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I want to hopefully have 1 switch control 1 floodlight independently of each other. Want Ring floodlight outside FamilyR (will always keep on) Will put new floodlight with motion sensor outside MasterBed to hopefully keep on or off as we choose.

Two floodlights outside. Switch in family room and switch in master bedroom. Turned off the family room circuit breaker and the switch in the Master Bedroom is also no longer hot. These were meant to both turn on with either toggled up and down quickly. If MasterB is off you can simply turn Family switch to on to have it stay on. That is my recollection of function.

  1. Can't be made independent of each other right? (MasterB dependent on power from FamilyR?)
  2. Can I at least remove the flick/toggle feature so MasterB never turns off FamilyR Ring?
  3. Should I leave interior wiring alone and just hook up my new exterior fixtures since THAT is simple? Then flip/set the switches until I find them "always on" and use tape so no one touches them.
  4. Why is there a wire between the FamilyR switch and the adjacent switch which is a FamilyR interior light?
  5. Can I wire the MasterB to always be hot and remove the switch? FOUR GANG BOX so I don't know how to put a blank over that and still use the other 3 switches.

FamilyR switch - why is there a wire going to switch next to it? That is a room light. MasterBedroom switch I'd like to make always hot FamilyR floodlight MasterBedroom floodlight - only two wires to the fixture at least

2 Answers 2

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Thanks.

But wait in the Master = (three wires = hot, neutral, one traveler?) Wire all three together or which two of the three?

Kyle Switch plates. Thanks for that. Have not seen that in stores or in the wild!

Bob

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  1. Can't be made independent of each other right? (MasterB dependent on power from FamilyR?)

Correct, not without either smart switches or adding new wires.

  1. Can I at least remove the flick/toggle feature so MasterB never turns off FamilyR Ring?

Unless there is a need for a switch at MasterB for the floodlights (which I doubt), you can remove the switch and connect the wires inside the box and put on a blank plate. (Or really confuse the next owner by connecting the wires but leaving the disconnected switch in the box.)

The three wires at MasterB are 2 travelers (coming from FamilyR) and 1 switched hot. You could connect them all together, but preferred would be to figure out which traveler you really want to use (based on FamilyR switch position) and connect that to the switched hot, and cap the other traveler on both ends (MasterB and FamilyR). See below for more details.

  1. Should I leave interior wiring alone and just hook up my new exterior fixtures since THAT is simple? Then flip/set the switches until I find them "always on" and use tape so no one touches them.

You could do that. I'd probably go with: leave one switch in place and put a cover over it to prevent nuisance trips (easy for toggle switches, like this one from Amazon, but some options for Decora too), remove the other switch.

  1. Why is there a wire between the FamilyR switch and the adjacent switch which is a FamilyR interior light?

Normally (but can't tell 100% sure from the picture) that is to chain power between devices. Perfectly normal.

  1. Can I wire the MasterB to always be hot and remove the switch? FOUR GANG BOX so I don't know how to put a blank over that and still use the other 3 switches.

Yes. For example, Kyle Switch Plates has just about every combination you can imagine.


WARNING: Possible Major Problem

Based on the picture of MasterR, there appears to be a major problem with the existing wiring. There is a 2 wire cable (wire counts in cables ignore ground) providing the travelers for the switch. They are marked with blue tape (reasonable) in FamilyR. But they are either (hard to tell in the pictures) two blacks from separate cables (no good - all travelers must be in the same cable) or black and white from one cable (OK) with a black by itself as switched hot to the lights (which I think is the case based on the red tape in MasterB). The problem is that you have to have the currents balance between the wires in a cable (or conduit, for that matter). The typical methods all use a three wire cable (black/white/red). Typical setups are:

  • Two travelers + neutral from switch 1 to switch 2, then a separate cable takes switched hot and neutral to the lights.
  • Two travelers out from switch 1 to switch 2 + switched hot back from switch 2 to the switch 1 box (but it doesn't actually connect to switch 1) and another cable takes neutral (which was together with hot going into switch 1 but neutral doesn't actually connect to switch 1 with dumb switches) and switched hot to the lights.

What it appears you have is switched hot traveling separate from its partner neutral and separate from the travelers (the white in the cable not used). You can't do that.

So some additional research is needed - carefully picking through the tangled mess of wires - to diagnose, and very likely repair, this problem.

The good news is that removing the 3-way switching capability will very likely save you from having to run a new cable to be code compliant.

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