Three quickfire Carlisle goals ended the Owls' recent run of resistance at Brunton Park on Tuesday night.
Despite former Cumbrians loanee Ben Marshall striking first blood in the first half, Carlisle hit back after the break with goals from Lee Miller, Rory Loy and Liam Noble to secure the points.
Rob Jones headed home a late effort to make for an exciting finish but it was to be a frustrating night for Wednesday, who also saw former Carlisle striker Gary Madine sent off late in the contest for a second bookable offence.
Earlier on, though, everything was positive for the visitors, who went into the game in a fine run of form - five wins and a draw - that saw Gary Megson's men rocket up the League 1 table.
Conversely, Carlisle's previous two contests summed up their inconsistent season so far, a 3-0 win on the road at Yeovil before a 4-0 hammering at leaders Charlton last weekend.
Nonetheless, the hosts started brightly and created the first chance on the 15-minute mark when Miller headed wide after good work down the left from James Berrett.
But Wednesday were in confident mood, epitomised by the effervescent Marshall, who was proving a real thorn in the Carlisle side.
And when the Owls opened the scoring on 35 minutes, it was inevitably struck by the tricky winger.
James O'Connor and Chris O'Grady linked up well to feed Marshall on the right touchline and the Stoke loanee danced past two challenges before drilling a low drive into the far corner.
Carlisle responded with Miller forcing a diving save from Bywater and James Tavernier was also thwarted by the Owls' keeper.
Then with half time looming, Wednesday had three chances inside a minute and could have gone down the tunnel having at least doubled their advantage.
Chris Lines and Jose Semedo each had efforts cleared off the line and from the resulting corner, O'Grady's goalbound header was flicked over the bar by Adam Collin.
The Owls took that confidence into the second period and O'Grady hit a sweet shot on the turn that whistled wide almost immediately after the resumption.
But the Cumbrians promptly turned the game on its head with three goals in 15 minutes.
First, Berrett dinked an accurate feed to the back stick and Danny Livesey headed on target for Bywater to save but the loose ball fell to Miller, who stabbed home from close range.
The Owls hit straight back and Collin was again the saviour, stretching high to scoop Madine's volley from the top corner before Carlisle stole into the lead.
Loy turned neatly a yard inside the penalty area and smashed an unstoppable shot beyond Bywater and suddenly, having looked good value for a win, Wednesday were behind.
That six-minute salvo prompted the Owls into a double substitution, with Jermaine Johnson and Ryan Lowe coming on for James O'Connor and O'Grady.
But before the duo could even enter their stride, the visitors fell further behind when Noble found space on the left side of the box and hit a sweet shot across Bywater that gave the keeper no chance.
Madine saw red ten minutes from time before Jones converted a deep Marshall cross to give a glimmer of hope, then substitute Ryan Lowe dragged wide at the death and the Owls missed out on the chance to turn the heat on the Addicks at the summit.
Carlisle: Collin, McGovern, Livesey, Murphy, Loy, Taiwo, Miller, Noble, Berrett, Tavernier, Michalik
Unused substitutes: Zoko, Curran, Helan, Gillespie, O'Halloran
Wednesday:: Bywater, Buxton, Batth, R Jones, Bennett, O'Connor (J Johnson 61), Semedo, Lines, Marshall, Madine, O'Grady (Lowe 61)
Unused substitutes: O'Donnell, Palmer, Prutton