Basement wiring problem

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  #1  
Old 10-11-14, 01:56 PM
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Basement wiring problem

So I am finishing my basement and have pretty much finished the wiring.

I am, however, running into a lighting issue. Whenever my outside stairwell light is on, the fluorescent light inside the room (from the same feed) blinks rapidly while in the off position. When both lights are on, the light is fine. Any ideas or does it simply have to do with the fact that the outside is a CFL and the inside is a fluorescent? The fluorescent is just a temporary work light until the inspector grants the mechanical inspection. A nicer light will go in its place later once drywall is finished.

I have attached a drawing. Apologies for the crudeness in advance. Blue represents white wire on the drawing.

Thanks in advance.

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  #2  
Old 10-11-14, 02:24 PM
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If the basement light is controlled by the 3-way. Then the common of one of the switches must be directly connected to the basement light and only the basement light. That isn't what I see looking at you're diagram.

Is this how you have it?

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Position of traveler and common screws on switch will vary. Position chosen in diagram is for convenience.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 10-11-14 at 03:26 PM.
  #3  
Old 10-11-14, 06:21 PM
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Properly wired the two lights should not affect each other regardless of type.
 
  #4  
Old 10-12-14, 04:45 AM
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Thanks for the reply, Ray. To answer your question, it was hooked exactly as I had drawn it out.

So by your rework of my drawing, this should take care of the problem, correct? TIA.

Norm
 
  #5  
Old 10-12-14, 04:48 AM
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Thanks for the reply, pcboss. I was thinking that if they were wired correctly, that the two different bulb types should not interfere with each other but had never done initial wiring with CFL. Have only used as replacements and the florescent flickered just as the older ones had done prior to actually lighting up. Thanks again.
 
  #6  
Old 10-12-14, 05:24 AM
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it was hooked exactly as I had drawn it out.
I had difficulty following your diagram but as I wrote:
the common of one of the switches must be directly connected to the basement light and only the basement light. That isn't what I see looking at you're diagram.
. If it was different then that could be the problem.
 
  #7  
Old 10-12-14, 06:59 AM
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Apologies for the crudeness of my earlier drawing. I was in a rush. Here is one a bit more clearer of how the connections are currently run. Perhaps this illustration is a bit easier to understand this time. Thanks again, Ray.

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  #8  
Old 10-12-14, 07:31 AM
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Follow Ray's diagram. You are surly going to have problems with your diagram because you have a neutral connected to a switch. You are going to blow things up because you could have a dead short.
 
  #9  
Old 10-12-14, 08:23 AM
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Will do, thanks Tolyn, Ray, and Pcboss.
 
  #10  
Old 10-12-14, 08:29 AM
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You also have the power in hot going directly to to the light and not controlled by the switch.

I think you are confused by the misbelief all wires colored white are neutral. They aren't. The white in the 3-conductor cable is an ungrounded conductor (hot). As stated in my diagram the 3-conductor white must be relabeled red or any color but (white) gray or green. This can be done with bands of colored tape or a felt tip marker. It must be remarked at all three junction boxes.

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  #11  
Old 10-13-14, 04:06 PM
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Ok, well I rewired everything as you had it in your drawing Ray. The problem is, now switch 1 (3way on left) is controlling power to switches 2 and 3 (on right, 3 way and single pole). Whenever switch one is 'off', there is no power to neither switch 2 nor 3. Also, I did take note of your comment about perhaps swaping the travelers (which I did on switch 2) and now there is no power to anything. Any further suggestions?
 
  #12  
Old 10-13-14, 04:36 PM
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Then you have not followed the diagram. Are you sure you followed my diagram correctly? The Wire on the common of the left 3-way connects only to the light in the basement.The power in wire does not connect to the left hand switch and the left hand switch has no connection to the porch light switch so it can't control it. The power in black is pigtailed only to the common of the right hand 3-way switch and one side of the porch light switch.

Attachment 39895

Also look at the errors in your diagram. If you repeated them that might cause the what you describe.

Attachment 39920
 
  #13  
Old 10-13-14, 07:06 PM
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Ray's diagram is still correct. I think the issue is you are likely using Romex cable and some of the wires shown in the diagram would be 3 wire, and 4 wire, cables.

Diagram removed. See mod note.

Where Tolyn sees a 4-wire is actually a 2-conductor and 3 conductor. I was wrong. I have redrawn using two 2-conductors.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 10-14-14 at 12:33 PM.
  #14  
Old 10-14-14, 09:17 AM
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I'll check once more when I get home this afternoon but I'm pretty sure that I did follow your diagram verbatim. I worked in the local IBEW for nearly 2 years so I can read schematics. But it was years ago that I worked in that field so I figured a second set of eyes would be best and better if those eyes still do this. Thanks again.
 
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Old 10-14-14, 09:59 AM
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I don't want to confuse this thread, so this is a side note.

Many people can wire a single pole switch with no problems:
Neutral goes directly to light.
Hot is broken by connecting source hot to one switch terminal and hot going to light to remaining switch terminal.

3-way switches are no different. There are 2 marked terminals, one on each switch. Think of these as the 2 single pole terminals.

Just as a single pole switch:
Source hot is connected to one marked terminal.
Hot going to light is connected to other marked terminal.

The only difference is that unlike a single pole switch, the 3-way terminals are separated by distance.
 
  #16  
Old 10-14-14, 11:05 AM
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It would be easier without the center junction box.
 
  #17  
Old 10-14-14, 11:14 AM
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Yes it would however, I'm working with what the builders left me with. Btw, I was looking online here at work. Would this diagram work for me as well? It was originally for wiring two 3pole switches to a single light and then I added the second light with single pole in. What do you think? Or should the black feed the single and the white be continuous to the second light... (just saw that after submitting)

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Last edited by Norm12; 10-14-14 at 11:52 AM.
  #18  
Old 10-14-14, 11:22 AM
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I really think the junction box is where you are making the mistake. I will redraw and see if that helps.
 
  #19  
Old 10-14-14, 11:34 AM
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Sometimes it is easier to start from ground zero and abandon the old scheme that may not be the best way to wire.
 
  #20  
Old 10-14-14, 11:46 AM
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PCBoss is right in more ways then one. I tried to redraw your diagram instead of doing a scratch diagram my way. My diagram was wrong. I'm very sorry for the confusion.
 
  #21  
Old 10-14-14, 12:29 PM
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I think your post #17 shows the power in neutral to the porch light switch. If I'm looking correctly that is wrong. You can't switch a neutral.

Try your post 17 diagram but switch the hots on the porch light instead of the neutrals
 

Last edited by ray2047; 10-14-14 at 01:44 PM.
  #22  
Old 10-14-14, 02:09 PM
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Yes, so the white to the porch light and black to switch. Thanks. I realized that mistake after I had put that drawing on here.
 
  #23  
Old 10-14-14, 03:05 PM
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Here is another view of what you posted with switch correct.

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  #24  
Old 10-15-14, 04:12 PM
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It's working now. Yes, it was as the last diagram that I posted with the exception of the blacks being swapped to control the porch light. Thanks to all involved for the help. I hope to pay it forward some day.
 
  #25  
Old 10-15-14, 04:25 PM
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Excellent! Thanks for letting us know the outcome.
 
  #26  
Old 10-15-14, 05:18 PM
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Well done!
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