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Old 07-11-2013, 01:28 PM   #1
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Funky switch wiring


I have a funky switch setup that I need help with.

The switch is in a bedroom. It and the adjacent bedroom are on the same circuit. This circuit only has outlets on it (no light fixtures). There are no other rooms on this circuit -- just the two bedrooms.

The switch in question controls an outlet. I removed the switch in order to paint, since I was going to replace it anyway with a new Decora one. I was a bit surprised to see that the old switch was a 3-way, even though there's no companion 3-way to complement it. In the electrical box, there's a two-wire feed and a three-wire to the outlet (at least, I presume that's the case -- the outlet is painted shut, and I'm loath to open it up). Normally, I make a diagram when I come across something unusual, but -- and you know this story -- it was late and I was in a hurry, etc., so I didn't.

To shorten this tale, I think I've tried every wiring combo to get the new 3-way Decora to work, but to no avail. Often, the adjacent bedroom drops out of the circuit.

My inclination is to ditch the 3-way (since there's no companion), and go with a single pole.

One way would be to wire the two blacks together, adding a third short pigtail wire to go to the switch. The red wire would then go from the switch to the outlet.

Alternatively, I could put one of the blacks on the switch's screw and use the screw's corresponding quick connect for the other black, effectively making the switch serve to "wire" the two blacks together. And, as with the first option, the red wire to the outlet would go on the switch's other connection point.

The second approach is much cleaner, but don't know if it's "kosher". Can anyone help me on this point?

Thanks,

Richard

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Old 07-11-2013, 02:45 PM   #2
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Funky switch wiring


Need pictures.

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Old 07-11-2013, 05:49 PM   #3
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Funky switch wiring


Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardZ View Post
I have a funky switch setup that I need help with.

The switch is in a bedroom. It and the adjacent bedroom are on the same circuit. This circuit only has outlets on it (no light fixtures). There are no other rooms on this circuit -- just the two bedrooms.

The switch in question controls an outlet. I removed the switch in order to paint, since I was going to replace it anyway with a new Decora one. I was a bit surprised to see that the old switch was a 3-way, even though there's no companion 3-way to complement it. In the electrical box, there's a two-wire feed and a three-wire to the outlet (at least, I presume that's the case -- the outlet is painted shut, and I'm loath to open it up). Normally, I make a diagram when I come across something unusual, but -- and you know this story -- it was late and I was in a hurry, etc., so I didn't.

To shorten this tale, I think I've tried every wiring combo to get the new 3-way Decora to work, but to no avail. Often, the adjacent bedroom drops out of the circuit.

My inclination is to ditch the 3-way (since there's no companion), and go with a single pole.

One way would be to wire the two blacks together, adding a third short pigtail wire to go to the switch. The red wire would then go from the switch to the outlet.

Alternatively, I could put one of the blacks on the switch's screw and use the screw's corresponding quick connect for the other black, effectively making the switch serve to "wire" the two blacks together. And, as with the first option, the red wire to the outlet would go on the switch's other connection point.

The second approach is much cleaner, but don't know if it's "kosher". Can anyone help me on this point?

Thanks,

Richard
sounds like you don't need a three way switch but a single pole.

do this:
One way would be to wire the two blacks together, adding a third short pigtail wire to go to the switch. The red wire would then go from the switch to the outlet.
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Old 07-11-2013, 06:26 PM   #4
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Funky switch wiring


Either way, two blacks with pigtail, or two blacks on switch.
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Old 07-12-2013, 02:41 AM   #5
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Funky switch wiring


I appreciate all the replies. I take it that using the screw connection and the quick connect for the two blacks is OK. The red wire will of course go on the other screw in order to control the outlet.

Thanks,

Richard
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Old 07-14-2013, 01:30 PM   #6
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Funky switch wiring


All,

Just wanted to post a followup to let you know the results. I wired the two blacks to the bottom connection point on the switch (via the common screw and quick connect), and the red to the top screw, and everything is working perfectly. Thanks for all the advice and help!

Richard

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