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Old 05-22-2010, 03:55 PM   #1
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3 way switch question


I have searched and not found anything similar to my issue, this is for a bedroom that i wired and now am trying to connect switches. i have a ceiling fan with a light kit, and 4 recessed cans. I have 2, 3 gang boxes on seperate walls to control the ceiling fan, ceiling fan light, and recessed cans independently. so i want 3 switches, 1 for each.

I have a 14-2 hot coming into box 1, which continues on to the recessed cans and then over to box 2.

I also have 3 sets of 14-3 going to box 2 from box 1.

I then have a 14-3 wire going from box 2 to ceiling fan.

At the ceiling fan i have connected 14-3 black to ceiling fan black, 14-3 red to ceiling fan Blue, ground to ground, and 14-3 white to ceiling fan white.

But now im stuck and not sure how to wire all the switches. i have tried a few different ways and seem to only be able to power on fan and fan light when box 1 switches are on, otherwise i cannot turn them on. the recessed cans seem to work fine, but i think that is because it is in between the 2 boxes, where the fan and fan light are after box 2.

Any help would be appreciated.

Brian

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Old 05-22-2010, 04:33 PM   #2
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3 way switch question


Sounds like you have a 14/2 that runs from box 1 to the recessed cans and then on to box 2? Where does your power come into the picture? You only need the recessed can lights to make a connection into one box or the other. With the 3 runs of 14/3 between your two switch boxes, your power in and power out can be at either box.

Edit: I see that your power comes into box 1. How exactly are the recessed cans wired? Are they wired to both switch boxes?

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Old 05-22-2010, 04:46 PM   #3
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3 way switch question


Here is a link to a bunch of diagrams!

http://www.google.com/images?client=...ed=0CCAQsAQwAA
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Old 05-22-2010, 04:59 PM   #4
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3 way switch question


i might have described this wrong originally,

box 1 has the 14-2 hot and then 3, 14-3.

box 2 has 4 14-3 wires and a 14-2 from the cans.

so box 2 has 1 14-3 from the fan and then 3 14-3 from box 1, plus a 14-2 that goes to cans.
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Old 05-22-2010, 05:50 PM   #5
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3 way switch question


You have run to much wire! You need the power cable to box #1. You only need 7 conductors between box #1 and #2.
Three 14/3 gives you nine. So drop the whites on two of the 14/3's. [ I would cut them off at the sheath].
At box #2 you need a 14/2 to the cans. And one, 14/3 to the fan/light unit.
That's all you need!

At box #1 connect the supply white to the white of the 14/3 going to box #2. Connect the supply black, to the switch common terminals. Connect the red and black travelers to their respective switch.

At box #2 connect the remaining 14/3 white [the other 2 whites are cut off at the sheath] to the white of the 14/3 going to the fan and to the white going to the cans.

Connect the travelers (red/black) to their switches. Connect the switch common terminals to their respective cables.
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Old 05-22-2010, 06:55 PM   #6
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Wilde, your a life saver, that fixed it, everything working great from both switch locations.

Should i not have run it this way, using 3 sets of 14-3?, or is that how your suppose to, and then just eliminate 2 whites like you told me.

Brian
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Old 05-22-2010, 07:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcdonaldb View Post
Wilde, your a life saver, that fixed it, everything working great from both switch locations.

Should i not have run it this way, using 3 sets of 14-3?, or is that how your suppose to, and then just eliminate 2 whites like you told me.

Brian
Well Brian, it cost more using 3, 14/3 cables. Arguably you could have 2, 14/2 cables and identified the whites with a marker.
On the other hand, using 14/3's and dropping the whites, saves marking the whites.
In one respect, the way you have it, is a smidgen better, in my opinion.
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Old 05-22-2010, 08:24 PM   #8
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I would argue that curring off the white has created a code violation. Now you have hots and neutrals running is different cables.
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Old 05-22-2010, 11:58 PM   #9
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I would argue that curring off the white has created a code violation. Now you have hots and neutrals running is different cables.
If so, you should quote the source!
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Old 05-23-2010, 08:02 AM   #10
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3 way switch question


The general rule is that the neutral accompanies the corresponding hot everywhere. A notable exception is a switch loop.

http://www.cockam.com/switloop.htm

But I have seen diagrams where a 14-4 cable was desired (two 3-way travelers, neutral, and hot to continue on to a receptacle beyond the lights). Two 14-2's were used instead with one cable holding just the two travelers.

Quote:
... cutting off the white has created a code violation ...
I want to say that cutting off any wire entering a box is a no-no; someone might want to use that wire in the future. Instead, tape the end individually, curl it up, and push it against the side of the box.

It would be slightly more correct to use the white wire in the 14-3 for the can lights as a private neutral for the can lights, connecting it to just the 14-2 white going up to the cans at switch box 2. Now we are using 8 of the nine conductors from box 1 to box 2.

While it could be argued that both white wires in the other 14-3's (for fan and fan light) should be used as neutrals (thus actually using all 9 conductors between switch boxes 1 and 2) there is only one white wire going from box 2 up to the fan and the two neutrals from the respective 14-3's from box 1 would need to be combined upon arrival in switch box 2.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 05-23-2010 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 05-23-2010, 09:23 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildie View Post
If so, you should quote the source!
How about 300.3(b)
But then you have created a parallel path for the two neutrals to the fan light. So take your pick how you want to do it. I would have put the fixture feed at the first switch and then this would not be a problem.


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Old 05-23-2010, 08:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joed View Post
How about 300.3(b)
But then you have created a parallel path for the two neutrals to the fan light. So take your pick how you want to do it. I would have put the fixture feed at the first switch and then this would not be a problem.


Attachment 20810
If the power had been run to box #2 there would be no question, as you say!
Shall we tell the OP to rerun the power!
Brian didn't tell us where he lives, if in Canada, I wonder what rule would apply!
I gave my CEC copy away, when I retired!
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Old 05-23-2010, 09:56 PM   #13
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Minnesota.
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Old 05-23-2010, 11:35 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by mcdonaldb View Post
Minnesota.
Well, that's pretty close to Canada, tell the inspector that you are going by the CEC code!
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Old 05-24-2010, 01:03 AM   #15
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I'm alittle confused, why wouldn't this be to code?

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