red black and white wires on a switch?  ?

I have a 3 wire switch to an outdoor light. There are switches in another room for this light that do not work. I want to put a smart switch on this light. I have a red, black and white wire. The light only wors when the red and black wires are on one side of a single pole switch and white is on the other. I'm guessing the 3 way wiring is messed up in those other switches.  How can I make a smart switch work?  

3 Answers

Relevance
  • GTB
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    First you need to understand how a "3 way switch" works, clearly you do not. Next you need to understand exactly HOW the light and the switches are wired, including the energy source, the location of the light and the switches in relationship to each other. Once you have this, you can ask yourself about the merit of retiring one 3 way switch and the level of complexity it entails. If one of the 3 way switches is faulty, and you wish to continue to use these, replace both. Finally, if there are more than 2 switches, those in the center are called "4 way" switches and these differ from the 3 way switches and you need to understand how these work. Learn first, then consider the effort needed to make a change and then decide if it is worth doing.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    3 weeks ago

    3 way means 2 switches operate the light .  Like a hallway light. The switch at each end of the hall operate the same bulb.  So only one switch in the other room is for that light.

    If you want 3 switches to run that light then you need a 4 way switch.  That switch costs much more.(like triple the cost of a 3 way switch)..so much that I left at a 3 way switch system.   The wiring up for a 4 way is quite confusing too...even challenging for electricians.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 3 weeks ago

    lick your finger ,and touch the copper wire

    • Login to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.