3way switch/receptical

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  #1  
Old 09-30-01, 08:41 AM
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I have two 3 way switches in my living room that operate two recepticles in that room. I want to wire a ceiling fan to the 3 way switches and wire the recepticles to a single switch in the same box as one of the 3way switches. I have wired the ceiling fan and run the wires to the outlet box and determined the functions of the existing wires. Here's what I have in the box: ceiling fan wires(blk, wht, gd), power supply wires(blk, wht, gd), wires from second 3way switch(red, blk, wht), wires going to recepticles(blk, wht, gd). I've read lots of info on wiring 3way switches but this has me stumped. How do I wire the ceiling fan to the two 3way switches and the recepticles to the other single switch in the same box as the first 3way switch?

Thanks,

Carey in NC
 
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  #2  
Old 09-30-01, 09:41 AM
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I find your description confusing. I'm especially confused by your statement "Here's what I have in the box," since I have no idea what box you're talking about (although it seem likely that you're talking about the ceiling box). I also am not sure what you mean by "power supply wires." Where did these wires come from?

One point of confusion is that there are at least 8 ways the current receptacles and switches could be wired (even before you added the fan).

Perhaps the pre-fan wiring was as follows. Tell me if this is right:
  • Power coming to the first 3-way switch on a 14/2 cable.
  • From there, a 14/3 cable goes between the two 3-way switches.
  • From there, a 14/2 cable goes from the second 3-way switch to the first receptacle.
  • A 14/2 cable goes between the two switches.
Note that this is just a guess, since there are many, many other legitimate ways to wire this. If my guess is wrong, post back a correction.

It sounds like you ran a new 14/2 cable from one of the receptacles to the ceiling. Is this true? Then this 14/2 can simply be hooked to the same wires the receptacle is hooked to, and your fan will be controlled by the two 3-way switches.

Now getting a second switch to control the receptacles is more difficult. If my guesses were correct, then you need a new 14/2 cable from the new 2-way switch to one of the receptacles. Did you run such a cable? If not, you will probably need to (all of the existing wiring is working hard to make the pair of 3-way switches work, and there are no spare wires to make the 2-way switch work).

Post back with more precise descriptions of what you did, and describe the wiring in detail in each switch box, and each receptacle box. We can go from there.
 
  #3  
Old 09-30-01, 11:48 AM
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Question 3way switches/recepticles

Sorry for the confusion. The "box" I referred to was the wall switch outlet box. "Power supply wire" refers to wire coming from the breaker box that sends power to the wall switch outlet box. Let's try again....I have a double switch wall outlet box which contains a single switch to operate a recepticle and 3way switch #1 which will be used to operate a ceiling fan. The wiring coming into the double switch wall outlet box is as follows.....wire coming from recepticle(blk, wht, gd), wire coming from ceiling fan(blk, wht, gd), power supply wire coming from breaker box(blk, wht, gd), wire coming from 3way switch #2(blk, wht, red). How do I wire the recepticle to the single switch and the ceiling fan to the 3way switches? Hope this is less confusing. Thanks for the help!
 
  #4  
Old 09-30-01, 02:18 PM
Wgoodrich
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Your discription is still rather confusing. The link below has several of the different ways this switch system can be wired and they are shown in schematic picture style. See if you can check the different wiring styles in the below link and see if one hits what you have. Then we might be able to jump to the center of your questions.

http://homewiring.tripod.com/convertswitchplug.html

Hope this helps

Wg
 
  #5  
Old 09-30-01, 02:59 PM
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Let me try, based on your description. This advice is only as good as my understanding of your description.

At the receptacle, you have nothing more to do than hook black to brass and white to silver and bare to green. I am assuming, based on your description, that a single 14/2 cable goes from the switch box directly to the receptacle (no stops in between).

The connections at the fan are likewise simple. Match wires by color.

At switch#2 (the second 3-way), hook the black wire to the "common" screw (the one that's a different color), and the red and white wires (the "travellers") to the other two non-grounding screws. Then hook the bare wire to the green screw. Put a piece of black tape on the end of the white wire to "reidentify" it as hot.

All the complicated stuff comes at your double switch box.
  • Use a wire nut to connect together all grounding wires, plus two pigtails. Attach these two pigtails to the green screws on your two switches. When you pack everything back into the box, make sure these wires do not come into contact with any other screws.
  • Take the black wire from the power cable and use a wire nut to attach two pigtails. Attach one pigtail to the "common" screw on the 3-way, and attach the other pigtail to either brass screw on the 2-way.
  • Use a wire nut to connect the white wire from the power cable to the white wire to the receptacle and the white wire to the fan. Note that you did not attach the white wire from the second 3-way switch with these other white wires.
  • Attach the white and red wires from the second 3-way switch to the remaining two screws on the 3-way switch. Put a piece of black tape on the end of the white wire to "reidentify" it as hot.
  • Attach the black wire to the receptacle to the remaining screw on the 2-way switch.
  • Use a wire nut to connect the black wire from the second 3-way switch to the black wire to the fan.
Post back and let us know how it comes out.
 
  #6  
Old 10-05-01, 04:25 PM
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Talking 3way switch/receptical

Bingo! Thanks a million John. After the initial wiring, the 3way switches worked with certain combinations. I switched the traveller wires on one of the 3way switches and they all work like a charm. All the wires were confusing but your detailed instructions hit pay dirt. Thanks again!
 
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