Remove 3 way switch from circuit

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  #1  
Old 03-25-02, 10:49 AM
rmelton
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Unhappy Remove 3 way switch from circuit

In preparation to finish my basement I am trying to workout my wiring\lights diagram. I have a 3 way switch at the basement steps with controls 3 lights in the basement. Unfortunately these 3 lights will not be enough to light up the entire basement. What I really want is to have my 3 way at the steps control the main lighting for the basement - enough to light the basement up to see well. I have ran down what is on the circuit my 3 way currently is on and I am afraid if I add 5-7 lights on the same circuit it will over load it. Here is the info on the circuit.

Current Circuit: 2 lights inside garage, 2 lights outside garage, 1 light in the laundry room, 1 light for the back porch, dinning room light(4 light bulbs), 2 can lights above my breakfast bar, an outlet in the living room (happens to be where the TV, stereo, VCR, & sat is plugged in), and the 3 basement lights on the 3 way.

Proposed solution: remove the 3 way from the current circuit and run a new circuit to my 3 way with my main lights for the basement wired to new circuit: 9-10 lights.

My question is how do I go about removing the 3 way from the current circuit or do I even need to worry about it? I have 200 amp service with 20 amp circuit beakers.

Thanks,
RM
 
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  #2  
Old 03-25-02, 01:30 PM
Wgoodrich
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YOu must remove that exsting power source to that three way system before you install a new power source. YOu will find the power source either in one of the two switch boxes or in the first light fixture box. Open them up and look for a constant hot black wire. and disconnect that as your power source along with the white wire found in the same cable. Just wire nut them off as tailed dead end. Keep the two wires wirenutted separately. Then install your new branch circuit where that original power source was connected. Be sure to size that new branch circuit with a breaker rated in amps no more than the ampacity of the smallest conductor on that branch circuit. 14 awg = 15 amp 12 awg = 20 amps.

Hope this helps

Wg
 
  #3  
Old 03-25-02, 07:11 PM
rmelton
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Unhappy Power source?

Wg,
Thanks for the reply. I followed the wire from the lights through to the switches and found the switch at the top of the steps has the power feed. There are 2 sets of 12-2 coming into the switch and 1 12-3 out of the switch which runs to my switch at the bottom of the steps. Here is how the switch at the top of the steps is wired.

When looking at the switch there is a silver and green screw at the bottom left, a black screw at top right, and a silver screw bottom right.

The 3 white are wired nutted together.
The black from both sets of 12-2 are pigtailed together and wired to the black screw at top right.
The black from the 12-3 is wired to the silver screw at bottom right.
The red from the 12-3 is wired to the silver screw at bottom left.

I gather from your last post I would take the 2 white from both sets of 12-2 and wire nut together. Do the same with the black from both sets of 12-2.
Then take my new power feed and wire it the same as what the old power feed - black to black screw and white wire nutted together with white from the 12-3.
Would I follow suit with the ground or can they all be wired together?
Is this going to be to much in a .18cu ft plastic box or will I need to pull out both sets of 12-2 from the old circuit and put in a box by themselves?

I also noticed the grounds were NOT wire nutted togetehr, just twisted together with a pigtail that wired to the green screw. Is that okay or should the grounds be wire nutted together?

Thanks for the help.

RM
 
  #4  
Old 03-27-02, 07:52 AM
rmelton
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Add new box or not??

Can anyone help When I run a new circuit to my 3-way should I remove the old wiring and place in a new box and wire nut together? Or can I just wire nut them in the same box?

I really appreciate any help. Thanks.
 
  #5  
Old 03-27-02, 09:12 AM
P
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I suggest you bring the 2-wire "feed" into the 3-way switch outlet box on the bottom of the stairs and isolate the the 3 wires at the switch at the top of the stairs from existing connections, leaving 3 "loose" wires which go to the 3-way at the bottom of the stairs.For the two 12/2's in the switch box at the top of the stairs wire-nut the 2 Blacks together and wire-nut the 2 Whites together and tuck them inside the box.Cover the White wire of the 3-wire cable with Red marking tape on both ends (top switch,bottom switch).You now have 1 Black and 2 Reds for the 3-way switch connections. The Black of the 3-wire at the top switch connects to the "common" terminal.The Back of the 3-wire at the bottom switch wire-nuts to the Black of the 2-wire that connects to the fixtures. The Black of the 2-wire "feed" connects to the "common" 3-way terminal.The 2 Reds (top and bottom) connect to the 2 remaining terminals.---Good Luck!!!
 
  #6  
Old 03-28-02, 07:35 AM
rmelton
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Rewiring 3 way?

Thanks for the reply PATTBAA. I not sure I follow your re-wire exactly. I got to looking at the switches and lights(I plan to have 6 on this circuit) last night.
Can I wire my lights first then the switches at the end of the run? Here is what I was thinking:
Run 12-2 to my to my first light and between all the other lights.
At each light I would connect the power source black with the black running to the next fixture. Connect the power source white to the lights white and the lights black to the white running to the next fixture. Use the existing 12-3 between the switches.
Then at the first switch (at bottom of steps) I would connect the power source black to the black screw. Red and white of the 12-3 would connect to the silver screws. The black of the 12-3 would connect to the white of the power source.
Second switch(at top of steps) I would connect the black to the black screw and the red and white to the silver screws(same wire\silver screw comination as on the other switch.

Does this sound okay?
 
  #7  
Old 03-28-02, 11:22 AM
P
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For this job NEVER connect a Black to a White.Run a 2-wire feed to the switch at the bottom of the stairs.From this switch run a 2-wire to the fixtures.The 3rd. cable in the switch box is a 3-wire to the switch at the top of the stairs.PLease----mark the White wire of the 3-wire between the switches with Red marking tape as requested.All Whites (switch & fixture) wire-nut together. At each 3-way a Black is on the common terminal which has a marking distinct from the other 2 terminals where the Reds connect. Good Luck!!!
 
  #8  
Old 03-28-02, 11:35 AM
jlbos83
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Draw a picture for yourself. Remember that you switch hot. Don't make it hard on yourself. Look at the diagrams at wg's site. Even if they don't cover your exact situation, you can see what the idea is. Take it slow.
 
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