1

The kitchen in my house opens out into the family room. On the far side of the kitchen, there is a 2-gang switch box [AB], on the near side of the family room is a 1-gang switch box [C].

 -         --------------------------------------------------------------------
|              family room        |              kitchen              | pantry |
|[C] {3way}                       |                                   |        |
|                                 |                                   |     \  |
|                                 |                                   |      \ |
|                                 |                                    --     -|
|                                 |                                {switch} [A]|
|                                                                 {3wayDim} [B]| 
|                                                                              |
|                                                                               
|                                                                               
|                                                                              |
 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • [A] is a single-pole switch, and turns on a single light in the pantry (LED bulb)
  • [B] is a 3-way dimmer switch, which controls 6 can-lights in the kitchen ceiling (LED bulbs)
  • the other end of the 3-way circuit [C] is a regular 3-way switch, and we NEVER use it to turn on the kitchen lights
  • BOTH circuits (pantry light & kitchen ceiling lights) are on the same 15A breaker

GOAL - I originally wanted to replace the 3-way dimmer switch in the kitchen [B] with a KASA Smart WiFi dimmer switch.

PROBLEM - When I went to replace the dimmer switch, I discovered that the LINE-wire for the 3-way circuit for the kitchen lights is in gang box [C] in the family room. If I replace 3way [B] with a 3way smart dimmer, and 3way [C] is turned "off", then 3way smart dimmer [B] gets no power and stops working.

I don't want to put the 3-way smart-dimmer in the family room [C] where the LINE-wire is, because if I'm in the kitchen and want to manually dim the kitchen lights, I don't want to have to walk to the other side of the family room to do it.

OPTION 1 - I think I can remove 3way switch [C] in the family room, connect the LINE-wire in box [C] to one of the C~B travelers, use that traveler as the "LINE-wire" for a single-pole smart-dimmer [B], and put a blank cover on [C] since we never use that switch anyway. Basically, eliminate the 3way switching, make the kitchen light circuit a single smart-switch circuit. IS THERE ANY ISSUE WITH DOING THIS?

OPTION 2 - If I'm going to remove/blank-out 3way [C] in the family room and make the kitchen light circuit a single-switch circuit, could I just "fork" the LINE-wire for the pantry light switch [A] and also use it as the LINE-wire for a single-pole smart-dimmer [B]? WOULD THIS WORK, AND IS IT SAFE/ALLOWED?

I'd really appreciate some advice/guidance here. I know enough to be useful, but I don't want to be dangerous.

3
  • Most of this sounds reasonable, but we would need to know if all of these lights are on the same circuit breaker. Please identify the circuit breaker and check if all of the lights involved turn off with a single circuit breaker. Then edit your question to include more info. Nov 10, 2023 at 23:51
  • Great point @RobertChapin - yes, both circuits are on the same breaker (description updated above)
    – bosco
    Nov 11, 2023 at 0:18
  • You'll save yourself a lot of trouble by calling them "SUPPLY" and "ONWARD" -- and save "LINE" and "LOAD" only for GFCIs and smart switches where it is essential. Notably, they are not the same thing, and the confusion causes people nothing but trouble with GFCIs. Nov 11, 2023 at 20:48

1 Answer 1

1

Go with Option 2. It is simpler. And, without getting into other details of the house, there's already one or two cables connecting the kitchen and family room. It is unclear if it was originally set up that way when the house was built. With option 2, you'll have more ways to repurpose those cables in the future.

You'll need an extra wire nut and more lengths of wire to make the pigtails that you're calling a fork here.

It is safe and allowed because all the hot wires are from the same circuit. They are all connected to each other already.

In the family room, make sure the unused wires are capped separately so the hot wire isn't touching anything. In the kitchen, you will need to cap off the travelers there as well.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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