides.
 
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Old 07-26-14, 08:21 AM
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Would there be a way to pull that switch and let us see the wiring on it, too? We have solutions, but need to make sure of things first.
 
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Old 07-26-14, 08:38 AM
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It looks to me like there is a black wire connected to all three switches. If there is, that is your hot wire and that should be connected to the common (black) screw of the three way. The other two wires are connected to the brass colored screws, they are the travelers. The same wiring will be on the new Decora switch
 
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Old 07-26-14, 08:48 AM
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Chandler, here are the pics of the unknown switch. We thought it would be part of range fan (it appears as though one was present at some point, but isnt now. It doesnt function and is the only such switch in the house.

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Old 07-26-14, 08:49 AM
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But if that is connected to the switch behind the microwave and, there is a hot in the box, and you don't want to use the other switch you can use a non 3-way switch.
 
  #10  
Old 07-26-14, 08:52 AM
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Tolyn Ironhand, you are correct. There is a black wire going to all 3 switches.

I just wonder why there is a 3-way switch going to a fan controlled from 1 location.
 
  #11  
Old 07-26-14, 09:32 AM
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I just wonder why there is a 3-way switch going to a fan controlled from 1 location.
Come to work with us a few days..... you won't wonder any more. Since you don't know what it's paired with or how it's wired..... leave the wiring as it is and just replace the switch with a threee way again.
 
  #12  
Old 07-26-14, 10:30 AM
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I agree with Pete. Replace it with a three way (wired better, please) and use it. Another scenario is a three way switch got buried on a remodel. Seen that, too.

I agree with Tolyn, the black wire should be placed on the anodized screw.
 
  #13  
Old 07-26-14, 11:27 AM
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By anodized screw, you mean the green one?

You want me to do that with all 3 switches?? or just this one in question?
 
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Old 07-26-14, 12:04 PM
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The green screw is only for grounding. It should only have a bare or green connected to it.

The switch next to the receptacle may be the disconnect for the dishwasher. Try to start the DW with the switch in the off position.
 
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Old 07-26-14, 12:41 PM
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Andonized = black screw. The other two are brass. Is there a receptacle under the cabinet. Possible that switch operates half of it.
 
  #16  
Old 07-26-14, 02:30 PM
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Why would they put a dishwasher disconnect across the kitchen?

Chandler, look under what cabinet?
 
  #17  
Old 07-26-14, 02:53 PM
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We don't know where these receptacle/switches are located. We only have close up pictures. If there is a cabinet under this GFCI/switch combo and it is near a sink base, then a garbage disposal may be powered by the switch on half of the receptacle with the other half hot all the time. Do you have any under cabinet lighting?
 
  #18  
Old 07-27-14, 01:57 AM
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Lol oh ok. Ya threw me for a second. under the GFCI is a cabinet but this is all the way across the kitchen next to a stove. Thats what led me to believe it was for a fan that may have once been in this thing above the stove (no longer there now).

We do have an inoperable garbage disposal though. No, we do not have any under cabinet lighting.
 
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