Permanently Remove Light Fixture and both 3 way lights

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by Addison, Feb 12, 2020.

  1. Addison

    Addison Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2017
    Location:
    Michigan
    Good Morning all,

    I need some advice/assistance from all the professionals on here. I am getting ready to redo my kitchen and currently have a ceiling fixture/light that is controlled by 2 3way switches that will no longer be of use. My thought is i want to completely eliminate that fixutre and the switches as they will no longer be needed.

    The fixture i can access from the attic and plan to move the junction box with the existing wire into the attic and secure to a joist and cover it so i can patch the old location with drywall in the ceiling.

    I believe the light is wired in between the 2 switches.

    I need some assistance on what to do with the wiring at the switches and old fixture to properly decommission that light but ensure that the rest of the circuit is powered. I would prefer to put blank switches in both the 3ways locations as they will no longer be of use.

    Thank you all in advance for the assistance!
     
  2. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    Most likely power comes from one of the wall switches. To determine, turn off the breaker for these lights and remove both switches. Pull the wires out and spread them out so as not to accidentally short them to each other. place wire nut on all of them. Turn power back on and with a voltage non contact sensor. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Klein-Tools-Non-Contact-Voltage-Tester-NCVT-1SEN/100661787. The one black wire that beeps is the power source. One wire (cable) should go the the ceiling fixture and there may be another to continues to another wall switch or wall outlet. There will be a three wire cable that goes to the other two way switch. you can remove these.

    If you can trace back to where the power cable comes from, it can be disconnected at another location to kill the power completely if at the wall switch location it doesn't feed another outlet. If it does then you'll need to leave the box in the wall and cover it with a blank wall plate.

    There a several different ways to connect a 3 way circuit. google "three way wall switch wiring diagram" for schematics. Power could be from the ceiling light. I gave you one typical scenario. If you are really confused and not sure, call an electrician.
     
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  4. Addison

    Addison Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2017
    Location:
    Michigan
    I believe i know the switch that the power comes in from-then to the fixture; i can easily do that with the method you suggested; i have a voltmeter so that is no problem at all.

    Once i know the power source wire coming into the switch, how would i terminate the switch wiring and the wiring at the fixture (if it does feed something further like a power outlet)?
     
  5. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    This is my problem, the questions you are asking is not for you to do with your DIY project. You really need someone there to look over the wiring and show you how to do it. Once the basics are learned, it gets easy. Since we are talking electrical work where a someone can get shocked or worse a electrical fire, I cannot go on.

    I learned starting in an eighth grade electrical class, watched my dad and electricians on job sites, bought a basic house wiring book and read it cover to cover many times. That was well over 50 years ago. :)
     
  6. Addison

    Addison Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2017
    Location:
    Michigan
    Thanks @WorthFlorida for the assistance! I understand the potentials when working with electrical. I am not new to working with electrical and was looking for additional input and guidance. Ive researched quite a bit and am familiar with the multiple ways a 3 way switch could be wired and am fairly confident the fixture is in between the two switches.

    If that is the case, would it not be easiest to know if that fixture powers something downstream by determining the number of Romex wiring coming into/out at the fixture?
     
  7. fullysprinklered

    fullysprinklered In the Trades

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2014
    Occupation:
    self-employed plumber-electrician doing residentia
    Location:
    Georgia
    When you say the fixture is between the two switches, does this mean that you have two three conductor cables in the ceiling box?
     
  8. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    At the wall switch where you believe the power comes from, is there any other wires pigtailed off the black hot wire? If not then you will not impact any other outlets or switches. If there is, there would be one black wire going into the wall switch box, another wire leaving the box for the next outlet and the third for the light. If you can provide pictures it will help.

    In my opinion, I would leave the circuit intact and replace the ceiling fixture with a recess can. It'll look modern and new. There are many posts that a 3 way switch wants to be added, you're the first that I can recall after seven years wanting to remove one. There is nothing better than walking into a room and flipping a switch for some light, even if just temporary to see into the room.
     
  9. Addison

    Addison Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2017
    Location:
    Michigan
    I will try and post some pictures ASAP. The current layout has 1 light above the kitchen sink, a separate ceiling fan controlled by a 3 way switch, and another light controlled by a 3 way switch. My wife wants 2 new lights above our kitchen island, and removal of the ceiling fan as it is not needed, and removal of the existing boobie light. Thus i would be eliminating the "extra light" and reusing the ceiling fan wiring for the new lights above the kitchen island. In turn i would have 1 light above the kitchen sink (2 way untouched) and the 2 pendant lights above the island (replacing the ceiling fan and maintaining the 3 way switch/circuit).

    @WorthFlorida i will take the cover at the switch off again this evening to verify if there are other wires pig tailed off the black hot wire.

    @fullysprinklered i will take the ceiling light down this weekend to confirm; however, if i recall that is correct.
     
  10. Addison

    Addison Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2017
    Location:
    Michigan
    I just took the faceplates off of both the 3way switches. Both only have 1 set of 12/3 which appear to be coming into the box and wired directly to the switch. There are no wire nuts or pigtails of any sorts.

    That said, the source of the power must be coming into the fixture itself correct? I assume I will need to take the fixture off next to see what’s going on with that wiring.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
  11. kreemoweet

    kreemoweet In the Trades

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle. WA
    A 3-way switch has 3 terminals. It won't work (at least as a 3-way) with only 2 wires connected to it. Something odd is going on there if
    it's wired as you describe.

    There's no need to figure out the wiring just to decommission. Just cap off each wire end that connects each of the switches, and
    the same for the two (not counting ground) wires connected to the fixture. Done.
     
  12. Addison

    Addison Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2017
    Location:
    Michigan
    I completely mistyped and meant 12/3.
     
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