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Old 06-14-2009, 09:36 PM   #1
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Ideas for a 3 way switch placement


I'm in the middle of demo in an investment property a buddy of mine and I are working on in Baltimore. It's a brick row home in the heart of the city.

The idea is to expose as much of the brick as possible as it looks really neat in the homes especially with the original oak staircase and railing lined up parallel with it.

My question though is I'm a bit stumped as to how to run the 3 way switch wiring on the stair case with the brick exposed. I'd like it to be a really clean look without having conduit exposed. We're considering building a small stud wall along the stair case but then we lose all the space we gained on the stair case by tearing down the wood paneling, 4 layers of wall paper and plaster.

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Old 06-14-2009, 10:00 PM   #2
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Ideas for a 3 way switch placement


Maybe use wiremold and encase it in oak trim.

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Old 06-14-2009, 11:53 PM   #3
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Ideas for a 3 way switch placement


Maybe a X10 wireless switch?
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Old 06-15-2009, 05:32 AM   #4
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Ideas for a 3 way switch placement


Some type of Wireless Switch is the cleanest look.
Besides the X10, here are some solutions

• RF control with 4 AA Batteries: Leviton 602-6696 (incandescent ONLY)

• INSTEON control (similar to X10 ), most complex

• No batteries Switch


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Old 06-15-2009, 07:56 AM   #5
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Ideas for a 3 way switch placement


I like the idea of the wireless switch as there's already cutouts in the brick where the previous switch was located. What kind of light fixture is used with that? Also is the light fixture battery powered or does it have a dedicated line to it?
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Old 06-15-2009, 11:10 AM   #6
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Ideas for a 3 way switch placement


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Originally Posted by specialguest View Post
I like the idea of the wireless switch as there's already cutouts in the brick where the previous switch was located. What kind of light fixture is used with that? Also is the light fixture battery powered or does it have a dedicated line to it?
The wireless wall switches can be had to install in a regular box and look like a regular switch. The switches are battary powered. The light will have some kind of reciever that plugs or wires into the AC power line to the light.
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Old 06-15-2009, 11:53 AM   #7
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Ideas for a 3 way switch placement


You say the switch boxes are there and in the correct place, right? Must you use conduit? Is it required. MC cable has a metal jacket and may be compliant. Take a regular switch box (handy box) and see if it will fit in the opening. If it does not fit, carefully with a chisel chip it out so the box will go in and out easily. Using MC or NM put a connector on the box and run a 3 wire cable to the light. From the light box run another 3 wire cable to the other switch location. This box will be mounted exactly like the other one. Test fit the box, cable and fitting to make sure they will go into the hole comfortably. Place crumbled newspaper in the holes where the boxes are. Mix up some mortar mix good and thick. Fill the hole with mortar mix. Push the assembled box into the hole. You want the mortar to squeeze out the sides and some to squeeze through the holes in the box. You will need to secure the box until the mortar sets. A little ingenuity will allow you to keep it in, good and tight.
Your switch loop is now almost complete. One switch gets the power and the other switch feeds the light or lights. There are several ways to connect the switch loop. Once you get your switch boxes and cables installed, come back for instructions on the connections. Keep in mind you will need a power source. You may be able to get it from the ceiling box where the light is. Or pull a new branch circuit to the ceiling box or to one of the switches.
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Old 06-15-2009, 01:19 PM   #8
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Ideas for a 3 way switch placement


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Originally Posted by specialguest View Post
....there's already cutouts in the brick where the previous switch was located.......
Does this mean that both the switch boxes and wiring have been demo'd?

Was the original stair light box and light wiring also demo'd?

If so it would be better to have the new Stair Lights(s) suspended from the ceiling, and not mounted on the wall. How about some pics. We are all Blind as to imagining what the site looks like.

Quote:
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....Also is the light fixture battery powered or does it have a dedicated line to it?......
There are no battery powered light fixtures that would pass inspection. This is a safety issue.

~The Leviton Switch available from Amazon would not work in your application because after reading the switch reviews I see that an antenna wire has to be suspended down in the stud bay below the switch. With no stud bay, forget that solution.

The Lightning Switch may be the best solution. Post some more info and I'll post the way I think it can be discreetly wired.
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