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I have 2 light switches (in one box) in my laundry room. The one switch is a 3 way which operates the light in my garage (just behind the laundry room). There is only 1 switch to the laundry room. I want to replace the switch to my laundry room with a sensor light switch as this is the entry from the garage and we always have to feel along the laundry room wall in the dark to find the switch.

When I pulled out the switches, it seems as though there is a hardwired wire connecting both switches. I assume this is used to get the power source to the single switch from the 3 way switch. However I don't know what to do to separate these. Please help! The Switches

  • It looks like the three way is providing power to the single switch. Did you disconnect a wire from the single switch? Is the "single" switch a three way wired for single operation? – JACK Aug 30 at 23:41
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    Can you post a photo of the inside of the box for the other switch in the 3-way circuit, even? Something smells rotten here... – ThreePhaseEel Aug 31 at 2:47
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The 3 way switch on the left is hooked up right and the back stab on the back of it provides power to the switch on the right and then continues on somewhere else.. It looks like the switch on the right is a 3 way and is wired for single action. You want to get rid of the backstab on the left switch by pigtailing it to the wire under the black screw and to a small piece of #12 awg then to the switch. Your new switch "line" will be the wire pigtailed from the 3 way switch which fed your old switch and the "load" will be the other wire from the old switch. If you need a neutral for your new switch, connect it to the white wires under the blue wire nut. If there is a ground wire on your new switch connect it to one of the screws on the back of the box.

  • They both look like 3 ways, to me. And it's unconventional what they've done. Not to say there wasn't some purpose for it. Can you explain more details ( if possible ) as to what they are operating ? – Retired Electrician Aug 31 at 5:12
  • Sure. The switch on the left is operating the garage light and it is definitely a 3 way as there is another switch at the other end of the garage that operates the same light. So I figure those two are wired correctly. The switch on the right is only operating the single light in the laundry room and this is the one I want to replace but I wasn’t sure what to do with the extra wire that’s built in and connected to both switches. – Vunanne Aug 31 at 10:16

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