Electrical help question...

Question #1:
I have recessed lighting in my Kitchen with a switch on either side of the room. One of the switches has to be on in order for the other to work. They are 3-way switches. Is there an easy fix to the problem?
Question #2:
When I moved into my house there was a timer switch installed for the outside light. I want to replace it with a regular switch. The switch has a white, red & black wire. The white goes to a cluster of white wires in the box, the red to wire leading to the fixture, and the black to the wire leading to a power source. How do I wire it for just a regular 2 terminal switch?
All help appreciated. Thank you.
James snipped-for-privacy@aol.com
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which is which?
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" snipped-for-privacy@aol.com" wrote:

White is the neutral, you can just remove it from the "cluster" (make sure the rest of the cluster remains properly connected of course. The black hot lead goes to one terminal of the regular switch and the wire leading to the fixture goes to the other switch terminal.
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jz:
Q1:
Both are 3-way switches, right (no ON-OFF markings, three terminals plus ground screw)? A three way switch has two positions, but neither is "on" or "off". You mean one has to be "up" or "down" before the other will work? If so, the one that has to be "up" or "down" may be bad.
Q2:
Exactly what comes into the box? How many cables, how many wires in each cable, and how are they connected? How many neutrals are in that "cluster"?
G P
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Question 1 , When you say one switch has to be on, do you mean in te up position instead of down ? This is normal. Three way switches do not have an off and on setting but more like a wire 1 or wire 2 setting. They are single pole double throw switches.
Question 2. Use a regular 2 terminal switch. Connect the red wire to one terminal and the black to the other terminal. Tape the white wire so it can not contact anything. Don't try to disconnect the white wire from the others. While it is a neutral wire, if connected to other wires, it could be part of a return for another circuit that may be on. Normally the black and white wire will power the motor for the timer and when the switch is made, it will connect the black wire to the red wire that goes to the ficture.
Get a book on basic home wiring.
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wrote:

It's not normal for one 3 way switch to have to be on for the other one to work. If it's wired correctly, either switch can turn on the light.

So, what's so terrible about disconnecting it from the other wires it's connected to, instead of leaving it taped up? You typically just unscrew a wire nut, remove the wire and screw the nut back on.
Normally the black

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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

t:
I suppose there's a chance some brain-dead ninny hooked up an Edison circuit with one hot leg and neutral through that box, and the other in a cable with an unused neutral. Not only would there be a risk of shock, disconnecting the neutral could send 220v through the loads on that circuit. Poof!
It's also possible and equally disgusting that some neutral from another circuit is cross-connected into that one. If the wires were /securely/ twisted together, I would probably remove the nut and check for voltage against a known good ground before trying to remove the extra neutral wire. One just can't be too safe.
This sort of thing is why it is vital to understand just what is going on in a circuit before starting work.
G P
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-- Don't try to disconnect the white wire from the others. While it is a neutral wire, if connected to other wires, it could be part of a return for another circuit that may be on.
Huh? If the white wire in question is connected to the timer and the OP removes the timer, how could the white wire act as a return for another circuit? Wouldn't the end that was attached to the switch just be flapping in the breeze - in other words: a pigtail?
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pull out 3w switchs..look at the 3 wires connected...does you common(black screw) go to a seperate cable from the other 2 wires? if so i would say for a newer homes it is right. if not swap it so it. it would be helpful to know what is connected (types of wires) to your swiches. for there are several diff. possible ways to wire a 3 way system. the other advice given to you for your timer looks good.
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On Sun, 16 Sep 2007 06:43:57 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

