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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    3

    Default Help! 3-way switch to 2-way

    I have a question about removing a 3 way light switch and getting it to work like a 2-way (or replacing it with a two way). I want to ensure it is done correctly with my configuration. Could you please advise on the following:


    The 3-way switch that I'm removing has these wires:

    Black Screw: Black wire (from shared cable to other switch)
    Silver/Brass Screw above the black screw: White wire (from shared cable to other switch)
    Silver/Brass Screw across from black screw: Red wire (from shared cable to other switch)
    Ground

    The 3-way switch I'm keeping has these wires. This is where the power source comes in:

    Black Screw(Common): Black wire (from power source)
    Silver/Brass Screw above the black screw: White wire (from shared cable to other switch)
    Silver/Brass Screw across from black screw: Red wire (from shared cable from other switch)
    Ground
    **Note: The White wire from power source is twisted off in a group of other white wires in the gangbox.


    Additional task: I have a separate 2way light switch next to the 3way switch(mentioned above) in the gangbox. I would like to wire this 2way switch into the 3way switch (or maybe vice versa). I want all lights in the room from both switches(2way and 3way) to function off a single switch, so perhaps wiring the 3way switch into the 2way is easier once the unneeded 3way switch is dealt with appropriately?

    Thank you for your help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    739

    Default Re: Help! 3-way switch to 2-way

    I suppose the reason you want to remove a 3 W switch is because you be closing off a doorway and want all the lights to be controlled off one single pole switch (what you called a two way).

    First we must know how the lights get their power from the first or second 3W switch?
    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, Hidden Content

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Help! 3-way switch to 2-way

    Hi, thanks for your response! Correct, I am closing off a room and I don't need a random switch on the other side of the room that can affect the lights. The details of the power source switch are stated in my original post. Basically, the switch I want to keep is where the power source is coming in. See the details below:


    The 3-way switch I'm keeping has these wires. This is where the power source comes in:

    Black Screw(Common): Black wire (from power source)
    Silver/Brass Screw above the black screw: White wire (from shared cable to 3-way other switch)
    Silver/Brass Screw across from black screw: Red wire (from shared cable from other 3-way switch)
    Ground
    **Note: The White wire from power source is twisted off in a group of other white wires in the gang box. The white wire from the power source is not connected to the 3-way switch.


    The 3-way switch that I'm removing has these wires:

    Black Screw: Black wire (from shared cable to other 3-way switch)
    Silver/Brass Screw above the black screw: White wire (from shared cable to other 3-way switch)
    Silver/Brass Screw across from black screw: Red wire (from shared cable to other 3-way switch)
    Ground


    I also would like to combine the light fixture from a single pole switch in the same gang-box with the power source as the 3-way switch. So basically all lights will be controlled by a single switch (if possible).

    Please let me know if I can provide any more detail.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    739

    Default Re: Help! 3-way switch to 2-way

    Quote Originally Posted by flyons View Post
    Hi, thanks for your response! Correct, I am closing off a room and I don't need a random switch on the other side of the room that can affect the lights. The details of the power source switch are stated in my original post. Basically, the switch I want to keep is where the power source is coming in. See the details below:


    The 3-way switch I'm keeping has these wires. This is where the power source comes in:

    Black Screw(Common): Black wire (from power source)
    Silver/Brass Screw above the black screw: White wire (from shared cable to 3-way other switch)
    Silver/Brass Screw across from black screw: Red wire (from shared cable from other 3-way switch)
    Ground
    **Note: The White wire from power source is twisted off in a group of other white wires in the gang box. The white wire from the power source is not connected to the 3-way switch.


    The 3-way switch that I'm removing has these wires:

    Black Screw: Black wire (from shared cable to other 3-way switch)
    Silver/Brass Screw above the black screw: White wire (from shared cable to other 3-way switch)
    Silver/Brass Screw across from black screw: Red wire (from shared cable to other 3-way switch)
    Ground


    I also would like to combine the light fixture from a single pole switch in the same gang-box with the power source as the 3-way switch. So basically all lights will be controlled by a single switch (if possible).

    Please let me know if I can provide any more detail.
    You didn't say if the switch you want to remove is actually in the way or if you simply don't see a need for it away from a door.
    Another factor would be can you access the area above the ceiling easily, like an attic or dropped ceiling?

    The reason I ask is because:
    1) All connections must be made in an accessible box
    2) Since power is coming from the switch location you want to keep, most likely the power to the lights comes from the other switch location. If you do away with that location you will have to find the wire that feeds the lights and move them to the switch location you want to retain.

    If the old box is not in the way I would simply ignore it or wirenut the switch connections so it stays on, do all the control from the other switch, and place a blank cover over the box. If at a later date you move a bed or TV near the switch you want to remove you may wish you still had it, which is something I do quite often, in custom homes.
    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, Hidden Content

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,842

    Default Re: Help! 3-way switch to 2-way

    As semi says, remove the unwanted 3-way and wire nut the three wires together and replace the switch plate with a blank plate. You did not tell us how the single switch is wired. If it get power from the 3-way disconnet the power from it and connect the switched wire to on of the travelers on the tree way.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Help! 3-way switch to 2-way

    Quote Originally Posted by The Semi-Retired Electric View Post
    You didn't say if the switch you want to remove is actually in the way or if you simply don't see a need for it away from a door.
    Another factor would be can you access the area above the ceiling easily, like an attic or dropped ceiling?

    The reason I ask is because:
    1) All connections must be made in an accessible box
    2) Since power is coming from the switch location you want to keep, most likely the power to the lights comes from the other switch location. If you do away with that location you will have to find the wire that feeds the lights and move them to the switch location you want to retain.

    If the old box is not in the way I would simply ignore it or wirenut the switch connections so it stays on, do all the control from the other switch, and place a blank cover over the box. If at a later date you move a bed or TV near the switch you want to remove you may wish you still had it, which is something I do quite often, in custom homes.
    Perfect! Yes, wiring the switch connections in the box I don't want is perfect for my needs. Can you tell me which wires to connect and which to cap? Also, is it possible for me to connect the single pole light switch to the 3-way switch so it turns on and off with the other lights on the 3way?

    Thanks!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    739

    Default Re: Help! 3-way switch to 2-way

    Quote Originally Posted by flyons View Post
    Perfect! Yes, wiring the switch connections in the box I don't want is perfect for my needs. Can you tell me which wires to connect and which to cap? Also, is it possible for me to connect the single pole light switch to the 3-way switch so it turns on and off with the other lights on the 3way?

    Thanks!!
    Connect the wire on the black screw to either one of the wires on the brass screws.

    For a perfect installation, the switch remaining will turn the lights on when it's in the up position.

    If the lights are on when the switch is in the down position, simply connect the wire which was on the black screw to the wire which is on the other brass screw, for the perfect installation.

    Then cap off the unused wire.
    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, Hidden Content

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    El Paso, TX
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Help! 3-way switch to 2-way

    Your two three-way switches are connected by, most likely, a three conductor cable. Turn the switch you want to keep to the up position. Get a tester and go to the switch you want to abandon. Find the wire with the power on it. Wirenut the wire going the light, it is attached to the black screw, to the hot wire from your first switch. Remove the traveler from the switch you are keeping that is dead and keep everything else the same. Tape or wirenut all the wires you are abandoning. Install a blank plate over the box that housed the switch you are removing.
    Last edited by John freeman; 03-29-2014 at 12:30 PM. Reason: Clarification

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