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Mike
Mike, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
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Experience:  Licensed Master Electrician - OnQ Certified Data Voice Audio Video Installer
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I have two switches with one being a three way switch. The

Customer Question

I have two switches with one being a three way switch. The home was built in the early 80s. The home is located in Rockwall tx. This was an existing wiring yet replaced the two switches and did not note which wire goes where. Yet I have six wires, two wire continues to two switches within the bathroom(one light switch and the other closet light switch). One wire continues to a bedroom outlet. Then the two switches one goes to the light and one goes to another light yet it also to another switch. The last wire is hot. How do I connect the wires to make everything work.
Wire
1 goes to a light switch
2 goes to a outlet
3 goes to second light switch
4 goes to light
5 goes to another switch for then to a light three way
6 hot
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.

Hello. Welcome to Just Answer.

Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.

This sounds fairly complicated, with that many wires in the box. That being the case, are you able to post a photo of the box, with all wires shown?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have used this before and it worked out great!
Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.

Did you have a prior electrical question here?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am currently not in front of the wires yet I am sending you a pic
Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.

OK, great. I'll look it over and then post again.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can you see the pic?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yeah I should have done a better job of marking the lines. I think it is complicated which is why I decided to request help.
Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.

Sorry for the delay. I'm tending a grill, trying to get some chow together. Clicking on the pic now.

Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.

I see your photo, but it's from quite a distance away. Is there any way you could get me a picture from closer to the wires?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will send another picture closer up, and the grill is the most important thing right now. I am not with the wires so some delay in responding and due to it being a little bit more complicated I understand may need to ask more questions and take a closer look. Nothing like a good puzzle with food. Lol I really appreciate your help
Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.

The grill is actually a smoker, and I love using it every Saturday. However, it's a lot of work. I'm actually considering buying a digital controller... kind of a "set it and forget it" type of thing. That should make for a lot fewer damper adjustments for temperature control.

Take your time getting me a closer photo. I'll be here most of the day. If I should have to leave, I'll find your reply as soon as I return, and answer accordingly.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok not really sure what you are looking for yet let me know if this is not what you are looking for
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.

We're getting there. I feel bad asking you to keep giving me more info. What would help the most is if I could see all of the labeling you've written on the wires. Then, I should be able to sketch it out and have you try the connections I suggest. Do you mind posting one more photo that has the location of each wire clearly shown?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't mind you asking more or as many as you need. I have labeled them with the wire number then where they connect to. It is also the same description within the original question. Please feel free to ask questions.
Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.

I really appreciate your patience. That should be it on photos. I think I'll start sketching now. By the way, for a very small additional fee, we can talk on the phone. Not trying to push you into spending more money, just letting you know.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I see that option, just not in front of the wires. heading home now and we can still do that if needed just want to see how to wire up and see if it makes sense before I start connecting wires.
Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.

OK, sounds good. If it works for you, just send me a message when you get home, and we can start making connections. One thing you can do immediately is connect the black hot and its associated white to the black and white set that goes to an outlet that is supposed to be live at all times. Simply twist the ends of like colors together, but don't cap them yet. We'll likely add more to those connections. If that doesn't make sense, let me know.

Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.

Also, for your safety, it would be best to have the breaker for that circuit OFF while we are working on it.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well in Rockwall tx, we have had a lot of rain and the power is out and expected to be out for another day
Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.

That could make it tricky to test our connections. Do you have a generator?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No generator
Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.

Hmm. Well, we can connect most of the wires. 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6. Number 5 I was waiting on, to get more info from you.

Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.

1, 2, 3, and 6 can be connected color for color... all whites together, and all blacks together. You can add the white from #5 to the bundle of whites made up of the other wires.

Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.

From the bundle of blacks, you need a 6" long "tail" of wire, to feed the single pole switch in the box in question.

Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.

The black from number 4 set goes to the other terminal on the single pole switch.

Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.

How many total wires are in the #5 set? Is it black, white, red, and ground?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Still no power they are saying it will not be until tomorrow ..... And maybe the last line is not three way because no red line just ground, white and black
Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the additional information. That last set may still be part of a 3 way setup. Do you still have the old switches that were removed from the wall box in question?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I think it is yet I don't have the switch. We started to remodel over a year ago 😞
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I do remember there was a line that led from the bunches of wires to one of the switch and then to the other switch
Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.

That's good info. You probably need a constantly hot wire to the black screw on the 3 way switch, and then the #5 set should connect to the two gold screws on the 3 way switch. Ideally, we should try to meet here when you have power and we can work through the connections.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I got the wires hooked up and most of the wires work. The three way light partially works and the other switch does not work at all
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I need to make a change to add both wires on number five to the gold side
Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.

OK. Did you want to get back with me after making that connection?