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I have a switch with two switches controlling two lights:

Double light switch

One switch is a single-pole, the other is part of a three-way. I would like to split these into a double gang with separate switches. Here is the current wiring:

existing wiring

I put colored electrical tape on the wires, where the wires coming out of the same NM cable have the same color. I would assume the blue wires are for the three-way switch and the yellow and red wires are for the single-pole switch, but I'm not sure of that.

Here are the switches I want to replace it with:

new switches

I would guess I would put the three blue wires on the three-way switch (I think I can figure out where they each go), but then do I connect the yellow and red Black wires to the single-pole and then leave the yellow and red White wires as they are?

Here are some additional pictures of the switch:

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  • 1
    Can you take a picture of the other side of the double switch? Any markings on it?
    – JACK
    Aug 1 '20 at 19:50
  • Very well asked and congrats on remembering to take pics before you tore everything apart! In answer to a deleted part of your question, yes, add 2 pigtails to the grounding wire nut (you'll probably have to go up to a red wire nut) and connect each to a ground screw on each switch.
    – FreeMan
    Aug 1 '20 at 20:25
  • @JACK No markings on the back, but I added pictures of all sides in case that helps.
    – Todd
    Aug 1 '20 at 21:03
  • @FreeMan Yeah, I've made that mistake before. ;-) I found the answer about the ground elsewhere, and it wasn't pertinent to my real question, so I removed it, but thanks.
    – Todd
    Aug 1 '20 at 21:05
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    Other posters note -- this is the proper way to "take a picture of the box contents". Pull the appliances (switch, outlet, etc) out and away as far as they will go, then physically separate the wires so that none of them overlap from the camera point of view. Aug 1 '20 at 21:09
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OK, the red tape and the yellow taped black wires go to your single switch, terminals 1 and 2 on your picture.

The blue taped black wire is your common load for the three way switch since you've only got one breaker and should go to the #4, black terminal, on your picture. The other two blue taped wires on the white and red wires are the travelers and should go to the #3 and #5 terminals on your picture. It's a good idea to tape them with some yellow tape for easy identification in the future.

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  • That is, mark the travelers with yellow tape, and remove the rest of the tape flags, right?
    – FreeMan
    Aug 2 '20 at 1:23
  • @FreeMan Good catch... That would have really confused some poor guy in the future.
    – JACK
    Aug 2 '20 at 1:30
  • Is yellow a standard indicator for the travelers?
    – Todd
    Aug 2 '20 at 18:05
  • @Todd No it's not. It's just a favorite among many fine experts
    – JACK
    Aug 2 '20 at 18:28
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If you're not sure how the terminals on a switch are used, the best thing to do is to unwire it and test the continuity between each pair of terminals, in each switch position.

In this case, you can be pretty confident about the two-way switch. You just need to find which terminal on the three-way is the common.

"...do I connect the yellow and red Black wires to the single-pole and then leave the yellow and red White wires as they are?"

Yes. Why would you think of doing anything else?

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    Well, I'm not an electrician and sometimes things aren't as simple as they seem. I'm just looking for confirmation before I screw something up. :)
    – Todd
    Aug 1 '20 at 21:26
  • Good idea. You have done exactly what we have advised, when it was too late, so many many question posters that they should have done. Aug 2 '20 at 21:17

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