#1. If both switches are 3-way, chances are that they are not wired correctly. Open them up and look at the wires. The layout of the wire screws on each should be the same. Each switch should have a common. These should be connected to black wires. As for the other two screws, if one switch has a white wire to one screw #1 and a red one to screw #2, the other switch should have white wire to screws #2 and red to screw #1.
If switches are wired identically, they won't work correctly.
#2. White wires are your neutral. Keep the white wires intact. Wire your switch so one terminal is connected to black and the other to red.
Incidentally, it may be a healthy choice to turn off the power before tinkering with either project.
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This is the way it is currently wired (both switches are grounded):
On one switch there is a set of 3 wires, red, black, & white. The black goes to the black screw, the red to the screw above it, the white to the screw on the other side.
-------------------------
On the other switch, there are two sets of wires - one with 2 wires (white & black) and one with 3 wires (white, black & red)
On the switch, the black screw has the black wire from the set of 3 connected to it. the screw above it has the red wire from the set of 3 connected to it. the screw on the other side, has the black wire from the set of 2 connected to it. the white wires from the set of 3, and the set of 2 are conected to each other.
--------------------------
I looked in the wiring book from Home Depot, but it didn't show this configuaration. If somebody could please either post here, or e-mail me at snipped-for-privacy@aol.com. Thank you.
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You said in your original post that one of the switches has to be on, for the other one to work.
The one that has to be on for the other one to work is the *second* one you describe here, right?

White and red are the travelers, black is the common.

That's wrong.

That's right.

That's wrong.

That's wrong.
The black screw is the COMMON terminal. The other two screws are the TRAVELER terminals.
Connect like so: - black wire from the set of 2 to the COMMON terminal - red and white wires from the set of 3 to the two TRAVELER terminals; it doesn't matter which wire goes to which terminal. - black wire from the set of 3 to the white wire from the set of 2

Yeah, I'm not surprised. Presumably that book shows only *correct* configurations. :-)
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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On Sep 27, 12:36 pm, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

I will give it a try later tonight & letthe thread know how it went. BTW - I got the other problem with the timer switch straightened out already. Thank guys.
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stll no good.
This is the way it is now currently wired:

Red: to a gold srew on the switch White: to a gold screw on the switch Black: to the white wire on the 2-wire

Black: to the black screw on the switch White: to the black wire on the 3-wire cable
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Well, what happens??

Double-check your connections at both switches, and make sure that they are exactly as you have described.

--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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WHICH ONE????
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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On Sep 28, 2:21 pm, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:
thing - one switch has to down for the

The switch on the other wall with just the 3 wires to it has to be down for the other side to operate. The other side is the one with the set of 3 and the set of 2 wires to it, as wired in previous post.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:
thing - one switch has to down for the

Given the color scheme you have given I'm going to GUESS that the three way circuit passes through the box were the lighting outlet is. IF that is true then the black or read wire from the source box; in your case the one with five wires from two cables, ignoring the grounds; becomes the white wire when it leaves the lighting box to go to the box with only one cable in it.
Try this. Remove both switches from all wires and test them with a continuity tester. In each position of the switch the dark terminal; which is sometimes marked "C" for common; will connect to one of the two brass colored terminals; these may be marked "T" for Traveler; changing which one it connects to each time the switch is thrown. If either switch looses continuity or does not change to the other brass colored screw when the switch is thrown it is defective and you should discard it and replace it with a new three way switch. Remember that different brands of switch will have the screws in different positions. What is always true is the dark terminal is always connected to one of the brass terminals and changes it's connection to the other brass terminal each time time that the switch is thrown in a functioning three way switch.
In the five wire box connect the black wire from the two wire cable to the dark terminal of the switch. Leave the two white wires spliced to each other. Connect the black and red from the three wire cable to the two brass colored screws of that switch.
Connect the black wire in the three wire box to the dark terminal of that three way switch. Connect the red and the white to the two brass colored terminals of the switch. If the circuit still does not work then reverse the black and the red so that the red is now connected to the dark colored terminal of the switch. The circuit will now work normally unless the white wire was used in violation of the code as the return from the switch. If that switch was wired in violation of the code you will need to connect the white wire to the dark terminal of the single cable boxes switch to make the circuit work. -- Tom Horne
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Ahh, finally an answer to this question, after the third time I asked.

That switch is broken. Replace it.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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