Changing or removing 3 way switch

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Old 11-15-16, 03:42 PM
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Changing or removing 3 way switch

Hi guys. I want to remove a 3 way switch that connects to this fixture in the pic I attached. The switch is at top of stairs and when they converted the basement into a suite they left the switch connected to the light inside my suite. I may want to keep the upstairs switch to control a fixture I will install on other side of door. However I would like to just convert the 3 way in the picture into a single pole that controls the fixture above it. I guess I just need a starting point. What would be easiest way, I know I need to find main power source coming into the switches or fixture right? But then what, my mind is drawing a blank. I did make note that the 2 wire capped wires were travellers and the bigger uncapped wire was the common in the switch i want to keep
 
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Old 11-15-16, 09:59 PM
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Basically I see 2 sets of incoming black and whites. The thickest wire is like triple wrapped in tape, and from the looks of it white tape on top of black. I first thought it was perhaps meant as a visual clue but it might not be. What do I do next?
 
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Old 11-15-16, 10:13 PM
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I only see 2) two wire cables. That does not support three way switch wiring.

A three way switch would have three wires on it.
 
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Old 11-16-16, 01:56 AM
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Well it did have 3 wires hooked up to the 3 way switch and it def controls the fixture with the other switch at top of stairs which is a very common 3 way. But its also quite older and I've found interesting things. What I meant was that there is one set of black and whites coming into that box on one side, there is the same coming into box on the other side, and that big huge taped wire that is taped to one set of the wires and it was the common wire. They have pig tailed black and whites to hook up to switch and there is that thicker 3rd wire also. The wire capped blacks are live, the big thick wire is live and the whites are neutrals. Is there anything I can test or do more?
 
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Old 11-16-16, 05:10 AM
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that big huge taped wire that is taped to one set of the wires and it was the common wire.
Is that really a cable not a wire? What is under the tape?
 
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Old 11-16-16, 11:21 AM
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Sorry.... I don't see three distinct wires in the pictures.... I see two.
(or is that white/black taped mess actually a connected wire)
 
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Old 11-16-16, 01:45 PM
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I'm unclear on what you want to do.
You want to control the light above the door with a switch, but what about the other 3-way switch in the stairway?
Will it and any other lights be abandoned or are you trying to make both up and downstairs work?
 
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Old 11-16-16, 01:55 PM
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He wants to eliminate the other 3w switch.

A typical way would be to go to the one you don't want. Connect the C (odd color screw) wire to either of the other two and cap off. Cap off the remaining wire. That's it.
 
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Old 11-16-16, 03:44 PM
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That's it.
Good answer Pete
 
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Old 11-16-16, 06:54 PM
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Hi sorry i want to eliminate upstairs switch from being a 3way for now. The thick "cable" or wire is the third wire that was connected to the three way switch along with the black and white on traveller screws. I can remove all the tape as id like to wire the fixture properly anyways. Sorry if i was confusing to anyone.
 
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Old 11-16-16, 06:58 PM
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Yes the black and white thick mess is hot and was connected to common
 
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Old 11-17-16, 09:03 AM
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If i abandoned the upstairs 3 way switch I would cap it off and put a blank faceplate on it for now. Ideally i would like to find where the main source of power enters. Whether that is at one of the switches or actual light fixture. I also would prefer to wire the fixture properly as my guess is that it might not be exactly done properly.
 
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Old 11-17-16, 07:16 PM
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This wiring looks to me like more than just a 3w switch that needs replacing or tapped from. This could get complicated and you might need to trace every wire for continuity. That means disconnecting everything (to me).
Do you know if the old switches were truly 3 way, or did one switch have to be on in order for the other one to work, or would they be confusing?
Some older homes had 3w switches that were not wired like they would be today.
 
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Old 11-17-16, 08:39 PM
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To be honest I know that the whole entire one side of my suite is all on 1 circuit. The opposite side of house is on another and the stove is seperate. This 3way switch acts like one but i know it continues on from there feeding a few different things. I think your right and it could be more headache then ever. I will just clean up the wires and caps and just replace switch. Could be saving myself alot of hassle as this house is indeed old and i found some questionable things already. Thanks at least for replying everyone.
 
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Old 11-18-16, 11:04 AM
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Use existing fixture instead

Hello. I thought about it and after I installed the new switch i had a idea. I did want a light outside the door. The fixture inside my main door is about 3 feet away from where i would put the one outside my door. They both would be in the same bulkhead enclosure too. I wouldnt probably have amy problems just tapping into the black and whites on existing fixture and having both lights controlled by same switches right?
 
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Old 11-18-16, 11:16 AM
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It would make your job a whole lot easier.
The light already works, just add another one.

I don't think I would want to disassemble any of those wires unless it was absolutely necessary.
 
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Old 11-18-16, 02:54 PM
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So basically I would be just daisy chaining another light to that same light and switches. I assume just running a pigtail or 2 if the box is big enough of course and just attach hot and neutral from existing fixture to the new one right?
 
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Old 11-25-16, 02:26 PM
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Thanks for all the replies. In the end I just cleaned up the boxes and wires, wire caps etc. I ran a cable down the wooden duct box and hooked up new fixture to the existing one about 8 feet down the hall and everything works fine. Thanks again.
 
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