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Electrical Wiring in the Home/Switch wired using only black wires


Hello, my stepdaughter purchased a very old home. There are four lights involved, one over the outside of the garage, one on the side of the garage, the front porch light & a hall light inside the front door. For these four lights, there are two switches. One switch operates the front porch light. The other switch operates the other three. We wanted to change the switches so the hall light is operated on one switch and all of the outside lights are operated by the other. When we removed the switch plate, there are three black wires & three white wires coming into the box. All three white wires are tied off together using a wire nut. Two black wires go to one switch, then one of those black wires extends (or jumps) to the other switch where the third black wire is attached.

I'm confused about the white wires as I thought we needed a black/white pair for the switch and how we can switch the wiring around so the switches work as desired.  

Any ideas or help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!


The switches are wired correctly, and the age of the house has nothing to do with the wiring.  Neutral wires do not connect to switches, only the hot wires.  Unless the white wire is a hot wire, it would not be connected to the switch.

I have to agree that it is strange to have an inside and outside light on the same switch. However, the wire goes from the switch to one light to another, to another.  So, unfortunately, there is no way to make that change from the switch box.  A wire would have to be run from the switch box to the inside light.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
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Electrical Wiring in the Home

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Bob Sponaugle


Just about any home wiring question. (not appliance repair) I have done all kinds of home wiring for myself, including adding a new breaker box, etc. Please, questions from North America only. Please be specific with details.

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