2

I am a DIYer with electrical wiring experience. I would like to add an existing secondary light to the 3-way circuit. The current box has two switches. The one on the left controls the main light and is part of the 3-way circuit. The one on the right controls a secondary light. I would like to remove the switch for the secondary light and have it controlled with the 3-way switch. The existing wiring is a little confusing. I have diagrammed it below as best as I can figure it out. (Ground wires are ignored.) Wiring Diagram

Picture

I would appreciate any advice you could provide. Thanks!

  • Wow! Colors are usually a hot mess in boxes like this, but by sheer luck, all of your colors are color-coded by function, except the travelers. I like to mark those yellow (both of them, no need to distinguish one from the other). – Harper Oct 14 at 17:48
  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Good question, with good diagram/picture: thanks. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to participate here. – Daniel Griscom Oct 14 at 23:53
3

Color coding time

Cables have certain default colors of wires. We're married to that, so usually trying to "color code wires by function" is a big mess. But in this case, it works out to be very close. Let's get there.

I want you to mark both traveler wires with yellow tape (or another color, just not black, red or white). No need to distinguish one from the other. We wont be doing anything with them; I just don't want to confuse them with the wires we will be working with.

Now, remove the switch that is going away. When you do, you will free up a "pigtail wire". Remove it from the black bundle (always-hot). Tape or paint it red.

With the travelers marked, there is one red wire on the 3-way switch. Remove it and replace it with the red pigtail.

I believe at this point you have three red wires, all loose. These are switched-hot. Join them.

And we're done.

  • Thanks so much! This makes sense. I will try it out in the next couple days. – Josh Sofsky Oct 14 at 22:29
  • 1
    It works! Thank you again. – Josh Sofsky Oct 19 at 18:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.