I had asked my father to re-sheetrock my kitchen ceiling. I had a
light fixture in the middle run by 3-way switches. He failed to re-
wire it correctly and now there is constant power to the light and
both switches don't work. The other problem is there are 4 wires
running into the light box and I have no clue how to re-wire this. Not
sure why there are 4 wires running into the ligh box on a 3-way
Didn't you suggest tagging the wires before removing them. Have you
asked him exactly what he did so you can reconstruct the original? Do
you know how 3-way swictches are supposed to be wired|? If you do,
just disconnect all the wires and start over.
It could be that the line and load are both in the ceiling box. If so the
white neutral would go directly on the light fixture. The hot wire would
connect to the wire going down to feed the switches, which should be a
white. The black coming from the switches should get connected to the light
On Thu, 26 Jun 2008 20:10:27 -0700, Techhead wrote:
3-way switches use 3 wires. The 4th wire most likely is the neutral.
Here's what I'd do:
1. Turn off power.
2. Remove light fixture.
3. With power on again, determine your hot and neutral wires. Neutral
should be white.
4. Once you know the hot and neutral, it's a matter of figuring out the
5. This is as good a diagram as any as to how a 3-way gets wired:
When making connections, turn off power to wires. It's one thing to make
a light bulb glow. Not so sure you want to light up as well.
Another question; did the sheet rocking work disturb (i.e. disconnect)
wires in the ceiling box to which the light is wired?
Did the sheet rocking disturb wiring in the two (so called 3 way wall
If some of the wiring was undisturbed it may simplify repair. e.g.
some plasterers just remove switch plates and cut the sheetrock to fit
around the outlet box thus not disconnecting any wiring! Often
requires some careful measuring but simplifies!
PS. If you don't understand wiring and many otherwise 'handy-people'
don't, always tag or make a note and/or diagram of disturbed wiring.
WITH THE POWER OFF!
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