Found a Double Throw Switch.

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Old 07-26-16, 01:53 PM
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Found a Double Throw Switch.

Helped my mother move some stuff in her garage and behind a shelf found a mystery switch. It was at the end wall by the garage door. I flipped it out of curiosity wondering if it shut off the front yard post light. The post light went out along with garage door opener a wall outlet (the garage door opener was plugged into that outlet) overhead light separate from opener light, a pantry light and dining room chandelier. flipping switch back on nothing came back on. Turned power off to whole house removed switch and used multi-meter to run continuity. Switch was fine. Was running out of time so capped the 3 wires and turned power on. Everything came back on except the garage overhead light. Then I realized the switch by the house and by garage door were double throw. Really don't want to deal with the far switch anymore. Can I wire 1 traveler to common then remove and cap other traveler from both ends and just have a single throw. Put wires back in box and put on a plate cover, no fuss?

I am not sure what made everything else go out, no breakers were visibly tripped. Remember reading a while back that older breakers can trip and weakened spring or something might not push the switch. None the less, everything is working except that one light. I tested all other outlets and lights. House was built in early 60's if that's any help.
 
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Old 07-26-16, 03:58 PM
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You found a three way switch. Technically SPDT (single pole double throw)

Can I wire 1 traveler to common then remove and cap other traveler from both ends and just have a single throw. Put wires back in box and put on a plate cover, no fuss?
That will work. If you didn't mark the common terminal on the switch you may have to play a bit.

You could put the remaining switch up and try connecting two wires at a time until the light comes on. Those get twisted together and capped. The remaining wire gets capped by itself.

You can leave the wiring at the other switch as it is..... leave the three way switch there too.
 
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Old 09-11-16, 02:51 PM
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Finally got around to looking at this, thought it would be a quickie. Opened up the far switch box and nothing looked right. Only had my small analog multimeter so check the wires. Below the first 4 pics are of far switch by garage door, last 2 are of switch in garage by house door. On far switch, with near switch in "on" position, top blk wire and bottom blk wire register 120v. Top blk and wht register 120v. Bottom blk and wht 0v. Near switch in off, top blk and wht registers about 20v. Seems a bit much for noise or background. Far switch is on exterior wall and at bottom is a metal conduit that goes to yard light. That might explain the extra group of wires in far switch box. Comparing the 2 sets of pictures it looks like all the near wire set (blk red wht)travel from near switch to far switch. I assumed power would come into near switch -> 2 travelers out into far switch and out to common light. Looks like something overly complicated has happened. Any help getting near switch working would be a life saver.
Sorry pics came out sideways. Left is top on all pics.
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