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

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 08-10-2008, 01:26 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 3
Rewards Points: 10
Default

3 way, two switches, 4 wires all the same color?


May have bit off more than I can chew today, but I figured I could put it out to you guys before I call the professional.

Its a 3 way switch, two switches at the top of the stairs and one at the bottom. (??) when I took the panel off there were 4 wires connected to the 2 switches at the top of the stairs. (I placed butterfly stickers where the wires were connected)


How should I go about replacing this fixture? is it correctly configured? All the wires are the same color? any help is appreciated!!!
Attached Thumbnails
3 way, two switches, 4 wires all the same color?-000_0010.jpg   3 way, two switches, 4 wires all the same color?-000_0011.jpg  

rugbyboot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2008, 03:25 PM   #2
Registered User
 
Termite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 6,520
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

3 way, two switches, 4 wires all the same color?


This is one of those instances of an electrical challenge that probably isn't for most DIYers. Without being able to reference what wire does what, it would be best to call an electrician, who will use a multimeter to identify the wires and correctly hook them to the new switches.

The switch on the right had 3 wires connected to it (seems to make sense), but did the one on the left only have one wire connected to it? I'm no good with the really old stuff, but that sure seems odd.


Last edited by Termite; 08-10-2008 at 03:27 PM.
Termite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2008, 03:38 PM   #3
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 3
Rewards Points: 10
Default

3 way, two switches, 4 wires all the same color?


Yep, the one on the left only had one wire attached. Seemed odd to me as well. Thanks for you response!

I am curious but also a bit intimidated.
rugbyboot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2008, 05:01 PM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Apple Valley, MN, USA
Posts: 1,002
Rewards Points: 506
Send a message via AIM to theatretch85
Default

3 way, two switches, 4 wires all the same color?


Quote:
Originally Posted by rugbyboot View Post
Yep, the one on the left only had one wire attached. Seemed odd to me as well. Thanks for you response!

I am curious but also a bit intimidated.
Ok, did that switch actually do anything? I don't see how it could control anything with only 1 wire attached to it. Are the wire nuts missing or pigtails that were originally there but have been removed? It seems there should be more wire in this box than what I am seeing. Whats with that blob looking thing in the bottom middle of the box? Is that two wires connected together there?
theatretch85 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2008, 07:40 PM   #5
UAW SKILLED TRADES
 
Stubbie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Kansas
Posts: 5,129
Rewards Points: 2,228
Default

3 way, two switches, 4 wires all the same color?


Theatretech

It appears these switches have four screws on them, some of the screws have been removed in that switch on the left only leaving the tapped holes. So now I am thinking these are 4 way switches or dpdt swtiches who knows. I'm with you the switch on the left controls nothing and a wire was just terminated to it. Or this whole thing was miswired from the beginning. It could be that there was an attempt to switch this to three-way switching at some point. I can't tell if that splice you are talking about has three neutrals in it though. Could be they just terminated one of the whites to the switch. They need to ohm out the wires between upstairs and downdstairs switches otherwise we are just placed in a guessing game.
I'd like to know what wires are in the switch at the bottom of the stairs if it also has 3 cables entering it with one unused I'm betting they did this....I see this done on occassion.
Attached Thumbnails
3 way, two switches, 4 wires all the same color?-2-cable-3-way.jpg  

Last edited by Stubbie; 08-10-2008 at 07:43 PM.
Stubbie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2008, 08:12 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Apple Valley, MN, USA
Posts: 1,002
Rewards Points: 506
Send a message via AIM to theatretch85
Default

3 way, two switches, 4 wires all the same color?


When I saw the swtiches I also thought they were 4 way switches as well. It appears there are 3 sets of wires in this box, I would assume the diagram stubbie posted is probably what's going on here, at least the pictures seem to fit the diagram, though it wouldn't if the left switch actually did control something (and wasn't just there doing nothing). I agree that we need to know whats going on in the other switch box as well, to be able to make a better guess at what's going on.
theatretch85 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2008, 08:10 AM   #7
Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 3
Rewards Points: 10
Default

3 way, two switches, 4 wires all the same color?


The face plate at the bottom of the stairs has 3 switches: one controls the porch lights, one controls a set of wall mounted lights and one controlled the fixture above the stair case. All work except the stair case one. I will try and get a picture of the insides later today. THANKS for the input!

rugbyboot is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
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
Need help replacing switches in four-way circuit magnolia Electrical 3 05-09-2008 10:40 PM
Need help with wall & carpet color scheme Cruciatus Interior Decorating 6 04-05-2008 02:50 PM
"Extending" wires to move switches blschmitz Electrical 5 02-12-2008 12:45 AM
Different color wires on new doorbell transformer.... ConstantChange Electrical 31 11-22-2007 12:08 AM
Easy upgrade....almost burned home down? Jemo Electrical 3 03-05-2007 11:58 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.