Eliminating a 3 way switch


(Scott Windmiller) #1

I am replacing one of my switches with a GE zwave switch. This particuar setup is a 3way switch but we don’t ever use the other switch and would like to eliminate it and just make it a single switch. I know how to wire up the new outlet and know how to do it single or 3way but I need help eliminating the other switch. From what I have been told I can just tie 2 of the wires on the switch I want to get rid of together and cap the rest, does this sound right?
On the main switch (the one I am replacing) I have 2 black (Line and Load I presume) a red (traveler) and ground. I also have a neutral bundle I can tie into.
The switch I want to eliminate I have 2 red (one of those is on the black screw) a black and ground. I would like to tie these up and just leave the dead switch in there until we decide exactly what we want to do.
I am going to attach 4 pics, the first 2 are the switch I want to replace and the last 2 are the one I want to eliminate. Can some one take a look and help me out ?


I want to eliminate this one:


(Bruce) #2

The general approach to this is first, be sure that hot comes into the switch you are keeping. The current flows from the first switch to the second switch over one of two traveler wires, depending on which way the old first 3-way switch was thrown. One of those two travelers will now be used to carry hot from the load side of your new switch. At the second three-way switch there should be the two travelers (red) coming into it, and the load going to the light (black). You want to tie together the one traveler you are now using and the black to the load, and you remove the switch. The other traveler is now disconnected at both ends, so you don’t even need to cap it.

To do this, use a circuit tester first to determine which traveler you will use, and be sure it’s the same one on both ends. You can “turn on” the old first switch, and then test for current at the old second switch, to see which traveler you are keeping.


(Scott Windmiller) #3

Thanks, that’s what I figured. I’m waiting for my dad to bring me his tester before I do anything. I just wanted to make sure I had the logic right.
Thanks!


(Bruce) #4

The main thing is to be sure about that first switch – that’s it’s actually fed by the hot from the breakers. It’s not necessarily wired logically, as to which is getting the hot from the breakers, and which has the load wired to it.