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Old 08-11-2012, 10:13 PM   #1
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3 way switch, 2 lights


Have a tricky 3 way setup that I'd like to get input and ideally a wiring diagram for. Here's the setup:

Switch box at bottom of stairs
Switch box at top of stairs.
1 light at top of stairs, 14-2 wire coming into top of stairs box
1 light at bottom of stairs, 14-2 wire coming into bottom of stairs box
Feed from panel (14-2) coming into bottom of stairs box
14-3 wire going between bottom and top of stairs box.

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Old 08-11-2012, 10:47 PM   #2
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3 way switch, 2 lights


well the for the ligts to work together, they must be connected together.
how are you fishing the wires?? are the walls open??

if you have access to run these lines, there is no need for the wire connecting the downstairs light to enter the switch box.
just follow the same route with the travelers. if they must enter the box for some reason, you'll need to run additional 14/2.

here is a basic 3-way diagram.


as you can see, power comes in only at one 3-way, and the other 3-way connects the lights.
you can run the wires in almost any configuration you like. just follow the basic rules for 3-ways.

-Power is supplied to switch #1
-Two traveler wires connect switch #1 to switch #2
-Switch #2 supplies power to lights
-Neutrals do not get connected to any switch.

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Old 08-12-2012, 06:38 AM   #3
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3 way switch, 2 lights


That is, connect the second light to the first light using 14-2 cable.

If the most convenient route from light to light for this last 14-2 cable is via the switch boxes, this cable should go non-stop past the outsides of those boxes.
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:11 AM   #4
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3 way switch, 2 lights


That's what I feared. The top of stairs light is the addition. All wires are behind Sheetrock. So what I'm hearing is that there is no way to do this unless a dedicated 14-2 connects the two lights together?
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Old 08-12-2012, 08:14 AM   #5
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3 way switch, 2 lights


It would depend on the wiring and which box the switch leg comes from, but you could wire the second light to the switch box with the switch leg. (assuming there is also a neutral present at that box)
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:03 AM   #6
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3 way switch, 2 lights


You would need a 14-4 cable between the switches to do what you want.
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:21 AM   #7
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3 way switch, 2 lights


I have an alternative solution to your dilemma, purchase a Lutron Pico switch,





Now, with a little splice remaking you can make this work... let me draw you up a diagram....



Now, Lutron also makes a kit to retro fit the wireless switch into an existing electrical box... Cat #Lutron PICO-FP-ADAPT, So for 60 bucks, this is a great way to fix your oops...

Last edited by stickboy1375; 08-12-2012 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:36 AM   #8
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3 way switch, 2 lights


Nice diagram
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:39 AM   #9
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3 way switch, 2 lights


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Nice diagram
Eh, I like the graphic ones that get posted on here, but FWIW, i believe it is understandable....
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:45 AM   #10
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3 way switch, 2 lights


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Originally Posted by MisterZ View Post
Nice diagram
My bread and butter is working in very old homes, so we don't always have the luxury of snaking wires to every location, Lutron Pico switches are fantastic, especially when just adding a remote switch to an existing load. You cant escape the labor cost vs the price of the switch either...
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:50 AM   #11
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3 way switch, 2 lights


Quote:
Originally Posted by stickboy1375 View Post
My bread and butter is working in very old homes, so we don't always have the luxury of snaking wires to every location, Lutron Pico switches are fantastic, especially when just adding a remote switch to an existing load. You cant escape the labor cost vs the price of the switch either...
Very true. I dont do much new construction either. That new Lutron is a great find.
Gotta go check em out. I have seen, but never used the remote switches yet.
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Old 08-12-2012, 11:53 AM   #12
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3 way switch, 2 lights


Quote:
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Very true. I dont do much new construction either. That new Lutron is a great find.
Gotta go check em out. I have seen, but never used the remote switches yet.

Once you try these, you will never snake a 3 way switch again. lol...

As a sidenote, I totally dislike X-10, stay away from it.
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Old 08-12-2012, 10:29 PM   #13
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3 way switch, 2 lights


Quote:
Originally Posted by stickboy1375 View Post
Once you try these, you will never snake a 3 way switch again. lol...

As a sidenote, I totally dislike X-10, stay away from it.
The same with our European X-10 they do give us a fit not much differnce what ya guys going thur with it.

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Old 08-13-2012, 05:40 PM   #14
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3 way switch, 2 lights


I only have the 14-3 wiring between the two boxes. However, I do have two other separate circuits that come into both boxes. Would it be safe/legal to use the ground on the 14-3 wire to do your 14-4 suggestion, and then use the grounds from the other circuits as grounds at the top and bottom? Not sure if that's kosher, but thought I'd ask- would rather it be safe though.
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Old 08-13-2012, 05:43 PM   #15
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3 way switch, 2 lights


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Originally Posted by Jjlafrance View Post
I only have the 14-3 wiring between the two boxes. However, I do have two other separate circuits that come into both boxes. Would it be safe/legal to use the ground on the 14-3 wire to do your 14-4 suggestion, and then use the grounds from the other circuits as grounds at the top and bottom? Not sure if that's kosher, but thought I'd ask- would rather it be safe though.
Yeah, because thats just an extra wire with no purpose... lol... sorry, couldn't help myself.

Nope, you can do what I suggested, or make each 3way a single pole switch to control each load separately... OR rip down some sheetrock, only options I see.

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