Reconfiguring 3-way Switches

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Old 05-30-15, 03:28 PM
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Reconfiguring 3-way Switches

I have a similar situation [http://www.doityourself.com/forum/li...s-outlet.html], but the outlet is controlled by 2 switches. I have mounted the ceiling fan box, hung the ceiling fan, and dropped a new 14-3 from the ceiling fan to one of the switches that ran the outlet. I would like the 1 remaining switch to control the outlet and have the fan w/ light controlled by the other. I am not having any luck. The switch box is a two gang with the other switch controlling a separate light. There are two 14-2 wires coming into the switch with one white capped off and the the 2 blacks and one white connected. Now, with the introduction of the new 14-3 wire how should the connections be? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 05-30-15 at 04:17 PM.
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Old 05-30-15, 04:20 PM
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First you need to determine where power comes in, switch A, switch B, or the receptacle. You can not use a non contact tester for that. You need to use a multimeter, preferably analog or at least a test light.
 
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Old 05-30-15, 05:33 PM
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There are two 14-2 wires coming into the switch with one white capped off and the the 2 blacks and one white connected.
Oh.... I see some custom three way wiring.

Ok.... so please clarify for us exactly what you want to do. You have box A and box B.
What is in box A as far as switches ?
What is in box B as far as switches ?
You have 2) two wire cables that connect to a three way switch in which box ?
You are connecting the fan to which box ?

My crystal ball is a little hazy tonight.
 
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Old 05-31-15, 09:17 AM
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Sorry for the lack of information. Box A has two switches. One is connected to a different breaker. The other switch, the one controlling the outlet, has two 14-2 wires coming in with one white capped off and the other white and both black wires connected to the switch. Box A is where I would like to connect the ceiling fan as it is an interior wall. Box B is on exterior wall and has 3 switches. One controlling outdoor lights, one operating a light in the entryway, and the third is the other switch controlling the outlet. The box B switch has 4 black wires coming in, three of which are connected to the same contact of the switch, and one white wire connected.
 
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Old 05-31-15, 09:40 AM
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Ok.... see you have 2) two wire cables coming into box A.
You'll be replacing the three way switch in box A with a single pole switch. The wiring in box A will be fairly basic as you have two dedicated cables to work with.

Ultimately you'll be converting one of the two wire cables to a feed only for your fan.

Move to Box B
For me this would be easy. To convey the idea may get a little confusing.
Since you the two cables are dedicated to the three way switching, your feed to that circuit and your receptacle connection is in box B.

You will need to pull the switches out of box B but DON'T disconnect any wires yet. A few picture of the switches hanging would be great. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...rt-images.html

The three way switch for the receptacles will have a white and black wire as the travelers. That is one of the cables that goes to the other switch. Somehow mark that pair of wires. They won't be used and you'll be capping them off at box A and B.

That will leave a common/dark colored screw with a wire on it. We need to know if that wire is always live when removed from the switch. You'll have to temporarily remove the wire from the switch OR while checking for voltage.... flip the three way switch.

Look into the box.... you should see a capped white wire from a two wire cable. That will be the second line to box A.

This is as far as I can go until I see your pictures. Are you following me here ?
 
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Old 05-31-15, 10:48 AM
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I'm using my smartphone and for whatever reason it won't let upload a photo. So, here goes by description.

As looking at the box B from left to right:

3 cables coming into box:
Cable 1 is 14-2 with black running top of switch 1. And white connected by wire nut to white from wire 3 and another separate white running from triple white wire nut to a wire nut with a separate black running back to bottom of switch 1.

Cable 2 is 14-2 with black and white running to opposite sides of the top of switch 2. (Switch 2 is the three way for the outlet).

Cable 3 is 14-3 with black running to bottom of switch 2, white running to the triple white wire nut with wire 1, and red running to top of switch 3.

There is a short black wires connecting bottom of switch 1 to bottom of switch 2 and a short black wire connecting the bottom of switch 3 to the same bottom connector on switch 2. So there are 3 black wires connected to the bottom of switch 2.

Sorry about the lengthy description and I hope you are able to construct a mental picture. I just can't get a damn photo to attach.
 

Last edited by PJmax; 05-31-15 at 04:11 PM. Reason: swapped cable for wire
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Old 05-31-15, 11:10 AM
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At the outlet in question there are 2 14-3 wires coming into the box. Both reds running to top right, both blacks running to bottom right and the whites running to top left and other to bottom left. Grounds connected to ground screw.
 
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Old 05-31-15, 11:49 AM
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Receptacles have no top right or bottom right because they can be installed in multiple orientation. You have the brass screws and the silver terminal. The tabs between the brass or silver screws may be in place or removed. In some cases wires may be inserted in to the back of the the receptacle. All of that is the information needed to describe your connections. In addition pictures help. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/li...rt-images.html
 
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Old 05-31-15, 12:41 PM
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Both whites are inserted into the back. One each of the red and black are inserted the other one of each is connected on then outside by brass screws.
 
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Old 05-31-15, 01:53 PM
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Is the tab broken on the brass side?

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Old 05-31-15, 02:28 PM
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The tab on the side with the two white wires is in tact. The tab between the red and black wires is broken.
 
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Old 05-31-15, 03:35 PM
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3 wires coming into box:
Wire 1 is 14-2 with black running top of switch 1
Not wires cable. Gets confusing if you call cables wires.
The box B switch has 4 black wires coming in, three of which are connected to the same contact of the switch, and one white wire connected.
So neither switch box has red wires? So where do the red wires at the receptacle come from?
 
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Old 05-31-15, 03:56 PM
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I have no idea. Thoughts?
 
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Old 05-31-15, 04:09 PM
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Wire 3 is 14-3 with black running to bottom of switch 2, white running to the triple white wire nut with wire 1, and red running to top of switch 3.
How about this red wire ?

Cable 1 is the cable out to whatever is controlled by switch one.
Cable 2 is the traveler cable and will be ignored.
Cable 3 is supplying power to the three way switch with black via the common screw.

Technically the red wire should be connected to a black wire and then capped off.
The white that is associated with this black should be capped off.


At the outlet in question there are 2 14-3 wires coming into the box. Both reds running to top right, both blacks running to bottom right
That's telling us there is more than one switched receptacle in the room.
 

Last edited by PJmax; 05-31-15 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 05-31-15, 04:23 PM
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There is a short piece of black wire running from the common screw on the 3-way switch to both the single pole switches also in the box.
 
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Old 05-31-15, 04:25 PM
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I've almost got all the wiring.

Basically they're using the black of the three wire cable to supply power to all three switches. You will be making up a splice so that there will only be one wire to one screw on each device.

The three wire between the receptacle and the switches.
Black is always live.
Red is switched back to the receptacles.
White is neutral.

I already mentioned the one cable between the three ways will be capped off as spares.

You said at box A one of the whites was capped off. You should find the other half in box B. Have you found a white capped off there ?

Switch 3 controls the receptacles ?? You told us switch 2 controlled the receptacles ???
 
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Old 05-31-15, 06:03 PM
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Switch 2 does control the receptacles. Switch 3 has the lone red wire running to it and it controls the entryway light.
 
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Old 05-31-15, 10:22 PM
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You need to go back and check what you posted. We are missing a cable here.

Cable 1 connects to switch 1 and controls a light. That makes sense.
Cable 2 connects to the traveler screws on the three way switches for the recp. That makes sense.
Cable 3..... the red should be the switched line back to the receptacles, the black should be the hot feed for all three switches and the white is the neutral for everything.
The red wire should be on the common/dark screw of the three way switch.

This leaves us short a cable for the third switch.
 
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