Shoddy wiring

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Old 10-04-18, 08:45 PM
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Shoddy wiring

Just bought my first house yay! I'm a pretty good craftsman so I went for one that needed a little fixing up nothing structurally just one that needed a cosmetic update. Started with the bathroom almost done that but then I found it when I was replacing drywall and had the walls open whoever did the last update to this house was a horrible drywaller he or she cut the junction box holes too big. Their solution? Stuff newspaper around the boxes and mud the hell out of it yes very dry very flammable newsbaber against electrical boxes well I couldnt leave that so i started out on fixing it the proper way then i found it. The switch that no one knows what it does we cant figure it out!

Anyways more to the point I removed the switch cover to repair the gaps between the wall and electrical box properly and this switch stumps me. First of all it's a 3 way switch I got that much. Second of all there are 4 wires in the box one uncoated copper ground which is attached to the metal box with a screw in the back and 3 plastic coated wires two black and 1 white. So already not to code, to make things worse not one wire is connected to the black screw the common the two black wires one of which is hot one is not are connected to one traveler and the white wire is connected to the other traveler. I can not figure this out any ideas?
 

Last edited by ray2047; 10-04-18 at 10:03 PM. Reason: Add paragraph break to make it easier to read.
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Old 10-04-18, 10:12 PM
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Second of all there are 4 wires in the box one uncoated copper ground
You can ignore grounds in your descriptions but this tells us you probably have NM-b cable..
and 3 plastic coated wires two black and 1 white.
Sounds like two 2-conductor NM-b cables and there is a missing white, maybe cutoff. Since you can not use two 2-conductor cables instead of one 3-conductor cable. you will need to run new cable for a 3-way.

Do you want to get this working or what.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 10-05-18 at 12:04 AM.
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Old 10-05-18, 07:46 AM
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Well I first want to know what this switches purpose is it doesnt seem to do anything I guess I need a wire tracer to find out where it's supposed to go to. And yes upon closer inspection there is a secondary white cable that's been cut at the base of the wire bundle. Right now I'm just wondering why the two black wires are connected together on the switch. When I remove them and turn the breaker back on only 1 of the two black cables is hot. Perhaps I'll remove the switch and cap each wire with a merett and see what if anything is not working for switches or outlets.
 
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Old 10-09-18, 11:42 AM
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Right now I'm just wondering why the two black wires are connected together on the switch.

Someone may have been used a 3 way switch as a single pole switch.
 
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