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Old 08-21-2009, 11:06 PM   #1
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replacing light fixture on 3-way switch

I have two lights in my foyer. There are two switches that control both. I tried to replace one of the lights with a new light fixture, but lost track of what wire was attached to other wires. There are 3 black wires, 3 white wires, 3 copper wires and 2 red wires coming from the ceiling. My light fixture has only one black, one white and one green do I attach these wires?
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Old 08-22-2009, 01:21 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by pthorne View Post
......There are 3 black wires, 3 white wires, 3 copper wires and 2 red wires.....
3 black wires

Are two of the three black connected together with a wire nut? If so,The 3rd black goes to the lamp

3 white wires, Same as above

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Old 08-22-2009, 07:59 AM   #3
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First I have to assume that you took apart all the wire nuts in the ceiling box, and now have 8 loose wires hanging? (11 if you count the bare ground wires)

If this is the case, further investigation will have to be performed in order to determine what scheme of wiring was done for this scenario.

You said that there are 2 switches controlling 2 lights. I can envision at least a couple of different ways to wire up a set of 3-way switches that control 2 different lights.

We need to determine the way yours was done.

OPEN up the switches, and the other light. Without disconnecting any wires, can you tell us how many cables and wires are present, and what is connected to what?

Do you have a voltage tester available?

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Old 08-22-2009, 10:50 AM   #4
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The various loose wires in the box you opened may be grouped into cables at the back of the box.

Get an ohmmeter or continuity tester (or multimeter set to measure ohms). Turn the power off.

For each cable with its wires loose test the two insulated wires (exclude the bare wires). For 3 wire cables test evey combination of two. Repeat the measurements with the switch in the other position. In all cases you should get continuity (almost zero ohms) or no continuity (nearly infinite number of ohms) for each wire pair. Describe all the results here for us to review.
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