3 Switches, 2 Lights Help Please? - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical


Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-09-2012, 08:10 AM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 1
Rewards Points: 10

3 switches, 2 lights Help please?

Hi all and thank you for reading my issue. I greatly appreciate the time you are taking to try and help. Let's get to it.

I recently purchased a home and I am replacing all of the switches and receptacles. I have 2 lights in the hallways of my second floor. These lights are controlled off of 3 switches (2 3 ways and 1 4 way). There is a 3-way switch at the bottom of the steps (let's call switch 1), a 4-way switch at the top of the steps (let's call switch 2), and a 3-way switch at the end of the hallway (let's call switch 3). Here is how they are wired:
  • Switch 1: Top left white wire, bottom left black wire, top right black wire, bottom left ground wire. There are also 2 white wires "passing through" or wire nutted together. ---> Wired EXACTLY the same way as the old switch.
  • Switch 2: Top left and bottom left are black wires, top right and bottom right are white wires with the ground on the bottom left.---> Wired EXACTLY the same way as the old switch.
  • Switch 3: top left and bottom left are black wires, top right is a white wire and bottom right is a ground wire. There is 1 white wire with a wire nut.
Ok, so if switch 3 is in the OFF position, nothing works. IF it is on, switch 1 and 2 control the lights. So, why is switch 3 not wired the EXACT same way? This is a whole other story.

Switch 3 is outside a bedroom. My father was changing an outlet in the bedroom (that is controlled from a switch in the bedroom) and the lights in the hallway shut off. Long story short, somehow the lights in the hallway fried (they were old).

Since, I have eliminated the switch controlled outlet in the bedroom and made it a constant hot outlet, vs a switch controlled one (the red wire in the outlet box is just wired off.

When the issue with the lights happened, I assumed there was a broken neutral somewhere along the circuit. When I opened switch 3, I saw a white wire with no wire not, unspliced, just sitting there. I thought this was strange so I pig tailed the 2 white wires and sent a white wire to the switch. This did not work. So I tried to reinstate the switch to the same state it was but honestly forget the wiring.

So, after this convoluted scheme, any advice on how to troubleshoot switch 3 and get it fully functioning again?

I apologize for all of the detail but I feel it is necessary to help me fix the problem. Thank you again for your patients and efforts!


fwurster is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
two switches, two lights, one box bfan781 Electrical 10 04-13-2015 12:26 AM
Help with Two Switches & Two Lights simplyphp Electrical 36 11-25-2010 02:47 PM
2 Lights & 3 switches, doesn't look right curious1 Electrical 1 10-26-2010 10:26 PM
2 lights 2 switches NEW construction cabinjunkie Electrical 8 07-19-2009 01:50 AM
2 switches, 2 lights, one 14/3? sstrick500 Electrical 2 06-22-2009 07:01 AM

Top of Page | View New Posts


Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1