I have a 1918 rowhouse and am running into some trouble with a couple 3
way switches. I have a porch light that is controlled by a 3 way switch
outside on the porch and another 3 way switch inside the front door. We'd
like to convert the outside switch to a GFI and control the porch light
using the interior switch.
The interior outlet contains a black, a white, and a red wire that are
connected to the 3 way switch. There are also two additional white wires
that are tied to each other but not attached to the switch. The outside
outlet contains a black, a white, and a red wire.
We were able to get the GFI outlet operable but hooking it up to the live
and the neutral and leaving the red off. We tried just about every
combination in the interior outlet to get the switch to operate the light
but have been unsuccessful. Does anyone have any guidance?
Thanks in advance.
I'm assuming that you have a feed coming into the first switch, the one
you're keeping, with a 2-wire cable (white/black) from the breaker box
and a 3-wire (white/black/red) going to the 2nd switch, the one that
you're trying to change to a GFCI. Then from that box there's another
2-wire going to the light fixture.
What you should do is take the first switch out, and connect all the
blacks in the box together (one will be on one of the "switched"
terminals of the 3-way switch, just remove it from that terminal and
wire nut it to the feed. You might need to make a pigtail from the feed
(brass) terminal of the 3-way to the wire nut; alternately, if the feed
wire is long, you can take your strippers and make a maybe 1/2" long
stripped section of insulation in the feed, loop that around the screw,
then wire nut the actual end of the wire to the black leaving the box.)
Leave the red where it is. Then at the second box, where you're
installing your GFCI, wire nut the red to the black going to the light
fixture, leave all the whites wire nutted together, add a pigtail to
connect to the GFCI. The black on the incoming 3-wire cable connects to
the GFCI as well.
Obviously all ground wires should be connected together and all ground
terminals of any devices should be connected to ground.
If the lack of "on/off" lettering on the remaining switch bothers you,
just replace it with a regular SPST switch and keep on rolling. If that
doesn't bother you, but you find that "up" is now off, move the red wire
from the one silver terminal to the other at the switch. (a 3-way
switch is basically a SPDT switch w/ no center off terminal.)
If my comments don't exactly describe your situation, post back and tell
us what's different, and we'll try to puzzle it out for you.
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
Caution, I am not an electrician.
I'm confused as to why you'd want GFI on a porch light.
Do you need to stand in water to operate the switch?
Anyway, if I wanted to do this, I'd be inclined to
replace the circuit breaker with a GFI breaker.
Snap one out, snap another in. Then the entire circuit
gets GFI protection.
On 11/27/2011 12:51 PM, email@example.com wrote:
The way I interpreted it was that he wanted to have a receptacle at the
location of the second switch, and that it needed to be a GFCI due to
the location. Hopefully the OP will chime in and clarify.
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
only have a three wire cable interconnecting the two switches, and a switch leg
from the light fixture. The "feed" is in the box where the fixture is, so you
are either missing the "hot" leg or the "neutral", depending on how it was wired.
Obtain yor favorite continuity checker so yo can map out the wires
b'tween the switch outlet and lamp locations and draw a diagram. Dont
try to figure this out in your head. Dont expect someone to verbally
give you instuctions. Once you've done this if you still cant figure
it out call an electrician..
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