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Old 04-21-2008, 05:38 PM   #1
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Adding hot outlets to 3-way switch


Thought this would be simple, but Iím confused. New construction in suburban Chicago. In the basement I have a typical light working off a switch at the top and bottom of the stairway. I need to add two hot outlets in a new box at the bottom of the stairs. I've got that box run and the two new wires pulled. The wiring in the bottom switch box though has me confused.

There is a red wire that come in one conduit, loops around the bottom (off-colored) screw on the switch and continues into another conduit. There is a brown wire that is attached separately to each of the top opposite screws and returns through the same conduit. And then there is a white and yellow wire that simply loop from one pipe to the other.

Can someone tell me which wires I have to use? Thanks.

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Old 04-21-2008, 07:31 PM   #2
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Adding hot outlets to 3-way switch


Use the white and either the red or the yellow. Red and yellow are probably two separate hot wires. Red could be a switched wire. You will need to test to be sure.

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Old 04-21-2008, 07:35 PM   #3
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Adding hot outlets to 3-way switch


I'm guessing the yellow and white.....but is a guess.

Put your tester on it. Yellow should read 120V to ground (metal box) and 120V to neutral (white). Make sure it stays "hot" when lights are switched off.
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Old 04-22-2008, 12:12 AM   #4
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Adding hot outlets to 3-way switch


I flatted houses in suburban Chicago for few years, and I can tell you that this is typical:

Brown wires are your travellers. Red is your hot feed. Yellow is your switch leg and white, your neutral. If you want to hit an outlet, use the red and white.
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Old 04-22-2008, 04:43 AM   #5
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Adding hot outlets to 3-way switch


wow ...conduit in an residence? . . .generally speaking here in kalistine it's
Romex roping after plenty fun with a " HoleHog"

also you wouldnt ordinarily find the neutral supplying a switch...3W or other wise . .though it may be in the box if convenient when it was roped

3W's nothing but the two travelers between the switches . .power into one end ( generally only the hot conductor ) and the switch leg off of the other 3W to the light


conduit in an home huh ? . . .I roger that...there is NO
Romex in this house . . .its all in pipe / flex / or MC cable

conduit huh . . .that sparky must have been a fellow over-builder lunatic as well

let us know how you worked it out
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Old 04-22-2008, 07:03 AM   #6
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Adding hot outlets to 3-way switch


Chicago is conduit country. All houses are wired in EMT. Every bit of them.
Maybe someone has some pics. I have seen some AMAZING work.

All of it is completely stupid IMO, but amazing work nonetheless.
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Old 04-22-2008, 12:07 PM   #7
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Adding hot outlets to 3-way switch


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingsmurf View Post
wow ...conduit in an residence? . . .generally speaking here in kalistine it's
Romex roping after plenty fun with a " HoleHog"

also you wouldnt ordinarily find the neutral supplying a switch...3W or other wise . .though it may be in the box if convenient when it was roped

3W's nothing but the two travelers between the switches . .power into one end ( generally only the hot conductor ) and the switch leg off of the other 3W to the light


conduit in an home huh ? . . .I roger that...there is NO
Romex in this house . . .its all in pipe / flex / or MC cable

conduit huh . . .that sparky must have been a fellow over-builder lunatic as well

let us know how you worked it out
I think Goose134 is right - the switch at the top of the stairs has the yellow wire where the red is on the lower switch, the brown in the same spots, and the white run continuous from one pipe to another. I'm going to try and work on it tomorrow and figure this out.

Yep, as Speedy said - all conduit PIPE, no romex. Major PITA!!! I hooked up a hot tub and had an electrician I met at a soccer game come and bend some tricky curves and do the final hookup - amazing - just eye-balled it and started making multiple bends - fit like a glove. Not really in an area I can photograph, but it was impressive.

Thanks for all the input.
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Old 04-22-2008, 12:49 PM   #8
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Adding hot outlets to 3-way switch


Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
Chicago is conduit country. All houses are wired in EMT. Every bit of them.

All of it is completely stupid IMO, but amazing work nonetheless.
Pete-

It's Chicago; strong union. No to offend Goose or anyone else but the conduit requirement is a "union code." Pipe work tends to scare off the casual weekend DIYer.
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Old 04-22-2008, 12:53 PM   #9
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Adding hot outlets to 3-way switch


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Originally Posted by goose134 View Post
Brown wires are your travellers. Red is your hot feed. Yellow is your switch leg and white, your neutral. If you want to hit an outlet, use the red and white.
Goose-De ja vu??!

Notice that the OP said that the red is looped to the 3-way? It is obviously the hot. It's powering the light circuit and then continuing elsewhere to provide power for some other outlet.

Jimbobalooee

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