Here is the situation. At the top of the stairs I have two 3 way switches. (the left one controls the upstairs hall light and the office ceiling fan/light and the right one controls the ceiling stairs light) At the bottom of the stairs is the other 3 way switch that controls the upstairs ceiling stairs light.

There is a switch next to the bedroom that controls the Hall/Office ceiling light/fan just as the switch next to the bathroom controls the Hall/Office ceiling light/fan (I will call this light switch 2) What happens in this scenario is that, not matter what the Hall light is on, ALL THE TIME (very dumb), and we will call the switch next to the bathroom light switch 3.

What I want to do, is make the light switch 2, next to the bedroom to act as a single pole switch, independent of the others.

Here are some pictures.

We will call this light switch 1 because it holds two three way switches. light switch 1 location

Here is the wiring for light switch one with the switch to the hall pulled out. Light switch 1 wiring

Here is light switch 2 next to bedroom (I want this to act as a single pole switch). Light switch two location

Here is the wiring for light switch 2. Light switch 2 wiring

Here is light switch 3 next to the bathroom. enter image description here

Here is the wiring for light switch 3. Switch 2 wiring

Here is the situation above the stairs and "hall", which technically a hall but kind of. Stair light is present and I removed the hall light. Stair and Hall Lights (hall light removed)

Top of stairs showing light switch one and two within 5' of each other. enter image description here

Top of stairs showing light switch 3 within 5' of light switch 1 at the top of the stairs. enter image description here

Here are light switch one close ups Switch 1a Switch 1b Switch 1c

Here are light switch two close ups. Light Switch 2a Light Switch 2b

Here is light switch 3 close up. Light Switch 3

  • Oops, you are correct. I have updated. Feb 10, 2021 at 18:17
  • 3
    FYI, light switch 2 is a 4-way switch, not a 3-way. A "3-way" circuit has a 3-way switch at either end, with an unlimited number of 4-way switches in the middle. Each switch in the chain "swaps" the wire carrying the power (between black and red), effectively inverting the state of the device that's being switched. The input (or output) of the 3-way switches will be the screw labeled "COMMON"; the other two screws are for the carrier lines to the other switches in the chain.
    – ereisch
    Feb 10, 2021 at 19:25
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    If the hall is the upper landing light for the stairs it is required to be controlled in the 2 locations upper and lower stairs. The most probable answer is no modifying the circuit will affect everything. I believe that’s why @ereisch provided the detail. I am curious if this was a legal configuration to start with I see 2 grounds that would point to multiple runs of NMB. So it may be possible to make changes but we would need a full schematic of the lights and where they are fed from (we can really only see the wiring to the switches)
    – Ed Beal
    Feb 10, 2021 at 23:12
  • 1
    Is there a landing where light switch 2 is? Feb 11, 2021 at 1:40
  • 1
    @ChristopherLond -- can you get us closeups of the wiring inside the light boxes? Also, how open are you to running new cables? Feb 12, 2021 at 0:39

1 Answer 1


Splice the travelers through at switch 2 and slap a blank cover on that box, then cap off and cover the hall light box

Getting rid of the switch at position 2 is simple, fortunately: all you need to do is splice each traveler on one side of the switch (from switch 1) to its corresponding traveler on the other side (from switch 3). In your case, this is especially easy because the prior installer did sane things with the limited colors they had, so simply splice red to red and black to black in that box, then slap a one-gang blank cover on it.

As to ridding yourself of the hall light, that's simple too. Just cap off each wire that went to the fixture individually with a wirenut, and then put a round blank cover of the correct size on the box. Now that ex-lighting-outlet won't irritate anyone by being on all the time.

  • Let me see if I've got this right. In switch box 2 splice red to red and black to black in that box and then put flip the box where it is in the closet and put a blank cover over it. Put the wires in a J box in the ceiling and repair the ceiling and closet drywall holes with drywall and mud. Feb 13, 2021 at 17:22
  • Worked perfect! Just need to buy a half sheet of 5/8" drywall and I can repair the hole in both closets. Feb 13, 2021 at 19:25

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