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Old 10-31-2012, 12:58 PM   #1
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Help wiring three-way light


Our kitchen lights are currently controlled by one switch and I want to make it three way.

The current switch box has three wires going into it.

#1 comes from a junction box in the attic that is labeled "kitchen lights hot"

#2 goes from the switch to another junction box in the attic where 6 wires come out of and go to the can lights

#3 appears from above to go to the stove fan

#1 and #2 black wires go the the switch, #3 black is just capped and all the whites are twisted together

What would be the easiest way to change this to a 3 way switch and add another across the room?

Also, the #3 wire should have power all the time the way it is wired now correct? Could I pull it from the wall box and just wire it together in the "kitchen lights hot" junction box to free up some space?

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Old 10-31-2012, 03:05 PM   #2
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Help wiring three-way light


As a starter, your existing switch box is probably not large enough to add another cable. You should change it to a 2 gang box.

Run a new 3 wire cable (14-3 or 12-3), the same size as the existing wires to the new switch location. At the new switch connect the black wire to the common terminal, connect the white and red to the other 2 switch terminals.

At the old switch, disconnect the 2 blacks from the switch. Do not touch any of the other wires. Connect 1 of the black wires to the common of the new switch. Connect the other black to the black of the new 3 wire cable. Connect the white and red wires of the new cable to the other terminals of the switch.

Note that if your location is under NEC 2011, this wiring does not meet current code which calls for a neutral conductor in all switch boxes.

Not sure what is happening with #3, if it is capped it is not providing power to any thing. A picture would help.

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Old 10-31-2012, 04:11 PM   #3
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Help wiring three-way light


good advice from rj.....

I just wired up a 3-way last night (another item off the list).....your going to want the neutral in that box.....and a single gang is a bit tight.....

Do it right....you will be glad later......

BTW....that neut comes in real handy if you decide to use an occupancy sensor or some home automation....
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Old 10-31-2012, 04:30 PM   #4
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Help wiring three-way light


Here is a picture of the current switch wiring. Luckily it is in a double gang already. Thanks for the connection info, seems pretty straight forward. That third wire is confusing me, not sure what it powers. It's not the microwave or range as they are on a different circuit. If the black is just capped does that mean it isn't doing anything and i can just pull it out?
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:46 PM   #5
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Help wiring three-way light


How do you see a 2 gang, I see a 1 gang. That capped black concerns me: the white is still connected. You need to figure out where that cable is connected. It might be providing a neutral to another circuit (which is a code violation). If that cable can be removed you can add the new 3 wire to that existing box. I am assuming that is #14 wire (may be a bad assumption).

Pretty hack job with all that cable sheath in the box. That work was not done by professional (I hope).
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Old 11-01-2012, 12:45 PM   #6
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Help wiring three-way light


The box itself is a double gang, but half of it is tiled over for whatever reason. We just bought this house 2 months ago, so unfortunately I have no idea who did previous electrical work.

That this wire comes up to the attic and then back down just behind the exhaust duct for the range, but everything near it is on a different circuit as far as I can tell. What does it mean when the black isn't connected to anything? It shouldn't have power correct?
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Old 11-01-2012, 02:00 PM   #7
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Help wiring three-way light


Leviton makes what they call an "Anywhere switch". You install the receiver switch in place of your current one. You then install the transmitter switch anywhere you want. The transmitter switch is battery powered, no wires.
Model # is 6696-W for the white version.
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Old 11-01-2012, 02:40 PM   #8
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Help wiring three-way light


Quote:
Originally Posted by mikereno1 View Post
The box itself is a double gang, but half of it is tiled over for whatever reason. We just bought this house 2 months ago, so unfortunately I have no idea who did previous electrical work.

That this wire comes up to the attic and then back down just behind the exhaust duct for the range, but everything near it is on a different circuit as far as I can tell. What does it mean when the black isn't connected to anything? It shouldn't have power correct?
Cut the tile away to expose the whole box and us a 2 gang cover.

Not sure what it is but since you have a 2 gang box you have enough space to add the 3 wire cable.

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