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Old 03-12-2008, 06:41 PM   #1
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3way switch wiring help


I need a diagram (picture) of how to wire 3 way switches.
First off coming from the breaker to the 1st 3 way switch
Then there will be 5 lights (recepticles)
Finally the last 3 way switch
Do I use 12-2 wire from the breaker to the first switch then 12-3 the rest of the way?
3 way switches confuse me so any help will be appreciated!

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Old 03-12-2008, 07:00 PM   #2
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3way switch wiring help


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Originally Posted by sgtrock View Post
I need a diagram (picture) of how to wire 3 way switches.
First off coming from the breaker to the 1st 3 way switch
Then there will be 5 lights (recepticles)
Finally the last 3 way switch
Do I use 12-2 wire from the breaker to the first switch then 12-3 the rest of the way?
3 way switches confuse me so any help will be appreciated!
I suggest grabbing a book at lowes or depot on home wiring. Three way switches are very simple but planning the ckt and wire runs can be a bear, it is not always as simple as breaker to switch then lights then switch. You will find that a good book will offer multiple diagrams so you will get a few different possible layouts

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Old 03-12-2008, 07:28 PM   #3
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3way switch wiring help


The easiest way is:

run a 2 wire feed (power) to one switch box,
run a 2 wire switch leg from the other (feeding the lights)
and a 3 wire between them.

Grounds to grounds,
whites to whites,
remaining single blacks to common terminals on switch,
black and red from 3 wire cable to the other 2 terminals.


---------------------------------------------------------------------
If you want to try and understand, keep reading. If not, just do what I described and it will work.




The operation of a 3ways is simple once you understand what the switch does. A single pole switch simplt connects/disconnects the circuit.


A 3 way switch connects the common terminal with one of the two "traveler" terminals.


Think of the black wire only as your power.

On the first switch, it sends power from the common terminal to either one or the other terminals depending on the switches position. It then goes thru either the black or red in the 3 wire to the other switch.

At the other switch it takes that power (from the black or red) and sends it to the common terminal and then on to the light.

The circuit goes thru the light bulb and back on the white to the source.

Last edited by 220/221; 03-12-2008 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 03-12-2008, 07:55 PM   #4
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3way switch wiring help


There are multiple ways to wire a three way setup. Do not try to put the fixtures between the switches. That method only works for one fixture not multiple fixtures.

Here is a site with several diagrams.

http://www.selfhelpandmore.com/switchoutlet/3way/
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Old 03-12-2008, 08:08 PM   #5
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3way switch wiring help


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Originally Posted by joed View Post
There are multiple ways to wire a three way setup. Do not try to put the fixtures between the switches. That method only works for one fixture not multiple fixtures.

Here is a site with several diagrams.

http://www.selfhelpandmore.com/switchoutlet/3way/
Unless of course you run a 4 wire between the fixtures... never mind, a 3 way is hard enough...
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Old 03-12-2008, 08:13 PM   #6
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3way switch wiring help


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Originally Posted by chris75 View Post
Unless of course you run a 4 wire between the fixtures... never mind, a 3 way is hard enough...
Why can't you just run the additional fixtures in parallel with two wire cable?
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Old 03-12-2008, 08:38 PM   #7
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3way switch wiring help


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Originally Posted by jerryh3 View Post
Why can't you just run the additional fixtures in parallel with two wire cable?
I was going off the post before mine... you can do what you said...
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Old 03-12-2008, 09:03 PM   #8
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3way switch wiring help


http://www.homeimprovementweb.com/in...way-switch.htm
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Old 03-12-2008, 11:38 PM   #9
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3way switch wiring help


In the switch boxes and the lights wire as 220/221 said ground to ground, white to white, black to black.

Now here's how to make it work, notice you have a black screw on both switches these are called the common screw. They get one of two wires the black from the breaker(or source of power) or the black wire that feeds the light.

Ok now in both switch boxes wirenut all of the whites together. Now twist all of the grounds together cut off all but the longest wire off and then slide a Greene wirenut over it and twist it down, this will leave you a means to ground the switch.

With the black wire from the 12/3 connect it to the screw on the SAME SIDE that the Common screw(Black screw) is on, then connect the red to the opposite side(the side with only one screw. These wires are called the travelers.
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Old 03-13-2008, 09:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerryh3 View Post
Why can't you just run the additional fixtures in parallel with two wire cable?
You can do that. But then the 5 fixtures are not between the switches, only one is.
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Old 03-13-2008, 01:21 PM   #11
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3way switch wiring help


for all the info.
I'll give it a try now!
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Old 03-14-2008, 07:04 AM   #12
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3way switch wiring help


again everyone.Finished my wiring project and everything works perfectly.
Thanks again.

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