3-Way Light Switch


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Old 03-05-21, 07:38 PM
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3-Way Light Switch

I would like to remove 1 of the two switches. Currently, I have tape over one because I am not using it.

I removed the wall plate and look at the switch today. It does not have a NEUTRAL. Only the HOT and the two TRAVELERs. Is it possible to remove it, wire nut them properly and then just cover with a wall plate?
 
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Old 03-05-21, 08:34 PM
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It depends on how the circuit was wired. It isn't as straight forward as simply capping off the wires of the unwanted switch. Some pictures of inside the boxes would help get you the answer you need.
 
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Old 03-06-21, 04:05 AM
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If you are certain you have a hot on the "point" (black screw) and if by no neutral you mean no white wire connected to the switch (they are tucked inside the box), then it could be as simple as capping one of the travelers with the point (wire from black screw) on the unwanted switch and capping the remaining traveler by itself. Depending on what traveler you choose will determine if the light turns on/off when the switch is up/down. If opposite, swap travelers in either switch box (doesn't matter which box). Or you could simply rotate the switch the other way so up is on and down is off. Again, this will only work if the circuit is wired a certain way, and there are a few ways of wiring a 3-way circuit. Please post a detailed diagram or some clear pictures of the wires inside the box.
 
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Old 03-06-21, 04:36 AM
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You don't say why you want to remove the switch.
If it's because it gets switched my mistake or you never use it why not just leave it and get a switch guard to cover it?

 
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Old 03-06-21, 05:21 AM
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Nut the common to one of the travellers and cap the second traveller. If the other switch works up for off , down for on, swap the travellers.
 
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Old 03-07-21, 10:42 AM
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MossMan, thank you for your replies sir!

Norm, correct and exactly. Thanks for showing that because that might be the more cost effective solution whereas I would have to buy a new face plate anyway.

Joed, I will check it out. Thank You.


I have three "Curious George": questions. On a 3-way switch, what if you mistakenly interchange the two traveler wires? So for example, usually traveler #1 would be wired to the same side (in this case LEFT) of the switches. However, what if traveler #1 wired to the LEFT of switch #1 while I accidentally wired to the RIGHT of switch #2? Will this be hazardous? I would guess no because when traveler #1 is wired to both LEFT on both switches, than means the switches have to be in the same position (down or up). But if wired incorrectly between the traveler wires, the position of the switches will be one up and one down right?

I have been watching lots of youtube videos on 3-way switches (light before the switches, light in between the switches, light at the end of switches). When they use the term 1 pole, what does that mean?
 
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Old 03-07-21, 10:45 AM
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Norm, thanks, you saved me a few bucks and hassle on switching out.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/AMERELLE...-SG1/100628705
 
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Old 03-07-21, 11:41 AM
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When they use the term 1 pole, what does that mean?
"One pole" (or Single Pole) is a Single-Pole-Single-Throw (SPST) switch. It opens and closes one conductor. A Double-Pole-Single-Throw (DPST) switch is like two SPST switches (internally with one handle) that operate at the same time on separate conductors.

"Three-Way switch" is a Single-Pole-Double-Throw (SPDT) switch. It connects one conductor to one or another alternately.


A "Four-Way switch" is a special version of a DPST switch that crosses the connections. Pole A normally connected to pole B, pole C normally connected to pole D when switched results in A-->D and C-->B. In a 3-way switching circuit this action takes place between the traveller wires.



A DPDT switch can also be wired as a 4-Way. Standard 4-way switches have internal connections to achieve this so there are only 4 external terminal screws.
 
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Last edited by 2john02458; 03-07-21 at 11:47 AM. Reason: Corrected polarity
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Old 03-07-21, 12:15 PM
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John, that was beautifully answered. Thank you 🙏

Would you know the answer to the traveler question?
 
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Old 03-07-21, 12:29 PM
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The traveler wires are, more or less, interchangeable. The switches being up or down will depend on which traveler is where, and how the switches are installed in the wall.
 
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Old 03-07-21, 12:43 PM
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Yay! Thank you Mr Knight Tolyn Ironhand!
 
 

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