3 Hot Wires To A 3 Way Switch System - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical


Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-14-2010, 04:36 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 1
Rewards Points: 10

3 hot wires to a 3 way switch system

our old 3 way light switches (connected to a row of 5 recess lights) stopped working so I am in the process of replacing the switches with new ones. I cannot get it working still and upon using a multimeter, I found 3 hot wires (2 in one box and one in the other). I cannot seem to find any answers online as to what i'm doing wrong, it seems that most 3 way switches only has one hot wire. I was able to find the common wire for both boxes, but how do I deal 3 hot wires? Any help is much appreciated


acbuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2010, 05:57 PM   #2
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Nashua, NH, USA
Posts: 7,966
Rewards Points: 1,538

When you removed an old 3 way switch you should have been left with three loose wire ends. I take it you removed both switches.

Ideally you identified the common wire at each switch location. Connect it to the common terminal of the new switch, often the screw is stained a darker color, not green. Connect the other two wires to the other two screws.

If you did not identify the common wire, turn off the power. Unscrew all the lights operated by that 3 way setup. Using your multimeter (and also a long length of single condutor wire) measure between each loose wire at one switch location and each loose wire at the other switch location. You should have come up with exactly two combinations that gave continuity (almost zero ohms) from one location to the other location. Those wire ends go on the non-common switch screw. The other loose ends, one at each box, go on the common switch terminals respectively.


The good conscientious technician or serviceperson will carry extra oils and lubricants in case the new pump did not come with oil or the oil was accidentally spilled, so the service call can be completed without an extra visit.
AllanJ is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Light switch installation problems pc_clone Electrical 8 11-30-2009 09:25 PM
Just for fun Andy in ATL Electrical 56 10-20-2009 09:33 AM
Wiring diagram to move switch in box w/3 way wires and source columbuskat Electrical 4 01-30-2009 12:32 PM
Replacing a bathroom fan switch cmacjr22 Electrical 4 11-04-2008 06:14 PM
Two ground wires for one switch, none for another? josquin Electrical 5 07-01-2007 02:31 PM

Top of Page | View New Posts


Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1