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Old 09-09-2010, 12:17 PM   #1
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Adding an outlet to an existing 3 way switch


I would like to add a recepticle to an existing 3 way light switch. The switch is at the end of the line. I also would like to have the recepticle operate seperately from the switch.

I wired all black wires, all ground wires, all whites together. The black wire coming from the wall is going directly to the common screw on the switch. The red wire from the wall is going directly across the white on the switch.

Any help.
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File Type: pdf 3 way switch with outlet.pdf (71.1 KB, 525 views)

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Old 09-09-2010, 12:32 PM   #2
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Adding an outlet to an existing 3 way switch


I am eager to see how this is done. I've never ventured beyond rough wiring and breakers. I will say one thing - make sure its to code - as if there's ever an ensurance claim (heaven forbid) your insurance will screw you.

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Old 09-09-2010, 12:42 PM   #3
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Adding an outlet to an existing 3 way switch


I expect that you will find that this will not work. Given that your switch box originally has only three wires, it is unlikely that it includes a neutral, or an unswitched hot. Note, the white wire in your diagram is likely NOT a neutral.
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:21 PM   #4
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Adding an outlet to an existing 3 way switch


Quote:
Originally Posted by oberkc View Post
I expect that you will find that this will not work. Given that your switch box originally has only three wires, it is unlikely that it includes a neutral, or an unswitched hot. Note, the white wire in your diagram is likely NOT a neutral.
x2

Did the white have black tape wrapped around it? Power is supplied to the 3-way through the black wire, and then either routes through one or the other remaining wires to the next switch and to the light through that black wire. In your case, since it looks like you have only 3 wires as oberkc pointed out, there is no neutral at the switch.

Light switches is one of those situations white is commonly used as a hot (often it's wrapped in electrical tape or a given if attached to a switch).

Here's a good video that demonstrates how a 3-way works, I find pictures & videos more useful. Although in the video he colored one of the wires blue, in real life 99.9% of the time it would be white instead (like almost certainly your situation). He just didn't want to confuse anyone with the real neutral, but it also demonstrates how and why 3 wires act as hots in 3-way switches.

Last edited by Piedmont; 09-09-2010 at 01:57 PM.
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