Multiple Switches, single light fixture problems

Thread Starter


Joined Dec 2, 2014
I have a ceiling fan that is controlled by a total of three switches. Two are in the same box and one is on another wall by itself. I have removed the ceiling fan and replaced it with just a light fixture. I want to remove the box where the two switches currently are and just control it with the one individual switch. However, ever configuration I have tried either doesn't turn the light on, it leaves the light on regardless what the switch is doing, or it controls the light and immediately throws the breaker. The power is running into the box with the two switches and the wiring from the light fixture runs into this box. Essentially, the single switch is isolated from the other two and the power supply from the house. I would like to just have the one switch control the light but I'm not sure that is possible given how the power is run in the house. However, at this point I just want to get back to where I started, which I also have been unable to do. Foolishly, I thought I knew what was what and failed to mark the wires. All the diagrams I see involve two wires and all of my house is three wire which has made figuring out how to wire this even more frustrating. Any help anyone can provide to someone who bit off more than they could chew would be greatly appreciated!



Joined Oct 2, 2009
Where are you located?
What are the actual colours of the wires in your house wiring?

The reason there were three switches in the first place is likely because the two switches in the same location controlled the light and the fan separately. The third switch on its own is wired to the first light switch (what is incorrectly known as a three-way switch) so that you can control the light from either location.

You need to get a test meter in order to determine the correct connections.
(Or call in a certified electrician.)