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Old 02-10-2011, 09:42 PM   #16
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Wiring new lights in garage Question


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the lights just have one black wire and one white wire and ground and the switch is a 3 way switch
Can't be a three way with two wires. Tell us everything about this circuit. It sounds like it is a complete mess.

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Old 02-10-2011, 09:45 PM   #17
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Wiring new lights in garage Question


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Can't be a three way with two wires. Tell us everything about this circuit. It sounds like it is a complete mess.
The switch has 3 wires but lights just have black and white and ground
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:16 AM   #18
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Wiring new lights in garage Question


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Ok I set up a ladder and traced the wires and was totally wrong. Electrical switch has one wire that goes to the fuse panel. The other goes to one fixture. Now the other fixture has one wire that runs to a junction box near the first fixture. This might be where the 2 are connected. But after that junction, the wires then run into another juction where one wire goes to a outside outlet, one goes to a outlet in the house, and one goes to a outside light. The electrical switch is a 3 way switch. I hope this helps
There seems to be a problem with terminology. Wires are single conductors. You need at least two for the circuit. A cable is two or more conductors in an overall jacket or sheath.
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:22 AM   #19
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Wiring new lights in garage Question


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There seems to be a problem with terminology. Wires are single conductors. You need at least two for the circuit. A cable is two or more conductors in an overall jacket or sheath.
Ahhh yes, you are correct. Let me change the terms

Ok I set up a ladder and traced the cables and was totally wrong. Electrical switch has one cable that goes to the fuse panel. The other goes to one fixture. Now the other fixture has one cable that runs to a junction box near the first fixture. This might be where the 2 are connected. But after that junction, the cables then run into another juction where one cable goes to a outside outlet, one goes to a outlet in the house, and one goes to a outside light. The electrical switch is a 3 way switch. I hope this helps
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:51 AM   #20
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Wiring new lights in garage Question


You need to tell us how these cable are all interconnected so we can see where the problem is. If the cables are as you say then some of those cables need to be 3 wire cables for this to work properly unless the receptcle is also switched.
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:12 AM   #21
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Wiring new lights in garage Question


Your light circuit has power starting in the switch box.
In the switch box, the cable from the CB Panel should have the black wire connected to the common, usually black, screw on the 3 way switch.
The black wire in the cable leaving and going to the light should be connected to one of the other screws and one screw left empty. The two white wires should be wire nutted together.
In the light fixture that is connected directly to the switch:
The black wire from the switch should be wire nutted with a black wire going to the next light and a pig tail to the fixture. The white wire from the switch box should be wire nutted to the white wire going to the next fixture and a pig tail to the fixture.
The cable between the two fixtures may just pass through the junction box you mentioned.
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:20 AM   #22
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Wiring new lights in garage Question


Tyus,

as suggested, take some pictures of each point in the circuit.. if the switch is a 3-way, then there should be another 3-way switch.

if there are not 2 switches, then you need to replace the 3-way with a single pole, single throw switch (2 terminals).

here is how it should be wired... a 2-wire (black, white, ground) leaves the panel (black from a breaker, white to neutral bar, ground to panel frame) and goes to the switch. (black to switch, white -wirenut to cable leaving switch, ground to switch box frame), 2-wire leaving switch box (black to other pole on switch, white - wirenut to other white, ground to switch box frame). wire goes to first light fixture (black to one terminal or black wire, white to other terminal or white wire, ground to fixture frame, wire goes to next fixture (black to black on light, white to white on light,, ground to frame) next fixture (black to one terminal or black wire, white to other terminal or white wire, ground to frame.

done, you can connect more lights in this manner...

if you have a 3-way, that is slightly different.. you have your feed line (as above), but then you run a 3-wire (black, red, white and ground) from switch 1 to switch 2. White wire gets wire-nutted as above, but black and red get connected to the 3 way switch. the feed black goes to the common terminal of the switch and red and black wires to the other two terminals. on the 2nd switch, black wire to lights goes on common terminal and red and black wires from switch one to the other two. whites are wire0nutted again as above.

