I have one cable (Romex) coming into a switch box which has 4 wires in it. One Red, One Black, One White and on bare (Copper). There are NOT two cables coming into my box as is generally the case with a light install (one coming from the power and one headed to the light) This is what is what is making the install difficult for someone t like me that is not terribly electrical savvy.
The existing switch that I am replacing is a three way switch. Which is wired as pictured.
Black wire to copper terminal, white wire to copper terminal and red wire to black terminal and ground wire tied to other ground wires and terminated in metal box.
Although the switch is technically a three way switch, it is the only switch that controls this light. This too is a head scratcher as well and is causing me pause.
How do I wire the DZS15 switch.
Are you really really sure there isn’t another switch somewhere? What wires do you have at the light fixture?
It could be that the switch is after the light instead of before? I.e. The line comes into the light’s box and then a wire is sent down to the switch box and power goes back up to the light device. It looks like you are short 1 wire for a regular setup (the normal use for the white - common) - that’s why I am wondering if the switch is after the light - the common isn’t going to the switch. However, it does look like you have a 3-way switch wired setup here… I wonder, did the light fixture have a pull chain switch on it at one time or something??
A lot of speculation, not a lot of facts. Do you have a volt meter? Brute force way it to remove the old switch and see which one has power with the volt meter to ground. Then see which one lights the light…
I suspect that you are correct @dmw999 on the switch after the light.
I did put a meter on it and tested each wire. The black wire has power running to it based on the test.
On the other question- I am certain that there is not another switch that controls this light.
Hmmm… Well, if you can find the other end of the wire and it is in the light then I think you can do it.
You need to change the white wire over to a common wire - connected to all of the other white wires and connected to the common on the new switch.
You then run unconditional power from the light box to the switch on the black wire - like it is. Connect it to the new switch’s Line connection.
The red wire would then be used to send power back to the light fixture (not box) when the switch is on - this is the Load wire in this scenario.
And the ground to the ground…
I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the wires on the switch (red or white) isn’t connected to anything right now. Hopefully they end in the light fixture box…
@dmw999 I went ahead and wired it up per the standard instructions and I get the LED light on and the switch makes an audible clicking noise when I press it but no activity at the light itself.
The three way switch has me baffled.
Also, when I put the meter on the white and black wires it get a reading if that helps.
In order to figure this out you need to remove your light fixture and look at the wires that are connected there. Try to determine which romex is going to the switch. There will probably be another romex that is bringing the hot/live power into that box. You need to find the live wire. Can you take a photo of the wires at the light fixture and show us?
Normally for a light connected to one switch you don’t need three wires like you have. That’s why dmw999 said he wouldn’t be surprised if one of them isn’t connected to anything right now at the light fixture.
You want it to end up like this:
The black will be your hot,
Red is the “load”
So this is what i found when I pulled the cover at the light.
two pieces of romex coming into the box.
Red adn white are attached to the light itself - Picture below
Two pieces of romex coming into box here
And this how the two pieces of romex are coming into the box and are tied together.
Well, the good news is that you only have two romex wires to figure out…
The black wires are how I expected - coming into the light box and going out to the switch.
So the working theory is that one romex is the power coming in and the other is the one going to the switch.
First thing would be to confirm which is which, I guess. Is the red wire from the switch going to the light or the white one?
I don’t understand red/white connection, though. I’d guess that it is sending current down the “off” wire from the switch when the light is off and then out the wire back to wherever the power came from in the first place? Maybe that is where it doesn’t connect to anything?
Essentially you should want to get to, assuming that nothing else is connected to this switch that you want powered.
The LINE romex:
- ground (bare)
- white - common
- black - power
- red - capped off.
In Light Box:
Connect the White to White and Light.
Connect Black to Black.
Connect Red to Light.
Connect Ground to Ground.
In Switch Box:
Connect Black to new switch - line connection
Connect White to new switch - common connection
Connect Red to new switch - load connection
This will leave whatever was powered when the light was off unpowered.
Since there are some unknowns here it may make sense to get some further research on exactly what is going where and why, however. It seems really strange to have whites and reds cross connected like this - to me, anyway. I’m not an electrician and this scenario is one I’ve not encountered before.
I agree with what Doug wrote. Just to clarify when you connect red to the light he is talking about the red wire you don’t cap off. The red wire that goes to the switch. The red one from the power source I would cap off as he said and not use it. Other than that it will be like the graphic I posted above. Wherever that red wire goes may be feeding power to something that you don’t know about. So if the power to something else doesn’t come back on you will then have to troubleshoot that and figure out how that is wired. This is doable. Good luck!
Thanks Doug. More work to be done here I guess.
I went ahead and rewired as recommended and the switch works great.
Not exactly sure what no longer works…Tested all that I could and did not find anything that stopped working…I’m sure we’ll find it…Some day.
Thanks to @DougS and to @dmw999 for the suggestions and advice…much appreciated!