3 Way Switched Circuit - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum
Advertisement


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

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes
Old 11-18-2010, 06:45 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 25
Rewards Points: 14
Default

3 way switched circuit


Have a three way switched circuit. Am trying to 1/2 switch the two receptacles that the 3 way controls. Right now they both are fully switched (you turn the light switch and anything plugged into either of the receptacles turns off and on). I have been reading tons about what I can do. ok the problem.

I cannot tell which switch the originating power supply starts in. I know (because the wall is now gone) that the power supply does not start at either receptacle to start the circuit. Is there a way ( I have no wall access to the switches) to determine which switch has the beginning power supply just by looking at how the switch is wired ?
mannerofspeakin is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 11-18-2010, 09:01 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Southern Wisconsin
Posts: 171
Rewards Points: 150
Default


This is one setup I've delt with. The switch box that has the power coming into it will have two cables. One cable contains one black, one white and a ground wire and the other cable contains one black, one red, one white and a ground wire. The other switch box has one cable in it with one black, one red, one white and a ground wire. Hopefully this helps.
Steelhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 11-18-2010, 09:03 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Nashua, NH, USA
Posts: 8,597
Rewards Points: 2,800
Default


Quote:
Originally Posted by mannerofspeakin View Post
Is there a way ( I have no wall access to the switches) to determine which switch has the beginning power supply just by looking at how the switch is wired ?
Sometimes but not always.

If there are exactly three wires coming into the switch box with a 3 way switch then the power does not enter there.

Otherwise, using a voltmeter and measuring from a terminal to ground, if the common switch terminal is always live, and of the other two terminals one but not the other is live depending on the switch position then the power lead is the wire connected to the common terminal.

When the power comes to a switch and you want half of the receptacle unit to be always live then you need 3 conductor cable from the switch box with the power down to the first receptacle box.
__________________
Stick to your lawn watering schedule until it really starts to pour. After the storm you have only the same number of rest days you always had and then you need to start watering again.

Last edited by AllanJ; 11-18-2010 at 09:06 PM.
AllanJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 11-19-2010, 10:37 AM   #4
Super Moderator
 
joed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Welland, Ontario
Posts: 18,810
Rewards Points: 23,962
Blog Entries: 11
Default


If the receptacle only has a two wire cable from the switch then you can not do it unless the power orginates at the receptacle.
Please describe the cables in the receptacles and the switches. Maybe we can tell you what to change, if it is possible.
joed is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2010, 10:32 AM   #5
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 25
Rewards Points: 14
Default


Quote:
Originally Posted by joed View Post
If the receptacle only has a two wire cable from the switch then you can not do it unless the power orginates at the receptacle.
Please describe the cables in the receptacles and the switches. Maybe we can tell you what to change, if it is possible.
Ok sorry for delay. SUmmary, 2 2 plug receptacles controlled by two switches one on each side of room. The receptacle is either hot or not, not half hot. Power does not originate at the receptacles. At one switch there are two cables coming in. One with a red wire the other just white and black. THe switch is wired red wire to lower right, white to upper right and black to upper left. THe black from the red wire bund le is tied off with the white from the other bundle and capped off. Pictures are of switch and switch box
Attached Thumbnails
3 way switched circuit-101_0245.jpg   3 way switched circuit-101_0244.jpg  
mannerofspeakin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2010, 04:49 PM   #6
Super Moderator
 
joed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Welland, Ontario
Posts: 18,810
Rewards Points: 23,962
Blog Entries: 11
Default


How many cable/wires at the receptacle and the other switch? Which wire is on the common(black) screw?
joed is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2010, 05:11 PM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Western Maine
Posts: 201
Rewards Points: 150
Default


?

Place both switch levers "in the middle" (ie, balance them between 'up' and 'down'). All circuits are now OPEN.

Whichever switch still has a live terminal is where the power comes in.
emolatur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2010, 06:45 PM   #8
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 25
Rewards Points: 14
Default


White wire on switch in picture is on darkest of screws (it isn't black). THe first outlet has two cables coming in one appears to come from/to the switch in the picture above. The other a 14/2 goes out to the other receptacle and terminates there.

As for balancing switches, the switches I have cannot be balanced in the middle they are the big weird rectangle switches
mannerofspeakin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2010, 07:54 PM   #9
Super Moderator
 
joed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Welland, Ontario
Posts: 18,810
Rewards Points: 23,962
Blog Entries: 11
Default


If both cables are 14/2 at the receptacle then you don't have enough wires to make it half switched and half hot. You need 14/3.
joed is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2010, 07:58 PM   #10
Newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 25
Rewards Points: 14
Default


Quote:
Originally Posted by joed View Post
If both cables are 14/2 at the receptacle then you don't have enough wires to make it half switched and half hot. You need 14/3.

Ok thank you. If I break the tab at each receptacle what effect would that have ?
mannerofspeakin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2010, 10:30 PM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Western Maine
Posts: 201
Rewards Points: 150
Default


decora switches can still be balanced, just takes a little more patience.

You're talking to a guy who, from ages 8 to 14, got great entertainment out of balancing the switch at one end of the stairs so that nobody could possibly turn the stairway light on and would have to walk up/down in the dark.

And when I discovered the long-forgotten set of switches behind the bookcase in the church basement? . . . :D



It's starting to sound to me like you just don't want to find the answer. There's a ton of ways to identify this. You obviously have a meter of some kind.

You know how 3-way switches work. I'm sure you know that common on one switch will always be hot and common on the other switch will be, well, switched...

So attach your meter to COMMON and toggle the switch. If it stays hot, that's the input end.



And what's your reason for not being able to do that?
emolatur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2010, 07:57 AM   #12
Super Moderator
 
joed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Welland, Ontario
Posts: 18,810
Rewards Points: 23,962
Blog Entries: 11
Default


Quote:
Originally Posted by mannerofspeakin View Post
Ok thank you. If I break the tab at each receptacle what effect would that have ?

Half the receptacle won't work.
joed is online now   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply


Thread Tools
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
Changing a 3 way circuit...using recessed lighting box as a junction box? Oxymoron Electrical 1 12-07-2009 06:46 PM
Two Different Wire gages on Same Circuit OK? Lovegasoline Electrical 5 12-02-2009 05:00 PM
Switch triggering GFCI breaker on a DIFFERENT circuit stillmarried Electrical 5 11-29-2009 09:14 PM
Just for fun Andy in ATL Electrical 56 10-20-2009 09:33 AM
Adding onto a switched controlled circuit Sparky08 Electrical 1 06-27-2008 05:43 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts