Question - When entering my kitchen, I have a double switch plate, one switch
turns the dining room light on/off; the other turns the kitchen light and
ceiling fan on/off. At the back door of the kitchen, I have another double
switch plate, one switch turns the kitchen light and ceiling fan on/off (3 way
switch?); the other switch turns just the exterior back light on/off. Since
the ceiling fan and light fixture in the kitchen were installed, the exterior
back light does not come on at all. All the other lights/fixtures work. Is
there a special switch that I need to get the exterior light working? Thanks
Obviously they screwed the wiring up when they installed the kitchen light.
It is probably an easy fix, but there is no way to find it over the
internet; could be almost anything..
Maybe get a handyman who does electrical?
1st, yes you are right, those are two 3-way switches for your
kitchen light/fan. The 2nd switch at the back door should be a
normal switch for the exterior fixture. Stupid question that
needs to be asked: bulb ok? If so, how confident are you in
the person who installed the new fan/fixture in the kitchen?
Is there a chance, even small, that they mucked up your other
switch (for the outside fixture) while they were tinkering
with the 3-way for the kitchen light? Based on what you've
told us, that's a good educated guess.
The real Tom Pendergast [ So if you meet me, have some courtesy,
aka I-zheet M'drurz [ have some sympathy, and some taste.
You need someone to check the backdoor switch location.
There was an installation called an "California 3-way" where the neutral was
switched from 2 locations to make an light work. It is an code violation
here but some of the old timers still do it. Your problem should lie in the
back door area. If not there then the installer messed with the
travelers/hots at the ceiling location.
If the light/fan was installed without any work being done at either of the
switches, then perhaps the problem is at the light/fan. It could be that the
feed (hot) comes into that box, and then continues to the outside light. In
both cases the switches are only 'legs' off the main feeds into the lights.
You don't say for sure, but it sounds like the outside light is only
switched at the one location by the door. If this isn't the case, and it is
a 3-way that is also switched somewhere else such as another door or the
garage then check that switch. Sometimes 3-ways can get swithced "1/2 way"
which can cause the other switch to not work.
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