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I'd like to convert a 3-way switch into an one-way switch,

Hello, I'd like to...

Hello, I'd like to convert a 3-way switch into an one-way switch, but having difficulty figuring out the wiring

Contractor's Assistant: How old is the system in question? And have you consulted an electrician yet?

No not yet. system is about 20 years old

Contractor's Assistant: Do you plan on doing the work yourself?

Currently yes, thanks

Contractor's Assistant: Anything else we should know to help you best?

Can you help me understanding the wiring?

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Answered in 1 minute by:
12/3/2017
Sam I
Sam I, Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 856
Experience: Maintenance Electrician, Electrical Contractor, Locomotive Electrician
Verified

Hello, I can help you. What wiring connections do you have at each switch?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Thanks Sam, I have one box at downstairs connecting to single 3-wire cable where the other box at upstairs connecting to a 2-wire cable and a 3-wire cable; both switches control 2 lights on the ceiling.Now let's see the bottom switch wiring, bottom 2 screws(traveller screw) are mounted with one black and one white wire, the top common screw(black screw) is mounted with a red wire. Red wire and black wire are at the same side of the switch.The top one connects like this: the top common screw(black screw) is mounted with a black hot wire coming from the 2-wire cable, while the bottom right screw(traveller and at the same side as the top screw) is mounted with white wire coming from the 3-wire cable, and the bottom left screw is mounted with a black wire coming from the 3-wire switch. inside the upstairs box, red wire from 3-wire cable is connected to white neutral wire from 2-wire cable.Can you help me on disabling the bottom box and converting the upstairs one to a 1 way switch please? thanks a lot.

Sure. At the bottom switch take wires off and connect red and black wire with a wire nut. Put a wire nut on the white wire by itself. Replace wall cover plate with a blank cover plate.

At the upstairs, box take your black from your common terminal and put it on a terminal of the new switch. Then take the other black from the old switch and put it on the other terminal of the new switch. Cap the leftover white wire. That should do it.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Thanks Sam, I'm replacing a new switch on the upstairs, it requires a neutral wire to be connected as well, in this case what can I do to connect the neutral wire of the new switch?

Is it this same switch?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Not quite understand what you were asking Sam, yes it's the same 3 way switch I'm replacing and just converting the top one to 1 way and try to put a new 1 way switch to the upstairs box. now the new switch requires one hot and neutral and one load(red on the switch)

ok, the 2-wire cable where its black connected to the 3-way switch will have a white wire also. Follow that white wire to where it connects and you will have to run a short piece of wire from that connection of white wires to your new switch.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Sure, thanks Sam. Yes the 2-wire cable has one black and one white, and connected to a red wire coming from the 3-wire cable (supposedly from the bottom 3-way box). Just to confirm that this is the correct white wire I'm going to connect to my new switch right?
Wait the white from the 2-wire cable connected to the switch is connected to the red from the 3 wire cable?
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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
No. The white coming from the 2-wire cable is connected to the red coming from the 3-wire cable, these 2 are NOT connected to the upstairs switch, the white wire that is connected to the upstairs switch(current switch setup) is from the 3-wire cable.

ok, so you have 2 different 3 wire cables?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
well no.. sorry get you confused, upstairs box has one 2-wire cable and one 3-wire cable; Downstairs has only one 3-wire cable. now upstairs the white from 2-wire cable is connected with a red wire from 3-wire cable with a wire nut.

ok, sounds like power comes in a the light fixture then. Are there any more cables in the upstairs box?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
No that's all, you may find all the connection info from the very first question I sent. Upstairs has a 2-wire and 3-wire and downstairs only a 3-wire.

oops, didn't see your last message come in

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ok, just making sure.

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Unfortunately you box doesn't have a neutral available. Power comes from into the light fixture first then down to the upstairs switch box. One is power in and the other is switched power back up to turn on the light

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
hmm.... so is there anyway to connect to my new switch though?

You would need to have a 3-wire cable run from the light fixture to replace the existing 2-wire cable

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If it requires a neutral to operate then no

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is it a smart switch or a dimmer?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
haha yeah it's a smart switch.. what was the way you mentioned before, connecting to the white wire from the 2-wire to the new switch's neutral (and connects to the red from the 3-wire also)

That's when I thought the 2 wire was incoming power. It's not, it's a switch run

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Lots of people have this issue today trying to install newer dimmers and smart switches. That's why new electrical codes require a neutral at every switch box. But that doesn't help older houses. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news

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I'm sorry this install won't work for you but if you are satisfied with my help, please leave me a positive rating of 3 to 5 stars so I can get credit for answering. Thanks and good luck!

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Ok sure will do, before ending this, what if I have a way to get the switch working without a neutral, is the wiring the same as you mentioned?
if you get a single switch without a need for a neutral then it will connect like I said before you asked about the neutral
Sam I
Sam I, Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 856
Experience: Maintenance Electrician, Electrical Contractor, Locomotive Electrician
Verified
Sam I and 87 other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Alright, thanks a lot Sam, I appreciate your help!

glad to help!

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