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Old 01-31-2010, 12:23 PM   #1
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Three way switch wiring


Hello all. Been lurking around for a while absorbing all the great knowledge this site has to offer. I am now stuck with an electrical wiring problem. I have wired all outlets and switches this last switch is throwing me for a loop and need some help.

I have a box with a 12/2 feed, 12/3 between the three ways, and a 12/2 going to the light. Everything I've read says that the feed should have been to the light and this would have made this easier, but now everything is covered by the sheet rock. Can someone please help with what wires get pigtailed and which ones go tho the switch. Thanks so much for your help.

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Old 01-31-2010, 12:31 PM   #2
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Three way switch wiring


you need to back feed the other switch. connect the hot feed (black) to the white in the 12/3 going between the switches. At the other box connect this white to the common or darker colored screw and the black and red are travelers which go to the two same color screws. At the switch with all the wires connect the white to the white going to the light. The black to the darker screw and the black and red from the three wire to the same colored screws.

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Old 01-31-2010, 01:17 PM   #3
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Three way switch wiring


Thanks so much Bob. That is very easy to understand. Your knowledge is greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-31-2010, 02:24 PM   #4
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Three way switch wiring


Here is the correct way to do this;
On your feed into the first switch box - black (hot wire) goes to common terminal of 3-way switch, white wire (neutral) goes to the white wire of the 12/3.
On the 12/3 in this first box - white is already spliced through with the neutral feed, now attach your red and black wires to the traveler (gold) screws, make up grounds.
On the 12/2 to light (switch leg) - splice the white wire from the 12/3 to the white wire on the 12/2 switch leg. Attach the black wire of the switch leg 12/2 to the common screw of the 3 way. Connect the red and black wires from the 12/3 to the two traveler screws. Make up ground and you are done.
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Old 01-31-2010, 04:32 PM   #5
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Three way switch wiring


Quote:
Originally Posted by nyerinfl View Post
Here is the correct way to do this;
On your feed into the first switch box - black (hot wire) goes to common terminal of 3-way switch, white wire (neutral) goes to the white wire of the 12/3.
On the 12/3 in this first box - white is already spliced through with the neutral feed, now attach your red and black wires to the traveler (gold) screws, make up grounds.
On the 12/2 to light (switch leg) - splice the white wire from the 12/3 to the white wire on the 12/2 switch leg. Attach the black wire of the switch leg 12/2 to the common screw of the 3 way. Connect the red and black wires from the 12/3 to the two traveler screws. Make up ground and you are done.

In the OP's case all wires are in the first box. So your "correct way" has nothing to do with this existing situation. And his situation is not against any codes or is it improper wiring.
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Old 01-31-2010, 05:57 PM   #6
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Three way switch wiring


Here is a drawing. Very common setup.

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Old 02-02-2010, 02:32 PM   #7
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Three way switch wiring


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Originally Posted by Bob Mariani View Post
In the OP's case all wires are in the first box. So your "correct way" has nothing to do with this existing situation. And his situation is not against any codes or is it improper wiring.
I thought he was looking for the info from nyerinfl in the first place. Thats how my outlets are wired.

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