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Old 04-25-2012, 06:26 PM   #1
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Once light circuit, multiple switches


Scratching my head on this. New pole building. For now, I want to use one circuit for the lights. What I'm trying to do, is, at one door, I have a 3 way, switching two flourescent lights. Also in that 4-gang light switch, is run a light over the door on the outside, and a light over the overhead service door, and another light over the door, on the inside. So 1 3way, and three single pole switches. At the back door, the other 3 way for the same two lights, and a light over the door on the outside, and another light over the door on the inside. I have the power from the m/p, going into the light box nearest the M/P. Long story short, instead of how I have it, which operates all the lights, as long as one of the three ways are on. If someone could help me with how it should be. I am using 12-3 from the switches. Using 12-2 from the first light box, to the second. I have a another 12-2 running into each switch box, to supply power for the single pole switches.
Thanks for any/all input.

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Old 04-25-2012, 06:48 PM   #2
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Once light circuit, multiple switches


You are going to need to take a cable with an unswitched power over to the second switch location to power the inside and outside the door lights.

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Old 04-25-2012, 08:30 PM   #3
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Once light circuit, multiple switches


Can t his be done off the single cable, from the M/P? Or will this require a new circuit? I am having a hard time with the feed to the switch boxes, off the one feed to the light box, and there in is my problem... the entire circuit is controlled by a switch.
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:54 PM   #4
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Once light circuit, multiple switches


You can add pigtails off the incoming hot to power multiple switches.
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Old 04-25-2012, 08:59 PM   #5
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Once light circuit, multiple switches


I really think my problem is in the light box, where I have everything coming in. Power for the 3-way-two lights, and then I have the separate cable wired in, going to each switch box. I have had all the lights working in this configureation, except... all lights were controlled by the 3 way switch. I feel like I'm missing something really simple here.
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:06 PM   #6
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Once light circuit, multiple switches


If you describe the connections you made we might be able to straighten this out.
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:57 PM   #7
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Once light circuit, multiple switches


This is what I have. 12-2 running to light box. 12-2 running from light box 1 to light box 2. I have 12-3 running from light box 1 to each switch box for the 3way switches. I have another 12-2, running from light box 1 into each switch box for the single pole switches. So the wiring in light box 1 is is black (hot) to black going to sitch box 1. Red to red. White (hot) connected to both white cables going to the lights. Black cables for lights, going to the switch 2 box. All ground wires wire nutted together. That leaves the black and white cables supplying power to the single pole switches in each switch box. These are tied to the black to black, white to white. Thanks.
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Old 04-25-2012, 10:27 PM   #8
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Once light circuit, multiple switches


Double check.

Up in light box 1 connect the incoming feed (a 12-2) black to the 12-2 blacks going to the two switch boxes and also to the black wire of just one of the 12-3's.

In light box 1 connect all the 12-2 white wires together and add the white wire for the light itself.

For the 3 way travelers connect the two 12-3 white wires together as a separate bundle. Connect the two red wires as a separate bundle.

Up in light box 1 connect the loose 12-3 black wire to the black wire of the light itself and also to the black wire of the 12-2 going to light box 2.

At the switch boxes connect the 12-3 red and white wires to the 3 way switch traveler terminals. Connect the 12-3 black wires to the 3 way switch common terminals.

At each switch box connect the 12-2 white wire (from light box 1) to the white wires for the cables (also 12-2) to the various small light fixtures.

For each white wire attached to a switch terminal put a band of black or red tape or stain on both ends.
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:03 PM   #9
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Once light circuit, multiple switches


if by double check you want a second opinion then yes your absolutely right, that will work just fine.
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:11 PM   #10
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Once light circuit, multiple switches


Sounds like way too many wires in light box 1!
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:17 PM   #11
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Once light circuit, multiple switches


It does seem like a lot of wires, and probably is. I started it this way, as my pole barn is 56' X 36'. Based on where my main panel is, it "seemed" like the most direct way to run the hot cable into the first light box, and then subsequently feed the other light box and switch panels. I'm thinking there is probably an easier way... but in my process of laying this out, this is what I ended up with. I have wired my home, my addition, a cabin in the woods, and don't remember having this much confusion. But it has to do with on my electrical permit, I stated I was going to have one light circuit, and two recepticle circuits.
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:50 AM   #12
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Once light circuit, multiple switches


It might not be too late to install a larger box for light #1. For some kinds of boxes, extension rings (bottomless boxes) can be put (stacked) over the box to provide extra space.

It is still just one circuit if you have one feed wire from a breaker, branching into two at another junction box to feed each switch box directly.

Caution: If there is 14 gauge wire anywhere in the lighting circuit then that circuit must have a 15 amp breaker.
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:21 AM   #13
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Once light circuit, multiple switches


Quote:
Originally Posted by stucker View Post
What I'm trying to do, is, at one door, I have a 3 way, switching two flourescent lights. Also in that 4-gang light switch, is run a light over the door on the outside, and a light over the overhead service door, and another light over the door, on the inside. So 1 3way, and three single pole switches.
Since you refer to one door as "one door" and the other door as the "back door", I will refer to the "one door" as "front door"

So at "front door" you have 4 switches. One 3-way and Three single poles? The 3-way controls 2 florescent fixtures, SP#1 controls a light over the overhead service door, SP#2 control another light over the "front" door??? and SP#3 controls another light over the "front" door??? on the inside.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stucker View Post
At the back door, the other 3 way for the same two lights, and a light over the door on the outside, and another light over the door on the inside.
At this back door, are the light over the door on the outside and the other light over door on the inside the same lights you reference in the lighting for the switches near the "front door" or do you have lights on the inside and outside above the "back door"

Last edited by hammerlane; 04-26-2012 at 08:26 AM.
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:32 AM   #14
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Once light circuit, multiple switches


At the front door, and the switch box at the front door, I am switching outdoor light above overhead door, outdoor light above door, and a light above the door on the inside. In addition to the 3-way switching the two flourescent lights.

At the back door, a outdoor light above man door, and one on the inside, above door, plus the 3way for the flourescent lights.

Thanks.
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:01 AM   #15
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Once light circuit, multiple switches


try this. Grounds left out, just connect them all together.
AT front door
Connect power black to four pigtails and black for 2 wire cable to back door.
Connect four pigtail to common screw of three way and one screw of three other switches.
Connect all the whites together except the one from the three wire cable.
Connect the black and white from the three wire cable to the two traveller screws of the three way.
Connect the three fixture blacks one to each of the screws of the three switches.
Connect the three wire cable black to the fixture black for the two fixtures controlled by the three way

At the back door.
three wire cable connections.
Connect the black to the common screw.
Connect the red and white to the traveller screws.

Other cables.
Connect all the whites.
Connect the power black to two pigtails.
Connect the pigtails to the two switches.
Connect the two fixture black one to each of the switches.

You didn't say it but I guessed that the two flouro fed by the three ways were powered out of the front door not the back door switch box.

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Last edited by joed; 04-26-2012 at 09:05 AM.
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