does this make sense??

rod
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:33 AM   #23
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Tyus,

as suggested, take some pictures of each point in the circuit.. if the switch is a 3-way, then there should be another 3-way switch.

if there are not 2 switches, then you need to replace the 3-way with a single pole, single throw switch (2 terminals).

here is how it should be wired... a 2-wire (black, white, ground) leaves the panel (black from a breaker, white to neutral bar, ground to panel frame) and goes to the switch. (black to switch, white -wirenut to cable leaving switch, ground to switch box frame), 2-wire leaving switch box (black to other pole on switch, white - wirenut to other white, ground to switch box frame). wire goes to first light fixture (black to one terminal or black wire, white to other terminal or white wire, ground to fixture frame, wire goes to next fixture (black to black on light, white to white on light,, ground to frame) next fixture (black to one terminal or black wire, white to other terminal or white wire, ground to frame.

done, you can connect more lights in this manner...

if you have a 3-way, that is slightly different.. you have your feed line (as above), but then you run a 3-wire (black, red, white and ground) from switch 1 to switch 2. White wire gets wire-nutted as above, but black and red get connected to the 3 way switch. the feed black goes to the common terminal of the switch and red and black wires to the other two terminals. on the 2nd switch, black wire to lights goes on common terminal and red and black wires from switch one to the other two. whites are wire0nutted again as above.

does this make sense??

rod

So once again, I was wrong. The cable that I thought went to the breaker box actually goes to a 2nd electrical switch on the other side of the garage. So i don't where its getting power from.
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Old 02-11-2011, 08:39 AM   #24
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Wiring new lights in garage Question


do you have an electrical tester??

go to HD and buy a plug in tester and buy a pencil tester.. these will save you a lot of guessing and you will be safe at the same time.

for this problem the pencil tester is the tool to use..

with it, you can simply touch it to the black wire and it should light up if there is power on the wire. touch it to the white and it should not light.

you need to find out which switch goes to the lights and which goes to the panel..

I suggest that you draw it out on a piece of paper and then post the sketch here... at the moment, we are guessing about how it is all connected.

rod
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:05 AM   #25
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Wiring new lights in garage Question


Ok i made a sketch. The junction box with 4 cables. There is one cable that runs towards the house that i don't know where it goes. it might be the power source i'm guessing. Ill post a sketch.. Its not the best lol I have a tester ..just not a voltmeter . Fixture #2 wires run behind the sheetrock so i'm not 100% positive on this. From what I can see this sketch is the best i know
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Last edited by Tyus4; 02-11-2011 at 09:21 AM.
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:41 AM   #26
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Wiring new lights in garage Question


If your drawing is reasonably correct I can see why the lights don't work correctly.
In the box for fixture two how many cables do you see? Just one?
In the box for fixture one how many cables do you see? Just one?
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:43 AM   #27
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Wiring new lights in garage Question


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If your drawing is reasonably correct I can see why the lights don't work correctly.
In the box for fixture two how many cables do you see? Just one?
In the box for fixture one how many cables do you see? Just one?
just one cable for each fixture...just one black one white and ground wire
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:09 AM   #28
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Wiring new lights in garage Question


What does switch 2 control? Tell us all the wire connections inside the boxes.
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:33 AM   #29
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What does switch 2 control? Tell us all the wire connections inside the boxes.
both switches control the 2 fixtures
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:50 PM   #30
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Wiring new lights in garage Question


You will have to figure out where the other end is for the cables that terminate in the two fixture boxes. The way you have it sketched just doesn't make sense and I can't see how it could work. It is hard to come up with a plan when we don't know for sure where the cables originate and terminate.
You should have a three wire cable between the two three way switches. Do you see this? How many cables do you see inside the switch boxes?
The round junction box you show on the left side of the drawing, how many cables for sure go to this box?


Last edited by a7ecorsair; 02-11-2011 at 01:54 PM. Reason: Added additonal information
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