I am having issues with my light switches.

First of all there are 3 rooms.

Room 1 has 3 black wires 1 red wire 2 white 1 gray

Room 2 has 2 black and 1 Red

Room 3 has 2 black and 1 Red

I just bought a house recently and the switches for upstairs never worked for the rooms. They always had power. So I began doing research to figure out how to wire everything. Here is the weird part I was able to send power from room 1 to room 2 - and It was give power to that room. Room 2 would send power to Room 3 but when room 2 switch on it would not control the light in that room at all. Room 3 when connected switched on, the lights would both light up in both rooms but when turning Room 2 or Room 3 switch on they would both turn off. I've tried so much. I genuinely need some help.

P.S. apparently they also control the light in the hallway - but that one has the ability to turn off using a switch in the hallway but doesn't get power unless both room 3 and room 2 are switched on.

Please help

Thank you.

closed as off-topic by isherwood, Daniel Griscom, mmathis, ThreePhaseEel, Tyson May 16 '18 at 18:33

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  • Can you post photos of the insides of the boxes involved? – ThreePhaseEel Jan 5 '18 at 23:10
  • Sounds like some mis wired 3ways based on 2 having to be on. Since you said 1 gray wire is this wiring in conduit? Gray should be used the same as white, most electricians use white for residential and gray for 277 but it is legal to use them interchangeably. – Ed Beal Jan 5 '18 at 23:32
  • Here is how I found it yesterday. youtu.be/3GHHcg8YE_w – Chosenzero Jan 6 '18 at 1:32
  • @EdBeal you often have to read between tge lines. Usually in residences "gray" means "black" which is faded or not as shiny as other black the person has seen. Nobody intends to use gray unless they have multiple circuits or services to distinguish. – Harper Jan 6 '18 at 16:16
  • I have seen gray used quite a few times that's why I asked if it was in conduit of not in conduit I would agree it is faded black. – Ed Beal Jan 7 '18 at 4:44

In some cases, you just have to use a wire tracing tool. These may be available for borrowing if you have a local tool library. They come in two main types: the easiest to get versions require power be off.

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