In my garage I have a light with 2 switches controlling it. I've added a light to the circuit now it wont work?

In my garage I have a light with 2 switches controlling it. I've added a light to the circuit via a junction box, & added a new cable to a light. When I turned the mains back on the new & old light came on. But once we turned the switch off, neither will work now. Any ideas why?

5 Answers

  • Pat
    Lv 6
    10 years ago
    Best Answer

    The switches should not have been even touched to add a light at all. You should just tie in to the light nearest you and it should have had a white wire and a black wire on that light and then you do the same to the new light by tying to the old light.

    Three way switches do have three wires but this is an easy installation if you just come off of the lights only, not the switches. Sounds like you have a loose connection when you added the light.

    Turn off your power and go back to your box and light and recheck the wiring.

    Good Luck :)

  • 10 years ago

    This sounds as though you have miss wired the light in the junction box. First turn off the power at the circuit breaker in the panelboard. I would than open the light fixtures and the junction box so that I could identify the 'hot' wire, 'neutra'l wire, and the 'ground' wire in the old fixture. Assuming the old light is a ceiling mounted, flourescent fixture, operating on 110-120 volts AC, the black wire should be the 'hot', the white is your 'neutral', and green is the 'ground'. Trace the black wire back to the junction box, or if the jb is new, wire nut the black wire of your old fixture to the black wire of your new fixture. Next repeat the step with your white wire to white wire and green wire to green wire. You also want to be sure that the green wire is attached to the metal casing of the new fixture, either by the green colored grounding screw or the short bare copper wire, provided by the lighting fixture manufacturer, for safety and electrical code compliance in the event of an electrical short within the fixture. Upon successfully connecting the wiring, close up both of the fixtures, making sure not to pinch the wiring when doing so with the covers, as well as securing the cover onto the junction box. Replace the bulbs into the fixtures and turn on the panelboard circuit breaker. So long as the ballasts have not been fried internally, and the bulbs are still good, the lights should both now function properly. If they do not, call in a professional electrician to check out the wiring from the panelboard to the switches and up to the old light fixture. There is a possibility that a wire is loose in one of the switch boxes, one of the switches is defective, or at worse some wiring may have been overheated due to an electrical short within the wall or ceiling and needs to be replaced. Best wishes in your endeaver and please do make sure the power is OFF before opening any of the devices on the circuit.

    Source(s): I have worked previously for the past twenty plus years as an electrician in the commercial and the institutional maintenance fields. I've installed, repaired and replaced various electrical devices ranging from 5 volts dc up to and including 480 volt, 3 phase, industrial motors, variable speed / frequency drives and motor control power centers.
  • 10 years ago

    there are two wires in between 3way switches commonly refured to as travelers, it sounds like you have hooked up to one of them, instead of the piont wire, also refured to as a common. The best way to check for this is to turn the lights on and try the other switch, if this switch seems to opperate normally then this is almost certianly the problem. is this is not the problem feel free to email me at

    Source(s): experice in the electrical trade
  • 10 years ago

    Three way switches are different than the normal switch. Sounds like the wiring is connected incorrectly. Check the breaker to see if you've tripped it. I'd suggest either buying a book on wiring or you may be able to look online and find something.

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Probably did not connect the wiring correctly. Multiple switches can be tricky, have wired a few myself.

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