enter image description hereI live in a house built in the early 1980s. I am replacing all of the switches and outlets. There are no neutrals in the boxes.

At the bottom of the stairwell, there is a three way switch (A) that has the common terminal hard-wire connected to the traveller. At the top hallway there is an old switch/auto timer (B).

I cannot find any reference to this wiring online. I'm not sure I should be re-wiring the new switch in this way.

Any ideas?enter image description here

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Would you add a picture of the timer, pulled out to show the wires? And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know you'll know the details of contributing here. Apr 15, 2020 at 15:21
  • I'm guessing you mean "no grounds " in the boxes? At least one end has to have a neutral which should connect to the far side of the lights themselves. Apr 15, 2020 at 19:09
  • For switch A, the white is hot and the black and red are travellers. There is a neutral somewhere in the circuit but no white neutrals pigtailed together in the box. Apr 16, 2020 at 3:05

1 Answer 1


We're going to need a picture of the other switch but my guess is that the top hallway auto timer needed an always hot line and that box had the fixture load wire so someone jumped the bottom switch hot to a traveler. This isn't a common wiring practice for three way switched and should be corrected. They used the backstabs which we don't like but made a real nice jumper.

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