How can I wire in a new light fixture?

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  #1  
Old 08-02-15, 06:05 PM
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How can I wire in a new light fixture?

Here is the existing outlet with a set of switches, one three-way and one single pole, correct?:

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But now I need to wire in a new single pole fixture (with a dimmer). If I turn 14/2 romex down to the switch, how can I do this correctly? The current mix of wires (running in series?) is a little confusing.

Here are a couple of the switches, FWIW:

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  #2  
Old 08-02-15, 06:59 PM
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Are you adding a switch or replacing one? It looks like you may not have room to install a 3-gang box.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 08-02-15 at 08:19 PM.
  #3  
Old 08-02-15, 07:41 PM
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Looks to me like you have two 3 ways. I see three wires to each switch.

Here is the existing outlet with a set of switches
Very nice proper use of the term "outlet"
 
  #4  
Old 08-02-15, 08:59 PM
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It may be tucked around the refrigerator slightly, but we should have enough room for a 3-gang work box. To clarify, we are adding a switch/fixture.

And yes, you're right. On closer inspection, those are both 3-way switches. We just need to add a single pole switch to what's already there.
 
  #5  
Old 08-02-15, 10:28 PM
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Following assumes you have one 2-conductor power in cable with black pigtailed to the common of each 3-way switch: You will need to pigtail the black of the 2-conductor power in cable to all three switches. The black of the cable to the new light to the other screw of the new switch. The white of the new cable to the existing group of neutrals.

You seem to have some wires back stabbed. To prevent reliability problems those should be moved to the screws.
 
  #6  
Old 08-03-15, 04:35 PM
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Soooooo....

Tried to get everything in the right position, but something's off.

My kitchen lights (3-way) are on the left switch. My porch lights (3-way) are on the top right, and my new fixture (single pole) is on the bottom right - which is a combination switch.

The hot (confirmed with a tester) is wired into the common on the top right of the combination switch. I then ran a wire from the bottom common of the combination switch to the left switch. After flipping the power on, I can confirm that power is going through all of those wires, but none of the switches work. Nothing turns on at all.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Pics from the left to the right:

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  #7  
Old 08-03-15, 05:23 PM
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You have a couple of issues that need addressing before you continue:

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In this first picture the neutrals are very poorly spliced. You need to redo these, if need use a better wirenut then the red GB ones. They do not have a very large wire capacity. Buchanan, or Ideal are a better choice. You should not see any copper showing from the nut.

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Your grounds need to have a wirenut on them. Just twisting them together is not a reliable connection. You also can only have one wire around one screw.

Now to your issue: How are you determining the hot wire? If you are using a non-contact tester this is not reliable. You need to use a simple neon tester or analog meter. Also when testing be sure to flip the other 3 way to make sure you are not reading a traveler.

This might also help:

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  #8  
Old 08-03-15, 05:36 PM
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I'll go get an appropriate wire nut for the neutrals, and I'll get the grounds appropriately wired.

As for the hot wire - I tested it with a Klein NCVT-1, with everything completely disconnected and wires separate, and that was the only one that lit it up.
 
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Old 08-03-15, 06:11 PM
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Not to confuse the issue.....

You have 2) two wire cables in the box. 1 is the feed in and 1 is the feed out. Therefore those original 2) two wire cables need to be connected together to keep power passing thru that box.

You then need to add two short tails to that black splice to feed the common terminals on the three way switches.

All four whites stay connected together. Actually will be five whites if you brought in another two wire cable.

The red/black wires from the 2) three wire cables remain as travelers.
 
  #10  
Old 08-03-15, 06:13 PM
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As for the hot wire - I tested it with a Klein NCVT-1
Give it to your kid to play with and get a cheap analog (not digital)multimeter ($8-$15). Non contact testers aren't accurate enough for real testing. You can end up chasing wild geese if you try to rely on a non contact tester. Remember you are not looking for a hot wire. You are looking for a cable that has ~120v between the black and white.
 
  #11  
Old 08-05-15, 07:10 AM
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I had a journeyman electrician come over to look at things, and he helped get me there most of the way. After he left, though, I noticed a problem with the three way switch for the porch.

With it off at the switch inside, and off at the switch in the garage, the lights are ON.

With it on at the switch inside, and off at the switch in the garage, the lights are OFF.

With it on at the switch in the garage, it is ON regardless of whether or not it's on at the switch inside.

Obviously something's wrong. Am I missing a black wire (traveler?) to the three way switch? IIRC, the guy couldn't determine where one of them went to. He may have just capped it together with a few others in the back.


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  #12  
Old 08-05-15, 07:17 AM
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Here are a few more pictures, hopefully with better lighting to show you what I'm referencing.

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  #13  
Old 08-05-15, 07:50 AM
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I noticed a problem with the three way switch for the porch.
With it off at the switch inside, and off at the switch in the garage, the lights are ON.
A 3-way switch has no on or off position. Get the electrician back to fix it or call one more knowledgeable.
 
  #14  
Old 08-05-15, 02:49 PM
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With it on at the switch in the garage, it is ON regardless of whether or not it's on at the switch inside.
Yeah, he has something wrong. He has a wire in the wrong place. As Ray said though, there is no "on" or "off" position on a 3 way.

Are you sure he was a Journeyman? He has a wire wrapped the wrong way around the screw.

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