How Do I Provide Power To A Plug When Changing Single Pole 3 Wire To 3-way Switch - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


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Old 01-05-2011, 12:33 PM   #1
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How do I provide power to a plug when changing single pole 3 wire to 3-way switch


I want to contine providing power to a plug already there on 3 wire single pole but change the lighting to 3-way switch. The hot is already at the 1st switch and the connection to the plug is at the 1st light.

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Old 01-05-2011, 12:58 PM   #2
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How do I provide power to a plug when changing single pole 3 wire to 3-way switch


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Originally Posted by Morris12 View Post
I want to contine providing power to a plug already there on 3 wire single pole but change the lighting to 3-way switch. The hot is already at the 1st switch and the connection to the plug is at the 1st light.
Leave the wiring at the light and nearby plug (receptacle) unchanged. String a new 3 wire cable from the existing switch to the desired new 3 way switch location. Do not undo any wires except at the original switch box where you remove the old switch leaving two loose ends.

Connect the loose end that goes to the (hot) power to the new cable white wire*. Connect the loose end that goes to the light to the new 3 way switch dark (common) terminal. Connect the red and black new wires to each new 3 way switch gold terminals. Put a band of black tape or magic marker stain on both ends of the new white wire.

It is possible that the original switch box is too crowded. You may have to replace that box with a larger box. In that case you would have to undo all the wires. Label each wire (including marking the two loose ends as "loose ends") so you can put everything back the way it was.

Even if no receptacle is involved, the best way to convert to 3 way is to run a new 3 wire cable from the original switch to the new desired switch location and use this same procedure.

* Hot cluster-wirenut-loose end-wirenut-new white
can be simplified to
Hot-new white-wirenut all in one cluster
and you save the short piece (pigtail) for future use elsewhere.

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Last edited by AllanJ; 01-05-2011 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 01-05-2011, 07:18 PM   #3
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How do I provide power to a plug when changing single pole 3 wire to 3-way switch


Thanks AllanJ. Not sure if I explained my problem correctly. I already have a 3-wire cable that was used at the single pole switch to provide power to the receptacle with the red wire at the 1st light.

So, if I connect the two 3-way switches together, going through the two light fixtures I wouln't have power for the receptable. When I started wiring the leg end 3-way switch with 3 wire cable to the other ceiling light then to the 1st light box I then realized that was why 3-wire cable was there to supply power to the wall receptable. Is there some other way of getting power to the recepetable in a 3-way system without using any more wires? Can I still make the hot connections to the receptable in the 1st light fixture using both the red and black that travels between the 3-way switches or will that just be switched on and off? Is this what you were explaining or is it different? Thanks, again.
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Old 01-05-2011, 07:21 PM   #4
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How do I provide power to a plug when changing single pole 3 wire to 3-way switch


There is no way to do what you are asking without a new cables to the existing switch or receptacle. You have to run the new cable to the new switch from the existing switch. It won't work running the new cable from the light unless you eliminate the receptacle. Also running through TWO light fixtures requires a four wire cable between them.
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:41 PM   #5
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How do I provide power to a plug when changing single pole 3 wire to 3-way switch


You cannot feed the receptacle directly using the two wires that travel between the two 3 way switches.
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