disable a 3 way switch


Old 08-17-05, 09:05 PM
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disable a 3 way switch

I'd like to disable one of two switches that goes to my hall light (so my wife can hang a mirror in that place). There is a single black, red and white wire leading to the switch. I assume I need to hook up 2 of these 3 to complete the circuit???
Old 08-17-05, 09:22 PM
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This is easy, but only legally possible if the mirror will not be fixed in place. That's because the box need to remain permanently accessible (by taking down a hanging mirror). It also might be possible to turn the box around and make it accessible from the other side of the wall (depending on what's on the other side of the wall).

So if you can make the box permanently accessible:
  • Shut off the breaker.
  • Gently pull the switch out of the box without disconnecting anything.
  • Carefully note which wire is connected to the black-colored screw (or pushed into the hole next to the black-colored screw). This wire is the "common".
  • Remove the wire connected to the black-colored screw.
  • Remove either one of the other two wires (but not the green or bare one).
  • Use a wire nut to connect together the two wires you just removed, and push the connection neatly back into the box.
  • Remove the bare or green wire (if any) from the switch and carefully push it to the back of the box.
  • Remove the last wire from the switch, put a wire nut on it to electrically isolate it, and push it back into the box.
  • Remove the switch and put a blank cover plate on the box.
  • Turn the breaker back on and test.
  • You probably want the light to be on when the other switch is in the up position (or maybe you don't really care). If the light is on with the switch down, and off with the switch up, and you want it the other way, shut off the breaker again and use one of these two options: (1) Turn the switch over, or (2) go back to the box from which you just removed the switch, and connect the common wire to the other non-grounding wire you removed from the switch.
Old 08-17-05, 09:57 PM
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It worked perfectly.

Thank you for your help.

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